How to Repair Scratches on Leather Furniture

No matter how careful a family is, it is very common for leather furniture to get scratches due to normal use. While it may seem like your furniture is ruined, there are ways to restore it. Leather is a versatile material that has the ability to bond to itself, making repairs to surface scratches relatively simple. Even deeper scratches may be fixed or disguised so the piece of furniture looks as good as new.


  1. Image titled Repair Scratches on Leather Furniture Step 1
    Call the manufacturer of your leather furniture when you notice a scratch. Many manufacturers have specific ways they recommend to fix or repair their pieces of furniture. Sometimes they will even send you a free or discounted repair kit. It is critical to identify your furniture's leather type (typically; pigmented (P), Aniline (A)) as the repair procedure is directly related to the leather type. If you do not have any luck with this step, proceed on to the next step.
  2. Image titled Repair Scratches on Leather Furniture Step 2
    Rub olive oil, baby oil or saddle oil into the scratch using a cotton swab applicator. After applying it directly to the scratch, rub it into the surrounding leather with a circular motion. Allow the oil to dry for an hour. If the scratch has not repaired itself, repeat the step or move on to the next one. As with all steps, test this in an inconspicuous area first as oil may absorb into the leather causing it to stain/darken.
  3. Image titled Repair Scratches on Leather Furniture Step 3
    Dampen a cotton cloth. Place the slightly damp cloth onto the scratched area. Allow the moisture to soak into the scratch slightly.
  4. Image titled Repair Scratches on Leather Furniture Step 4
    Before proceeding with this step, it is critical to be aware of your leather type as this process will only work on some aniline leather types, such as pull-up and possibly bicast. Press a warm iron against the damp cloth. The heat and the moisture may bring out the natural oil in the leather. If it does, the scratch may heal itself as a result. Hold the iron on for 10 seconds. Remove it, and look at the scratch. If it seems to have disappeared, dry off the leather and prepare to use as normal. If the scratch is still there, repeat the step with the iron once more. If this still doesn't work, proceed on to the next step.
  5. Image titled Repair Scratches on Leather Furniture Step 5
    As with the previous steps. This process will be successful with more heavily pigmented or coated leather (e.g. some care leather and bicast) since shoe polish is not generally designed for use on furniture-grade leather, so, as always, test in an inconspicuous area first and if you are able to source leather dyes or colorants, that is a more desirable solution. Find a shade of shoe polish that matches your furniture. Apply the shoe polish to the scratches with a cotton swab applicator. Rub the shoe polish into the leather. With a clean cloth, rub the scratch quickly to buff it. This process will not heal the scratches, but it may help to disguise them. If the color needs to be darker, repeat with another coat and buffing series. If the color does not match your furniture once you have applied it, use a wet rag to wash it off immediately.


  • Deep scratches in your leather furniture may need attention by a professional. Serious scratches can become permanent tears and last forever.

Things You'll Need

  • Oil
  • Cotton swab applicators
  • Cotton rags
  • Shoe polish
  • Iron

Article Info

Categories: Furniture and Cabinets