paper-notesAccidents happens – say your cat decides your sofa is a scratching post, and now you need to find out how to repair leather furniture. The good news is that some minor mishaps can be repaired fairly simply at home. Here are a few simple tricks to renew leather furniture.

1. Olive Oil. If your leather chair or sofa has fingernail marks or light scratches, you can disguise or even totally eliminate them. Dab a little olive oil onto a soft, damp cloth and gently rub it into the scratch. This will help the mark fade into the rest of your sofa.

2. Saddle Soap. Saddle soap can also be applied to a leather scratch to make it less noticeable. Use a soft, damp cloth and apply it lightly to the scratch, buffing off any excess.

3. Shoe Polish. Some people dab a small amount of a creamy shoe polish onto scratches – it is recommended that you experiment with different colors to find a perfect match. Be sure to try it on a scrap piece of leather, or some other expendable fabric before applying it to your leather furniture. Buff away any excess with a soft cloth.

4. Gentle Heat. Some experts recommend applying gentle heat to a leather scratch. This will pull up the oils and pigment in the leather, and make the scratches less noticeable. You can use a hair dryer or an iron set to a low setting over a damp cloth to apply heat to a scratch. However, note that too much heat can damage the leather, so test the temperature beforehand. Anything too hot to touch is likely to damage your leather furniture, rather than fix it.

5. Oils and Oil Soaps. Some owners of leather furniture have achieved success treating small scratches with oil soap, leather cleaners, or orange oil.

These remedies often do the trick for minor blemishes. However, if the damage to your leather furniture goes beyond a few simple scratches – for example, deep scratches, gouges, or punctures – you’re probably better off having the piece repaired by a professional.

A professional furniture restorer can refinish a leather couch, repair holes and rips, worn or rough spots, or even repaint the leather. Professional leather repair is often less expensive than a new leather couch or chair, and results are guaranteed. There are many professional leather repair and refinishing services in New York that will make your damaged leather furniture look like new.