How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

Save money and learn how to restore leather furniture, leather shoes, leather purses, leather jackets, leather pants, leather anything in 4 easy steps with this DIY tutorial!  

A couple weeks ago our family took a road trip to pick up one of my Facebook Marketplace finds for #ourthirdfixerupper.  I have been simultaneously selling our current furniture and buying “new” furniture that will work better in the space.  One of these amazing finds was a 4 piece set of leather living room furniture.  The seller assured me that there were no major tears, and other than having been used for many years the cushions and leather were all in good shape.

So . . . Saturday morning road trip with the HammersNHugs crew!  Some Dora in the van and Chick-Fil-A for lunch – my kids were pumped to get this furniture.  🙂





How to Restore Leather

How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

Below you can see the 4 pieces of furniture that we got.

how to restore leather in 4 easy steps

A chair and ottoman.  Look how dry that leather is!

how to restore leather in 4 easy steps

Love seat.

how to restore leather in 4 easy steps


how to restore leather in 4 easy steps

This is the seat on the chair.  You can see how unbelievably dry it is.  Leather is basically skin.  Literally.  Animal skin.  It is supposed to stay conditioned and moisturized in order to stay soft and avoid cracking.


You can see the ottoman was suffering from the same condition.


From the looks of the back of the love seat the previous owners had a pet that liked this particular spot.


All of the seats needed a lot of conditioning.


There were multiple small scratches like the ones noted here.

How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

The Leather Restoration Kit


FIRST – determine if your leather is absorbent or non-absorbent by reading this article.  If you have aniline leather or absorbent leather, which is very soft to touch and does not appear to have a “finish” or shine to it, then this method will not work!  Check out this cleaning kit for aniline or absorbent leather.

This kit holds the ingredients to restore your non-absorbent leather in 4 easy steps.  I put all of these items in a bag and label “Leather Restoration Kit.”


How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

#1. Clean the leather

Dilute approximately 2 T of the Leather Cleaner in one cup or 8oz of lukewarm water.

how to restore leather in 4 easy steps

I used baby wipes dipped in the cleaning solution to wipe down the leather.  Make sure you let the leather completely dry for several hours.  It should not feel damp to touch.

how to restore leather in 4 easy steps



How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

#2. Repair the leather

Using the tear mender leather adhesive bottle inspect the leather for any tears or rips.  For larger cuts and tears consider the Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit by Fortivo.  Find it here.  A step-by-step guide to using this repair kit is also included on the Amazon link here.

To use the small tear mender bottle I simply took a tweezers, held the tear in place while gluing the edges together.  I took a Qtip to wipe off any excess or drips.





restore leather in 4 easy steps

Allow to dry according to directions on the bottle.


How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

#3.  Touch up with the shoe polish.

The Kiwi Shoe Polish comes in tan, black, white, brown, blue etc.  Find the color that is closest to the color of your leather.  Take a clean, old sock and apply the polish to your piece.  I used the polish on all of the leather because of how worn and cracked it was, but you can also just use it as touch up as needed.

BTW, here is a tip on how to open these cans.  I have two masters degrees, and I had to YouTube how the heck to open this thing.  The bottom line is that you twist the metal piece along the side to catch under the lip of the lid and pop the top off.  Then you just press the top back on when done!



Use one of your clean old socks and rub the shoe polish over the leather.

You can see in the pictures below the difference just the shoe polish makes.




I let the shoe polish set overnight and then move to the last step.


How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

#4.  Condition the leather.

Using Leather Honey’s Leather Conditioner put a small amount on another clean, old sock and rub into the leather.  A little will go a long way, but if the leather is really dry as these piece were, you may need to go over an area a couple times.  Again, leather is skin and needs to be moisturized so rub it in as you would rub lotion onto your arm.

This is my favorite step.  I mean look how much healthier it looks!

The love seat shows the before and after difference.  The right side has been restored with the 4 step kit and the left has been untouched.  Look at the difference.


how to restore leather in 4 easy steps20190121_132629



how to restore leather in 4 easy steps

This is the difference of step 4!  Look at the difference in conditioning.

You can find SO many used leather sofas on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist for half and even a third of retail price.  Don’t be afraid of beat up leather.  With this kit and 4 easy steps it can turn into beautifully restored leather furniture that now gracefully reflects its age.








The Leather Restoration Kit

I would love to see the before and after photos of your leather restorations!!  Tag me on instagram @ahna_hammersnhugs or use the hashtag #hammersnhugs.  I would LOVE to see them!!

Pin any of the images below for later!

Work Smarter Not Harder (70)


how to restore leather in 4 easy steps


Work Smarter Not Harder (71)






4 thoughts on “How to Restore Leather in 4 Easy Steps

  1. What a difference! It’s beautiful. Do you know if this can be used on non-absorbent leather?
    I purchased a refinishing kit online which didn’t work for my recliner. The manufacturer determined it is because of the type of leather….non-absorbent. They have a product that will work but it is $79.00! I already spent $40.00 on the last kit. Thanks!

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