- How To Remove Cat Scratches From Leather Chair
- How To Get Scratches Out Of A Leather Couch
How To Remove Cat Scratches From Leather Chair – If your cat always wears nail tips, cats and skin usually don’t mix. But don’t despair if your cat has made your expensive furniture their scratching post—it’s probably beyond repair. We talked to furniture experts to find out how to fix cat scratches on leather chairs, sofas and more.
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How To Remove Cat Scratches From Leather Chair
Can you repair leather yourself? Short answer: yes. According to Rachel Wilson of Hub Leather Repair & Restoration in Framingham, Massachusetts, the best way to repair scratched leather is to leave the job to a professional. “We’ve just seen too many DIY disasters,” he said.
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This causes the skin repair process to be long and complex. The hardest step is sanding and color matching. If you sand too hard, you can damage the leather, and matching the exact color of your leather chair or sofa is also a challenge. Sunlight and humidity affect the color of leather furniture over time, making it difficult to get an exact match. Even the type of leather can add difficulty to a DIY project. For example, if your furniture is made of aniline leather, it is dyed, making it more difficult to recolor and repair.
If you’re interested in custom leather repairs, be prepared for an investment. According to HomeAdvisor, leather sofa repairs start around $100 for a single cat scratch, while more complex repairs can cost thousands. Quality skin care is an art form, so you should always ask family and friends for local recommendations. You can also check reviews on sites like Yelp, Google or Angi.
On the other hand, if you have a knack for DIY projects and want to try fixing the scratch yourself, read on for tips.
Different types of cat havior produce different scratches on your leather sofa, which require different repair techniques. There are two main types of scratches that cause damage to the skin:
How To Get Scratches Out Of A Leather Couch
Whether your cat has kneaded or swiped the surface of your leather furniture, cat scratches still leave a permanent mark on the leather finish. Removing it requires sanding and re-staining—sorry, but no quick fix here. (At least not one that will make your furniture look brand new.)
Prepare the damaged area by thoroughly removing any dirt or grime using a cleaning product designed specifically for leather. Any professional skin care service can recommend quality brands, often sold in their stores.
Trim any loose spruce by cutting with scissors as close to the base of the pill as possible, being careful not to cut, puncture or cause further damage. Any short hairs left behind will not affect the feel and look of the final product, nor the quality of the repair.
Put a small amount of leather binding glue on a sponge and rub it on the damaged area. Allow time for the first coat to dry, and reapply 7 to 9 times (with adequate drying time between each application) to ensure a long-lasting, strong repair.
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Use fine sandpaper (1200 grit) to slightly smooth the area treated with leather glue. Take your time and use a gentle touch to avoid rough repairs. A proper sanding job will produce a flat and smooth surface to prepare the base for the rest of the repair process.
Remove any sandpaper residue, then apply heavy filler, a type of leather putty. Using a palette knife, apply the filler in a thin layer over the scratch. Allow the filler to dry for 20 to 25 minutes, check your work, and reapply additional coats if necessary to fill gouges, deep scratches and holes.
Once the heavy filler has dried, get out your sandpaper again and smooth out the repaired area. Remember to use a light touch. After it has been sufficiently sanded, wipe the leather with a special leather cleaning solution to remove any remaining sandpaper or dirt. The repaired area must be cleaned so that the dye adheres to the skin.
After the leather cleaner has dried, place a small amount of liquid dye on a fresh, clean sponge and apply a thin layer to the repaired area. This will bring color back into your skin—but sometimes it also exposes spots that need additional repair. If so, start the process over from step 6—re-apply more filler, sand it after it dries and reapply the dye again.
How To Repair Cat Scratches On Leather
Once the first coat of dye has been applied and dried, the spray dye that comes with the airbrush should apply your repair in one coat. Allow each coat to dry before proceeding with the next coat. Apply as many thin layers of dye as necessary to completely blend the repaired area with the intact area and to conceal the repair.
Apply leather lacquer (also called leather sealer) to seal the color and prevent rubbing or fading. Using a clean sponge or airbrush, apply the sealer in 2 or 3 layers to increase the flexibility and firmness of the repaired skin. Let each layer dry thoroughly before applying the next.
The final step is to apply a leather finishing product, again in thin layers with sufficient drying time between each one. The finish should be applied with an airbrush or clean sponge in 4 to 5 coats. This seals the work you’ve done and protects it from normal wear and tear—but your cat’s claws can damage it again, so take steps to protect your furniture. (More on that low.)
Repairing damage done by swiping is an easier and faster process. Provided the scratch is completely on the surface and does not cut the skin, the lighter color of the discoloration can be hidden with a skin recoloring balm. Just apply the balm to hide the scratch and blend it with the rest of the skin on the area.
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However, if the scratch has cut the skin, no do-it-yourself repair will suffice; it’s left to the professionals.
Wondering if you have the tools in your pantry to repair cat scratches? Sorry. Wilson says home remedies like olive oil won’t get rid of cat scratches. When you add any liquid to the skin, the scratched area will absorb the liquid. This can leave your leather furniture looking worse than when you started.
That’s not the only quick fix that’s too good to be true. Over the years, Wilson has seen clients try many quick fixes, including baking soda, that don’t fix cat scratches as well. Instead, it dries out the leather furniture.
After investing in expensive repairs (or time-consuming DIY work), there are things you can do to keep your leather couch looking its best. Cat scratches aren’t the only thing that can damage your leather furniture. Pet fur will dry out your leather chair over time. Flea and flea medications can also remove the finish from the skin.
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While the repair process can be complicated (and potentially expensive), your skin can be restored so well that only you and your cat know about the damage. Looking for more pet-friendly design tips? Check out this year’s hottest pet home decor trends.
Expert input for this story was provided by Rachel Wilson with Hub Leather Restoration & Repair in Framingham, Massachusetts; and Harry Kahn with Expert Skin Care in Plantation, Florida. Full disclosure: I am not a loved one. I had three dogs and two cats growing up that I loved but now that I’ve grown up with real responsibilities, like taking care of five humans, my love for the responsibility of owning pets has waned. However, that didn’t stop us from adopting Fran over a year ago (on my 25th birthday). For pets, he is very cool and is the perfect cat for our kids. Seriously, Franny will put up with all their shenanigans and will even choose to curl up with them at the end of a busy day. He even chooses to pretend our West Elm Hamilton leather couch is his personal scratch pad which isn’t cool at all. at all. Because of that, I quickly had to learn how to remove cat scratches from aniline leather using distilled water.
The first time was an accident: pretending to catch a lizard he pounced on the sofa, leaving three small scratches on the skin. I immediately picked up her nail clipping skills and brought home an extra scratching pad. Eventually, despite all my attempts to discourage him, he got used to using his nails on the sofa arm. I’m still trying to figure out how to stop it from scratching the sofa but in the meantime I’ve been using this method to remove scratches from aniline leather sofas.
Wet the cloth with distilled water and rub gently on the scratch. The mark will darken when it is soaked in water.
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At this point, you can either wait for the water to dry or use a hair dryer to help remove the natural oils in the aniline leather as it is