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Help restoring our leather couch


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We bought a new, very nice, leather couch in 2011.  Not ever having had leather before, we apparently haven't taken care of it very well.  It has scratches and fading now - we use this couch every day as it's in our family room.  I've been doing research on-line about the best way to restore it, but the hive is always so full of great information, I thought I would try here too :-).

I've attached a pic of part of my couch with damage.  We have not done anything to polish, moisturize, etc. this couch.

Just curious, some of the recs are to use olive oil or coconut oil.  How do people use these and then not have any oily feeling couch afterward?  Does it just soak in and you don't feel the oil after awhile?  It is mostly our seat cushions that are the problem -- and a few areas on our leather ottoman.

Thanks so much!IMG_1555.thumb.jpg.2292b2dac318dcb14be3eea3aeb89e14.jpg

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I treat the leather on our couch 4x a year. It goes from feeling dry and crackly to as smooth as butter...not oily. I use https://www.amazon.com/Bickmore-Bick-Leather-Conditioner-Finished/dp/B001CS2Q4M

 

Leather restoration is a different business altogether. There are products, but I haven’t used them.

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1 hour ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I treat the leather on our couch 4x a year. It goes from feeling dry and crackly to as smooth as butter...not oily. I use https://www.amazon.com/Bickmore-Bick-Leather-Conditioner-Finished/dp/B001CS2Q4M

 

Leather restoration is a different business altogether. There are products, but I haven’t used them.

Thank you!  Just curious - about how much do you use each time (which size bottle)?  Ours is an L-shape with the equivalent of 2 full size couches on each side.  And...the back of our couch is exposed so would need to make sure that is done too.

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I've only done this sort of thing on expensive purses, not couches.  Don't use oil.  Food oil goes rancid.  Something like neetsfoot oil is for people who have a brown leather like a saddle leather that isn't dyed or sealed.

What I would do (and I don't want to take any responsibility for your couch)  is get some leather dye.  I can't tell if it's the lighting, but it looks like the leather is dyed a dark brown. Angeles or Kelly dark brown alcohol based dye should be easy to find online or at a local shoe repair shop.  Get a very small cheap paint brush, carefully paint a scant amount of the dye over the worn areas.  Let it sit 5 minutes, then wipe it off.  Don't leave it on or use too much or it will get gummy, attract dust and hair, and never really cure, so it will stain your clothes in the future.  When you're done, do it again for a second coat. Let it dry for 24-48 hours and don't sit on it in the mean time.

Then I'd use a leather conditioner like Obenauf's. It's an oil. I buy it on Amazon. Again, use only a tiny amount.  Let it sit 5-10 minutes, buff it out, move to another area.  Repeat if you like.  DO NOT pour it on the surface thickly and let it sit.  It will become a gummy mess.  The oil will pick up a bit of the dye.  You might want to repeat until the cloth you use to buff doesn't pick up the dye any more.

Finally if you're still picking up dye you could use a leather sealer, but I'd recommend not. It's probably better to oil and buff until dye stops coming up. Repeat in 6-12 months.

 

ETA:  This is for soft dyed cow leather.  Don't buy a vintage reptile skin purse and use this process.  Different leathers need different processes, and this will make lizard skin a sticky mess too.

Edited by Katy
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I do a 3 seater couch and two overstuffed chairs...and that empties 3/4 of an 8 oz bottle. If I go longer between treatments, or in winter, I will use almost all of a bottle.

I also treat my leather shoes and boots, but with a different conditioner, and there I can use just a dime sized amount. 

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