How to match the color of leather or vinyl?

Do not trust images or screens when trying to match the color of leather, vinyl and other textiles. Except for black or stark white (which are universal), a physical sample is needed is to accurately assess color.

Picture of an image of a leather swatch on a computer screen with the actual swatch overlaid to show the disparity in color in images when trying to match leather or vinyl

An approximate match can be obtained by comparing color swatches to the leather or vinyl upholstery. For an exact match, colors must be tested directly on the material and examined from various angles.

Local leather repair artisans can match color and restore your leather and vinyl, but the cost will range anywhere from US$200 – US$2000. Alternatively, a professional service like Rub ‘n Restore, Inc. can match your color for a fee. Simply mail a sample (like a cushion case, head rest, or piece of material).

Consider these factors in matching your color:

  • Every manufacturer has their own version of mahogany or ivory, for example. Don’t assume the color will match because the name is the same. 
  • Colors display differently on screens and photographs. Do not accept a color matched from an image.
  • Do you need an exact match to touch-up a small area? Or does the whole piece need refinishing, in which case a similar but inexact color will do?
  • Swatches cut from hidden areas (under cushions or the frame) may not match exposed areas that otherwise appear unfaded. If a swatch doesn’t match the rest of the piece, neither will the color. This means you will have to restore the entire piece. To avoid this, send a different sample (the entire cushion case), or consider one of our standard colors.

Custom Color Matching Service

We formulate a unique color and keep a sample on file. No machines – only Jane’s expert eyes – are employed. Turnaround time is swift, typically 1-3 business days, though it may take a week if many are already in the queue.

Start Your Custom Color

Our reviews and this video show how pleased others have been with this service.


  1. i bought rub n restore off of Pinterest didnt realize i needed to purchase a color with it. I thought i could rub the clear on my sun faded couch and it would be ok like the video said. Can i try that and then put color over that if i dont like the look? thank u

    • Yep! The Clear Prep+Finish™ acts as a primer on rough or worn leather too. It won’t correct sunfading (loss of pigment), but you’re fine adding color later.

  2. I got brown h as it dye on a blue leather couch.
    Incredibly stupid.
    Trying to save money..
    Yeah right.
    Help me please

  3. Hi I have purchased a dark red leather wing chair I would like more of a burgundy tuscan red color Can I mix burgundy with some cherrywood to get color I want . What would be ratio? Your burgundy color a bit too blue need to be somewhat warmer. Any suggestions? I think Mahogany too dark ?

  4. Hi there,

    I think your product might work for me. I have almost new vinyl couch cushions that are stained by people wearing suntan lotion and is rubbing into the vinyl. I would like to try and match the existing tan color but do not have an actual piece of the vinyl to send to you. What is the best way for me to match the color before I purchase the product?

    Thank you,

  5. I have a Bradington-Young Capital Brown Chippendale Leather manual recliner. Could you recommend one of your color restorers. The chair is a dark brown or chocolate color and the seating areas have faded after just two years of use.

    • Mahogany & Espresso are our darkest browns. Tobacco and Walnut are a step up from those. All our colors can be mixed to create your own.

  6. Hi!
    How much do I need to order of each product for sofa and chair and ottoman in one color ans two recliners in another color?


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