You can clean, soften and restore the finish of the leather furniture, as long as it is quality leather. Even if your leather furniture looks cracked and has dropped its color in some places, you usually can give it new life.
First Steps — Cleaning
Thoroughly clean out the leather’s surface. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment and crevice tool to remove any crumbs or dirt in the crevices in the furniture. Follow by wiping the surface of the leather furniture with a soft lint-free or microfiber cloth to remove dust and loose debris. Produce a mixture of equal parts of white vinegar, a couple squirts of light soap and warm water to clean and disinfect the surface. After cleaning, rinse with warm water to remove excess cleaner. Wipe dry with lint-free cloth.
Apply a leather prep product to the surface of the leather using a lint-free cloth or abrasive pad, depending on the status of the leather. Don’t use an abrasive pad on leather that’s already badly damaged and cracked as you can make the problem worse. This measure removes any deposits left from a producer’s finish, silicone, waxes and coatings or conditioners. When you begin to observe a transfer of shade from the leather to the lint-free fabric, then you’re ready to proceed to the next portion of the process after allowing the item to dry and disappear for at least 30 minutes.
Apply a leather binder to the furniture’s surface, as seams, sides and edges of cushions using a foam sponge. Add between three to five coats for leather binder, allowing each coat to thoroughly dry before applying the next coat. Wipe up any extra binder on stitching or cording on cushions using the sponge. After the binder has dried, you may need to employ a unique conditioner with an artist’s palette knife to badly cracked areas; let it dry for 30 minutes; and sand with 1,200-grit sandpaper. Wipe away any residue, and recoat with binder as needed.
Colorant and Finish
If you’re planning to add a colorant to recolor cracked areas, add it to a soft wax and rub it directly onto the leather. Add a thin coat to creases, crevices or some other badly cracked areas in which the color has remove the leather; work the colorant lightly into the grain of the leather, wiping any surplus using the sponge. Dry and treat the colorant using a hand-held hair dryer. After the colorant is dry, then apply multiple thin coats of the final finish to seal in the colorant and protect the leather.