Leather Furniture Restoration
The Bright Side offers different restoration processes for different types of leather furniture. The three main types of leather are:
- Protected leather: Leather that has been “painted” and covered in a plasticized opaque coating. The finish may be matte or gloss.
- Aniline leather: Leather that has been stained with a transparent dye and has no finish.
- Nubuck leather: Like suede, nubuck leather has a slight nap or abraded effect.
During the estimate process,The Bright Side will take note of what type of leather you have, what condition it’s in, and we’ll discuss what options are available for partial and/or full restoration—keeping in mind your intentions and budget.
You can often choose from simply cleaning, conditioning, and protecting leather to partially improve its appearance and restore its texture and longevity, or invest in more extensive restoration work to more fully improve appearance and texture.
About Leather Upholstery Cleaning
Leather upholstery cleaning can be a slow and time-consuming process due to the fabrics’ porous nature.
Leather can take a long time to condition in order to respond to cleaning efforts—cleaning technicians will literally coax open the pores of the leather with repeated applications of cleaning product and massage. Eventually, it begins to release trapped dirt after being revitalized.
We’ll clean your leather upholstery by hand with sponges, cleaning agents, and towels. Once all the dirt has been removed, the leather is neutralized with a conditioner to close the pores that had to be opened for cleaning so that it better protects itself from re-soiling.
Leather upholstery cleaning can typically be completed in one appointment.
Different Leathers Have Different Cleaning Needs
Because of the polymer coating applied during the manufacturing process, protected leather is easiest to clean because there are many powerful cleaning agents available – including degreasers and ink removers.
Because of its more natural state, aniline leather is more sensitive than protected leather and therefore, there are fewer cleaning options available than with protected leather.
Finally, because its natural texture is abraded, nubuck leather is the most sensitive and therefore has the fewest cleaning options.
Taking Care of Your Leather with DIY Approaches
While there are DIY leather care products available, it is critical that you select the appropriate cleaning agents for the type of leather upholstery you’re cleaning.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” after all. Prolong the life of your leather upholstery and extend the amount of time between cleanings by keeping animals and perspiration off your leather furniture. Body oils are the most common type of soiling that affects leather, and the cleaning agents that deal with these stains can often damage your furniture during the cleaning process.
About Leather Re-Dyeing, Restoring, and Refinishing
Repairs such as re-dyeing, restoring, and refinishing most often take place at our facility, rather than in the home. We’ll let you know what to expect during your free consultation.
Different Leathers Undergo Different Pestoration Processes
Protected leather is the easiest to restore.We restore protected leather by “repainting” worn spots or, if necessary, the whole piece of furniture to hide permanent stains. This is done by using custom computer-matched colors, which we achieve by taking a small sample of your upholstery. Refinishing is available for protected leather in matte or combined gloss/matte. Refinishing seals color in and returns that beloved “new leather” smell. Small holes, scrapes, and damage can be repaired with liquid vinyl mixed with colored dye.
Aniline leather can be restored by re-dyeing the entire piece of furniture to match the original color or one shade darker. However, like re-staining wood, re-dyeing leather can cover damage due to sun fading but not due to marker stains or other dark marks. Small holes, scrapes, and damage can be repaired in aniline leather. However, they will be more visible than repairs made on protected leather.
Nubuck leather cannot be restored, only maintained. For maintenance of nubuck leather, two gentle chemical processes (similar to dry cleaning) are available. Although most liquid spills or heavy soils cannot be removed through these procedures, sanding is an option. The restoration professionals at The Bright Side will let you know what’s possible during your free consultation.