A leather repair kit will work as long as you have the right kit. There are different types of kits in the world and you, therefore, have to identify the kit that will work for you to avoid wasting time and money. The kits are readily available from stores as well as from local auto parts.
The great number of processes shown by the different brands clearly shows that there is a lack of knowledge in the manufacturing of these kits. With a negative reputation, consumers are disappointed with the results to have come to believe the process cannot be completed effectively.
Many consumer groups have tested these kits and they do not meet the standards. Anytime a search to get a good repair kit is conducted people only come up with this fake type of leather. This doesn't mean there is the real leather. Some companies have come up with great works.A leather repair kit is a combination of materials that are used to repair scratches, scuffs, rips and tears, faded leather, holes, burns, cat scratches, cuts, and splits as well as loss of color in any leather material. The filler and glue will repair damages and color will be repaired using the leather colorants.
- How do leather repair kits work?
- Step by step guide on how to repair leather with leather repair kits
- How to choose the Right Repair kit
How do leather repair kits work?
There are two different types of leather repair kits. Let’s find out how each one of them works.
Heat dry and air leather repair kit
Repair material is colored as in screen printers ink, the heating process is used to cure the leather.
Heat is detrimental to leather and will cook the fiber causing premature deterioration to the leather. The heat damages even the surrounding areas causing the leather to be weaker. Therefore you need to use low amounts of heat to cure the leather. However, heat is not recommended as the best method since the damages caused by the heat.
The process itself is very difficult to texture and blend in its environs; it is great on vinyl too. Air dry kits comprise a compound that is used to repair a tear in the leather. Usually, this is PVA glue that mostly is similar to Elmer's glue as the one used in school. You can modify PVA adhesives in many different ways.
Usually, the compound is white in color. So as to match repair kits that are included in the various colors of leather dye which you will mix to obtain good results. After this, a leather sealer protects the dye and shines the leather by giving it a little sheen. This is the common and modern way of finishing leather.
The leather dries fast and then a protective finish is applied on top. The advantages of using the air dry leather kit are that they refurbish and repair all types of leather. Be it household leather of jackets, sofas, bed or even handbags. They protect the leather material since all you have to do is let it dry and you will get leather that is almost new.The heat repair kit, however, has got its own disadvantages, heat causes permanent damage to leather and any moment heat is applied leather is compromised. The leather does not stay long since it becomes exposed to damage. The heat repair kit is however quick to fix leather damages.
Water Base "Air dry" Leather Repair Kit
This is the best repair kit for repairing leather; polyvinyl acetate (PVA) is a chemical that is formulated for repair kits. PVA is not very flexible and therefore when it cracks and bends temporarily the edges of the leather turns hard and stiff and makes it hard uncomfortable.
PVA doesn't bond leather fibers therefore in a short period of time repair split up and damage will be difficult than the second time. It is possible to make PVA work well by the formulation of this product to make it chemically compatible with leather. Water-based repair kits are more secure to use because they repair and prolong the life of leather.
They are however time-consuming and requires you to have the lot patience. A good repair kit like the water base air dry will have a feature like A good leather repair kit will have some features like:
Step by step guide on how to repair leather with leather repair kits
There are many cleaning agents, many got oils that claim to restore suppleness of the leather. Currently, most used leather is finished and has a protective coating to know if you have finished leather place a drop of water on the leather and dab it up. If the leather doesn't darken where water was applied then your leather is finished. Same finish on leather is similar to what you have on hardwood floors.
Oils in the cleaners will not affect or penetrate the finish. There are cleaners and conditioners that are designed for finished leather, however, a dumb microfiber will clean perfectly. Some water will penetrate the finish, therefore, moisturizing the leather. You will need to soak the microfiber cloth in water then wring out as much water as you can. Wipe off any dust or dirt on the cloth just before any repair as you take care not to enlarge the tears.
Trim Damaged areas
Your leather maybe was torn and ripped here you will need a sharp pair of scissors to cut down the torn edges, it is also advisable to use a piece of sandpaper to trim the high spots on your leather.
Insert Backing in large tears
The repair kit will have backing fabric usually for large tears; the repair compound will have a solid surface so that it will not pour on a hole. You will need to cut the backing fabric larger than the repair area and then insert it into the tear. Apparently, you can also apply some repair compound to the underside of leather after inserting backing fabric to glue it together.
Using the plastic tool in a repair kit push into place the leather and also use it to scoop out some the repair compound and push it undersized of the leather you then let it take few hours to dry. Not all the damage goes away at all times, sometimes heat and pressure are applied to dry the compound faster.You can use a cooling block to cool it down, however, since heat can damage the leather sometimes you can let the glue dry on its own but this will need a little bit of weight for good adhesion. You will need to make sure the weight doesn't land on the leather.
Apply leather repair compound
As the repair compound dries it shrinks and since you want the compound to fill in the tear for up to same levels as the leather, then multiple layers of repair compound will provide perfect results than filling it at once. Pour the repair compound and spread it round as you smooth it out with the plastic tool provided in the kit, feather edges of the compound. You will then leave it to dry and will apply more compound to you level it up with the leather. In case you feel high spots after drying it up you can use the sandpaper to trim down the high spots.
