Saturday, June 6, 2009

Can Leather Furniture be Restored?

As leather furniture restoration professionals we are often asked if a particular client's leather furniture can be restored. The success of our professional restoration or our Do-It-Yourself Leather Restoration system is predicated on the integrity of the leather. While the leather can be badly soiled, stained, surface scratched and faded, as long as the basic fiber structure of the leather is sound (epidermis is still intact), then the system works beautifully.

Through digital pictures sent via e-mail I can generally tell if your leather furniture meets our criteria. Bottom line is if the existing leather is in good shape, you can expect excellent results.

If there are fissures or cracks in the epidermis, then that is not a good sign. Check out this picture as an example of leather that must be replaced.

When we do encounter serious epidermal damage, we can still save the piece by selectively replacing offended panels with new leather, color matched to the original. In this case we replaced the headrest, seat and both arms with new leather, color matched to the original and restored all other leather panels.


If the finish is simply worn away or stained or faded, but the leather itself is not damaged, then the leather can be successfully restored. in this case, there was no epidermal damage, just fading and wear. So, the leather sofa was an excellent candidate for restoration as you can see. This piece was professionally restored by Advanced Leather Solutions, but a DIY kit will accomplish excellent results as well.

There are two approaches 1. Professional leather furniture restoration (check out 2. A do-it-yourself leather restoration process (look up

In either case, the key to success is to have some level of professional involvement. It's important to know when the leather can be saved or when it has to be replaced. For example, if the piece is a bicast leather, then its not worth investing any money in restoration as the basic material itself is inherently weak. As a professional, before I offer advice, I want to analyze photos. Like a doctor examining an x-ray, I am looking for clues that tell me if the leather can be saved and what procedures are required to restore the leather. You see, there isn't a single solution that can be used to satisfy every condition. If there are body oils in the leather that has to be resolved thoroughly and completely as the first step. Additionally, the nature of the leather determines the type of primer required. So for the do-it-yourself community, highest probability of success still requires some professional guidance from people who actually do this work.

Professional restoration of leather furniture turns the project over to pros who know what they are doing. This can be expensive. If the furniture is decent quality, it is worth every penny as a pro will return the piece to like-new condition.

If you are a do-it-yourself type person, then creating a custom kit specific to your furniture is the correct answer. A customized kit from Advanced Leather Solutions will include everything you'll need to get the job done. The fee structure is not about quantities of material as much as it’s about making sure they are the RIGHT materials for your specific leather (e.g. colored matched to your specification and appropriate primer for your leather). As professional leather furniture restorers with 20 years experience in doing this work for our clients, we know what works and what is a prescription for failure. With Advanced Leather's program you're tapping into professional experience, not just buying products.

For the DIY community, with a little bit of money and some time, leather furniture can be restored back to its original glory.

copyright 2009, Kevin Gillan

1 comment:

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