The Big Question…Do leather repair kits really work?
Yes they do. However, the Internet is so saturated with leather repair kits, how are you to know which is the right one for you?
First, not all leather repair kits or companies that sell leather repair products are created equal. There are really only a handful of companies on the Internet that specialize in professional leather repair kits and restoration products and of that handful, only a few are actually in the leather repair trade and have experience in using them. The rest are just selling products. Magic Mender is one of that few, with 42 years of experience; we are the most experienced and trusted. Leather repair is our specialty.
Unfortunately, you may have already tried the As-Seen-On-TV kits or Dollar Store type kits with poor results so you may be skeptical that any repair kit will work as it’s advertised. You won’t be disappointed with your results when using our products.
Below are a few buying tips that we hope will help you make an informed decision.
» The real proof of how well a product performs will be evidenced by customer photos and reviews, not with photos of professional repairs. Choose a reputable company, one that has plenty of customer reviews and before and after photos. Not every customer is happy with their repair results, for whatever reason, so if you read 100 positive reviews and 2 or 3 negative ones, keep that in perspective.
» Be sure you’re buying the right products for your project. Sure, those little jars of colored paste that you’ll find everywhere from Walmart to Ebay to Amazon will fix “some” minor damage. However, you have to ask yourself if you’ll be satisfied with a mediocre repair. If not, save yourself the headache and purchase professional grade products. Yes, they’ll cost you more, but in the long run, you’ll save time and you’ll actually be happy with the end results.
» Make sure you’re buying a “complete” repair kit and not just a coloring kit or a repair kit alone that requires you to purchase another separate kit to fully complete your repair.
» Compare what you are getting in the kit and expected coverage. No one wants to spend any more than they have to, but be aware that many companies will offer an inexpensive kit to get you to buy their product but, it may only be sufficient to repair a total area of 3 inches x 3 inches, about the size of tennis ball. If you want to repair or recolor a decent area you’ll need to move up to the more (realistic) expensive size. We’ve seen claims that a 4 oz bottle of color will cover 25 sq ft (3 coats). That’s a bit of a stretch…a big stretch. We’ve tested our highly pigmented 5.1 oz bottle and the coverage is approximately 14 sq ft. (1 coat). That is a realistic area of coverage. You can read more about coverage on each of our product pages.
» Be wary of any company’s repair instructions that make light of the cleaning process before you start your project. We’ve seen so many repair videos that pretty much leave this step out or they spray a quick shot of some homemade cleaner on the surface to convince you that this step isn’t that important. For any repair product to work properly and to last, the surface must be cleaned with an appropriate cleaner that prepares the surface properly.
» Contrary to what you might read elsewhere, please don’t waste your time with hardware store or cheap “quick fixes” for repairing leather. They generally do not work and may create a bigger problem than you started with. Never use Super Glue on the surface of leather. It dries hard and will simply crack and there’s no way of removing it without destroying the leather. It is fine to use on seams though and in some cases the flap created by cat claws.
» Try not to get overwhelmed or convinced that you need 10 different products to achieve a good repair. Leather repair is not rocket science; it’s fairly simple. If you find a seller that offers a zillion different kits for different applications, keep in mind, the repair and recoloring process is the same for all leather items. It doesn’t take a “special” kit to repair cat damage than it does to repair a cigarette burn. Look at the basic repair process and decide if all the additional products are beneficial to your repair or restoration project.
» Unless you’re buying aniline dye, the surface restoration products you commonly see now days are not dyes. They are water based urethane finishes. Please don’t be fooled into thinking that you’re dying your leather by this misuse of that term.
» Watch out for shipping gimmicks. FREE Shipping most of the time is not really free. That cost is added on to the product. If you see “free shipping” on a $25.00 item, you’re probably overpaying by $7.00 – $8.00 or more depending on the method of shipping. Also notice what method of shipping is offered. Many offer free shipping but it’s the cheapest and slowest method, like “Sure Post” or “Smart Post”. They start off as UPS or FedEx but then hand it over to the USPS. A package that would normally take a week can easily take two weeks or more.
» Be cautious of what you read on blogs and bulletin boards. While leather repair is fairly easy to do, too many amateurs think they know more than professionals and they offer information and tips on how to repair leather that is not always the best advice. If you have a question, please don’t hesitate to contact us, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.
These are just a few examples to help you make the best choice for you leather repair project. Of course, we hope you’ll choose Magic Mender.