How to Fix a Large Hole in a Leather Couch

Leather furniture can feel luxurious and is generally durable. It is a great option for furniture of all types, especially couches. But what do you do when either an accident or general wear-and-tear pops a big hole in your couch? We've researched how to fix a large hole in the leather, so you'll be prepared for repair!

To fix a large hole and restore your leather couch to its former glory, follow these steps:

  1. Replace any foam that has been removed.
  2. Trim the edges of the hole.
  3. Install a sub patch.
  4. Apply a colored repair compound.
  5. Blend with rubbing alcohol.

This process might take some work. But we've broken down each step in this guide to help you fix your leather in no time! Please keep reading as we'll also discuss how to match the color perfectly and estimate how much this repair will cost.

Holes and cracks in a red leather couch, How to Fix a Large Hole in a Leather Couch

How to Fix A Large Hole In A Leather Couch

1. Replace any foam that has been removed

The first step is to determine whether or not any foam has been removed from the hole. If so, you'll want to replace it to restore your couch fully. If you are unsure exactly what type of foam is inside of your couch, cut off a small sample and take it to a craft or home improvement store. An employee will be able to help you match it correctly. Alternatively, look for some high-quality upholstery foam like the one pictured below as a replacement material.

Click here to view this foam on Amazon.

Then, carefully use a sharp razor knife to shape the foam to fit the hole. Try to make it as accurate as possible to retain the couch's structure. Adhere it to the rest of the foam with fabric glue; see two glue recommendations below.

Click here to view this fabric glue on Amazon.

Click here to view this fabric glue on Amazon.

2. Trim the edges of the hole

Before you can apply the sub patch, however, you should trim the edges of the hole. If the hole is frayed or uneven or there are any remaining pieces, cut them off with sharp scissors. The goal is to have a clean, smooth cut around the hole.

Click here to view tailor scissors on Amazon.

3. Install the sub patch

The next step is to put what's known as a sub patch into the hole. The sub patch is a piece of strong fabric that goes inside the hole. It gives integrity to the patch and gives the compound something to adhere to. Most leather repair kits come with a sub patch. However, if yours doesn't or if you aren't purchasing a kit, a thin piece of twill or polyester will also work. Cut the fabric about an inch bigger than the hole. 

Click here to view a leather (brown) repair patch on Amazon.

Once you have cut the piece, insert it through the hole, and then spread it out to cover all of the exposed foam. Use a pair of tweezers, a q-tip, or the blunt end of an ink pen to push it through. Manipulate the fabric until it lays flat and you cannot see any more foam. Using the same fabric glue as earlier, glue the sub patch to the rim of the hole. Only use a little glue, so you don't create an uneven surface. Let the glue dry completely. 

4. Apply a colored repair compound

Then, use a colored repair compound to cover the sub patch and make it the right color. This step can be tricky and might require some trial and error. Leather repair compounds are essentially liquid leather and, once dried, have the same consistency as leather.
Most compounds come with their own application stick. If not, use a popsicle stick or similar material to spread the compound. To be safe, test a small amount of the compound on a scrap of the sub patch. Let it dry and then make sure it matches the rest of the couch exactly.
Once you're satisfied that the color will match, spread the compound on the sub patch. Cover it completely, making sure that the surface is smooth. Let the first coat dry completely, then repeat this process until the surface is flush. Use the compound to fill in any scratches surrounding the hole, such as those created by a dog's teeth.
Let the compound dry completely before moving on to the next step. We recommend waiting at least 24 hours after application.

How to color match leather?

As mentioned above, this is a difficult yet important step. If the color match is not exactly the same, the former hole will be obvious. The good news is that most repair kits let you mix colors until you get the right one. They provide instructions and advice about how to find the perfect color. Additionally, most repair kits come with a dish to mix the colors so you don't ruin one of your own cups or plates.

Simply pick out a repair kit that corresponds to your couch, then follow the instructions to get the perfect match. For instance, this kit is for any color in the black family. It comes with a black and white compound that you can mix.

Click here to view this kit on Amazon.

This one is designed for dark brown leather and comes with brown, red, and black colors to customize. Have brown leather furniture and are looking for ideas on how to decorate your living room? Read this article!

Click here to view this kit on Amazon.

Is your leather a unique color? This kit comes with unique compounds that you can mix to create every color on the rainbow.

Click here to view this kit on Amazon.

5. Blend with rubbing alcohol

Finally, use a q-tip or rag and rubbing alcohol to smooth out the finish. Once the leather compound is completely dry, dip the q-tip (or rag, depending on the hole's size) into the alcohol. Then, rub the alcohol onto the repair location, especially around the edges. 

If you have nail polish remover handy, you can use it instead of rubbing alcohol. Be cautious, however. Nail polish remover can discolor some types of artificial leather!

Essentially, the goal is to make sure the repair location blends into the rest of the couch. This might take some elbow grease, but the rubbing alcohol should help. Be careful not to punch a hole in the newly repaired section. Also, do not take off too much of the compound since this might make it too weak.

How much does it cost to repair a leather couch?

If you're going to repair your own scratches and holes (like this guide describes), the overall cost might be somewhere around $50. Most repair kits are available for somewhere between $15 and $30, depending on quality, color, and availability. As for other materials: 

  • You might also need foam, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $20. We recommend asking a local fabric or craft store for help, as they can sell you the right amount of foam to keep you from having to purchase an excessive amount.
  • Fabric glue runs from $5 to $15. All of the other necessary materials are commonly found in the home or are negligible in price. 

On the other hand, if you want to hire a professional to fix the damage, you might pay somewhere from $100 to $250, depending on the extent of the damage. 

Looking for some accent chairs to go with your leather couch? Check out this article for helpful information!

In Closing

To repair a large hole in your leather couch, replace the foam that's missing, insert the sub patch and glue it, apply the colored compound, and then blend it all with rubbing alcohol. Most repair kits (and all of the ones mentioned above) come with the necessary materials except for fabric glue and rubbing alcohol. They also come with a colored compound that you can mix to create the perfect hue. 

We hope this guide has helped you feel more confident in your ability to repair the hole in your leather couch. Good luck!

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