A flexible vinyl and leather filler kit is needed to repair upholstery that has:
- cuts, holes, and tears (see video below) or giant holes in vinyl & leather that are larger than 2″ in diameter;
- rough, scaly or thinning areas where the suede is exposed (end of the video);
- damaged piping or welting;
- tears in perforated panels;
- cracking vinyl.
Repairing peeling bonded, bicast, and polyurethane leathers is not recommended. See why and our solution.
This video shows how to subpatch and repair a large hole as well as the scaly surroundings using Soft Filler.
- 00:30 – Cutting the subpatch
- 01:00 – Inserting the subpatch
- 01:20 – Glueing the subpatch
- 03:14 – Cleaning excess glue and readying the surface for repair compound
- 03:48 – Applying the leather filler, spreading, and feathering
- 05:16 – Dry time and how to tell when the filler has cured
- 06:22 – Sanding (we now recommend smoothing and feathering with rubbing alcohol)
- 06:58 – Additional layers of filler repair compound
- 08:32 – Texturizing and final sanding
- 09:41 – Recoloring the repaired area
Soft Filler is water-based. An incandescent bulb, heat lamp or sunny window are needed to warm the surface to 120º – 145º F (49º – 63º C). Hair dryers are no longer advised, as they can blow moisture inward and prevent proper curing. The filler will change from white to mostly clear, and is cured when no longer tacky.
Rubbing alcohol can also be used to correct imperfections in the cured filler. Less is more, and you can always re-work the repair!
Print or download our free leather filler repair instructions here.
Click here for troubleshooting filler application.
|Type of Damage||Total Area of Damage||Filler Needed|
|Scaly, cracked, worn or thin but no large holes or voids||4 sq ft (2ft x 2 ft)||1 oz.|
|Scaly, cracked worn or thin but no large holes or voids||8 sq ft (2 ft x 4 ft)||2 oz.|
|Holes or tears (requires a subpatch & more layers of filler)||12 sq in (1 in x 1 ft)||1 oz.|
|Holes or tears (requires a subpatch & more layers of filler)||24 sq in (2 in x 1 ft)||2 oz.|
We filled a large hole in our leather couch with your filler compound, should the Levi patch be showing? We have done 4 fills, should we do more before dying?
The filler dries whitish-clear, so you may still see some of the denim patch. If it feels good, apply the color. If you need to rework the repair, just remove the color and apply more filler. Rubbing alcohol can also be used to smooth imperfections in the cured filler, rather than sandpaper.
Will this work on split leather?
Thanks Anne McDonald
Yes, filler will work. FYI, split leather is the lower half of the hide. There is no original epidermis (skin surface), so it is inherently weaker.
There is a small hole in a brown leather chair due to a dripping of Compound W. What is best way to fix?
You’re on the right page! You can email photos to firstname.lastname@example.org for professional eyes on the problem.
Love your videos! Good, thorough instruction, comments that are applicable to what you’re presently doing (vs tips on a step already done) and no unnecessary schmaltzy accompanying music used!
I’ve had a rip in an arm of the most comfortable chair (+ the frame has ‘good bones’) for too long. The rip really downgraded its looks so I demoted the chair to storage. I’m into DIY but when I tried to repair it it surely wasn’t as good as yours. Thanks so much for the great instructions & tips!
I have a new (used) leather recliner I just purchased. I was told it’s about 15 years old, but that it is high-end leather and had a high retail price. I’m not sure if that’s right, though it does seem pretty tough. Most of the leather is nice is smooth, if a little distressed, except the armrests and a part of the leg rest which is very scratchy and uncomfortable – it’s almost like rubbing my arms against sandpaper. Not great. Would the Soft Filler be appropriate here? Cleaning it doesn’t seem to resolve.
Try a gentle sanding with 320 grit sandpaper. The proof will be in applying color. If the color corrects it, you’re golden. If not, strip it out with alcohol, let dry, use the filler.
I want to repair a some cat scratch marks on a white leather sofa. What does the process look like and what do I need?
So long as it’s real leather, you can use tiny beads of super glue and sandpaper to repair cat scratches or punctures. However, repairing cat scratches on synthetics is more painstaking work and requires filler.
How about scuff marks on the edges/corner of the backing of the sofa?
I have a motor home that I am preparing for sale. There is a small amount of peeling on the couch seat between the cushions but they are not removable. Would the soft filler work here? How do I match the color?
Yes, the filler would work, but the RV industry uses a lot of polyurethane / ultraleather which resists all coatings, including its own. This article and video demonstrate the repair process and alternatives for peeling ultraleather. You would likely need a Custom Color to match the original.
I have a 79 MGB with a 3 inch crack and a quarter of an inch wide in the top of my dashboard. Would your method work for this Thanks Tony
No, we suggest an epoxy described in this article.
Help! Leather base of sofa with puppy hole!! Approx 10 cm x 3 cm. I’m in the UK
Love the video!
Check out this article specific to larger holes damaged by dogs which discusses fixing any damage to the foam substrate and top-patching. Otherwise the repair method is the same.
Sorry if I’m missing the tutorial…how would you repair boat vinyl seats that are cracked (not open holes, just fine splitting) before refinishing the color?
Cracking vinyl can be a challenge for the reasons discussed here, but our filler will do the trick.
Have a brown vinyl round sofa chair. Our dog when a puppy, tore a big patch of vinyl from one side & couple of others down near the base. Want to sell the chair now. Can this fabric beneath the vinyl be spray painted? Upholsterer said he can’t fix it.
Would send a photo if I knew how.
Is the substrate fabric or foam? It can be stained with a paint, but it won’t look very good, and beware, solvent-based or aerosol paints may melt foam. You can upload photos and submit the evaluation if you want a professional assessment.
How do you match or at least get a close match leather dye to an existing color?
See this article about matching leather color. Here are our color matching services.