The leather repair kit has a sealer that is in a small plastic bottle alongside a sponge to apply. The sealer assists in acting as a primer which works well and helps the leather dye look great on repairs and sanded areas. You will need to pour a little sealer on the sponge then you spread the sealer on areas you want to dry when you notice air bubbles go over with the sponge to knock them down. Then let it dry for few hours and then rinse the sponge.
Mixing the Leather Dye
To make the repair look so great you will need to do it right. This is a bit difficult for you will need to mix the colors so that you get the right color and matching one for your leather. In some instances, there are computerized ways of mixing the colors if you are not good at mixing them. The repair kit comes in different colors as well as guidelines on how to mix the colors. You do not need to worry about this guideline is going to guide by giving you clear instructions.
Applying leather dye
After making the repair you will need to apply some dye so that the leather does not appear faded. This will be applied step by step in layers. There is enough dye in the kit that will cover all the repaired areas on your leather.
Apply the sealer
After making the repair and applying the dye on the leather you will note that the repaired and original materials do not match fully. To make it match and look excellent you will apply a sealer on repaired surfaces, in case of air bubbles use the sponge to clear them off.
How to choose the Right Repair kit
It is important to know how to choose the right leather repair kit. Check out some of the most important things that you should know before you buy the kit.
Knowing and understanding the material to be repaired
Firstly you will need to consider and understand the material that needs to be repaired. The thicker leather like the cowhide requires you to stitch it or use stronger glue. The thicker leather tends to show too much of a patch made in it, whether it was stitched or simply fixed using glue.As the leather thickens then the more the possibility of recognizing the fix, this goes hand in hand with the gauge of the leather. When you are choosing a repair kit, find the leather matching with the material to be repaired for the fix to appear natural. Avoid having spots on your sofa, jacket or even bag that do have different types of mismatching leathers.
Avoid the heat
Heat is more damaging to you leather than being beneficial, avoid it to cure your leather materials. Heat causes permanent damages; any action performed with heat has permanent results, no going back. When compromising the tears, rips, and seams the leather becomes weaker each moment of trying to fix.Make sure you avoid the heat repair leather kits for they cause prolonged deterioration of the leather despite fixing your leather so quick.
Is your kit composed of polyvinyl acetate?
You need to be aware of the compounds found in your leather repair kit; in many cases, polyvinyl is the main sealer compound, especially in water-based repair kits. Polyvinyl acetate got a disadvantage in that the compounds in it are as the ones in school glue. Using a leather kit that has same compounds like school glue is not the best thing since it might cause cracks, flakes and is not long lasting. Look for a polyurethane based repair kit for it holds the leather into place for a prolonged time.
Get a kit with quality colors
Basically, the color in your repair kit should match with the color on the leather to be repaired. You n need to get the right leather for it, do not get close enough but get the perfect one. The leather is basically the skin of an animal. The colors should match so as to give the best repair required. Get help from professionals on the colors of leather and those on leather repair kits as well as the dyes to use for your damaged leather.
Get a repair kit meeting your project needs
Kits are not made in equal measures; there are kits for burns, tears, water damage and many more. Look for repair kits which specialize in the repairs you need. For repairs where leather is faded, it would be necessary to clean your leather and condition it than just applying of dye.
Whenever you are doing an additive fix of using glue, adding dye or chemicals the leather becomes compromised and weak. There is no miracle solution to repair leather and this clearly explains that miracle repair kits do not offer the best results.
Most leather kits will fix any type of leather but there is some leather which requires special attention, such leathers are lambskin and nubuck. These types of leathers have undergone special processes to get the specific look you would want. In cases of such leather apply glues on the inner side of the tear.If the leather has been discolored or burnt make an attempt of cleaning and brushing the leather instead of dying it.
On how to get and chose the best repair kit; you probably need to consult a professional who knows more about leathers. Talk to your local artisan to get some information on the best repair kit that will match your leather.
In case you do not get a professional you may want to check on customer reviews on products you want to purchase. Look at different types of pictures, testimonials as well as videos about the repair kit. You can as well perform a small test to scrap piece of leather to avoid chemical damages to your leather.Finally, it is clear that you will get what you pay for, if you get a cheap repair kit then you are likely to come across cheap compounds that might cause damages to your leather rather than repair it. Be sure to get a product where you will see the value of your money; Make sure you read instructions before attempt use of the kit.
Over a long period of time, leather repair kits have not been made with the advanced technology. Most of the repair kits are old fashioned and have techniques that have been outdated, therefore repair of leather has turned out to be of less concern. Many people in the past have considered repair of leather to be a waste of time and even money.
When in need of a leather repair kit it is very important to observe the above in accordance with where or the type of leather you need to repair. Choose the best kit after observing what it is you want to repair and refurbish. A leather repair kit that you choose should fit features of giving out perfect combination whether you want to dye it or clean it.
A leather repair kit will give back your leather the shine you need. You will not have to replace your leather furniture because they are damaged, or even cover it up to hide the damaged area. The larger rips might not completely disappear but the sofa will still look good. To repair the furniture you will need to be extra patient so that you eventually get what you want.You have to do it right following the instructions on the leather kit when you clean the leather with a microfiber the dye is not supposed to come off. When shopping for a leather kit, chose one that is fit for your product and that will give you satisfaction.