How is Rub ‘n Restore® different than other vinyl and leather finishes?

Most leather and vinyl finishes available in stores are made by companies that don’t specialize in vinyl and leather restoration. Many of these coatings, often urethane or elastomeric, do not age well and eventually crack or peel. This is not to be confused with delaminating bonded leather. Here’s how to discern the difference.

Conversely, other companies specializing in leather restoration have more complicated processes that require oil extraction, moisturizing, priming or cross-linking. These products and processes require more practice, skill, equipment, and are not as forgiving and therefore are not accessible to the DIYer.

Rub ‘n Restore® is a pigment-rich, water-based acrylic finish. While acrylics can be less durable than urethanes, they feel more natural and also don’t catastrophically fail in the way other coatings can. Rather than having to strip peeling paint, one simply touches up worn areas. This is usually just with dramatic color changes.

Our application process is simple:

  1. Clean.
  2. Test for adhesion.
  3. Apply it with a damp sponge (or spray gun if you prefer).

Our products come with written instructions, and all how to videos can be found here.

Rub ‘n Restore® has been used by vinyl and leather repair artisans since the 1980s. Our story here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Mrs Sonia Saunders says

    Hi approx 6 months ago , I had my leather suite replumped. Whilst the professional was Doing it I mentioned a couple of the fade marks we had on it and he offered to redo the colour for us (obviously at a price). He said it would look new. It did at first for the shortest time. Every time I wiped it or where the dog led and especially behind where my husband puts hi head, the colour came off. I call him back and he redid the patches. 5 months down the line the suite looks awful it has come off in so many places. It has even peeled In a small patch behind my husband seat now. I was going to call him back but don’t seethe point. Originally the sofa was a dark sort of cherry Brown not really shiny, but he enhanced the colour and then sprayed some sort of varnish on it which made it shiny. Looked lovely at the time. I did think at the time that it was strange that he didn’t even clean it before doing it, not even where you would rest your head. Is there anything I can do to strip it back to is original state. It is a good quality suite. Thank you for reading. And sorry for long email.

    • lesandre says

      Funny he didn’t clean it. Color matching is usually the hard part, but sounds like it was an inferior product and inadequate prep. Fear not, if it’s not adhering to the surface, then it will be easily stripped with a solvent like alcohol or paint thinner (this may also strip some of the original finish, so be conservative). Our finish should yield a much better result. Submit photos in our evaluation if you’d like our professional assessment and tailored instructions.

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The Knowledge Hub is a library of articles and videos complied to help our customers complete their DIY leather and vinyl restoration projects.