How to Repair Leather with Magic Mender Leather Repair Kit
Methods of Application for Leather Repair
Color Flex can be applied with a sponge, foam brush, ultra hi density foam roller, air gun sprayer, air brush, Preval sprayer or it can wiped on.
Step 1: Cleaning and Preparing the Surface to Repair Leather
Cleaning…if your leather or vinyl is unusually dirty:
Supplies you’ll need for cleaning: Any liquid hand dish washing detergent, a couple of wash cloths or micro-fiber towels.
Wet both wash cloths in a bucket of warm water and wring them out, leaving them as damp as you would if you were going to wash your face with soap and water.
Put a couple of small drops of dish washing detergent on the damp cloth, then begin to wash the area with the washcloth as if bathing. Don’t forget to clean any stitch lines. Rinse the cleaning cloth and repeat this step until the surface looks reasonably clean. After bathing the area, use the other wash cloth to rinse the area. Wipe over the area you’ve cleaned, and towel dry it. Make sure the surface is completely dry before you start your repair or recolor.
Preparation and Application:
Clean all areas that will be repaired or re-colored with Presto Prep. If properly cleaned, when dry, the surface should not feel sticky or slick. This step insures that there is no residue left from previous conditioners or cleaners. Test it by applying a piece of tape to the surface. If it does not stick, then there’s still something left behind on the surface. Clean again with Presto Prep.
Next, lightly sand the damaged and surrounding area with the included sandpaper. Blow off the residue and lightly clean again with Presto Prep to remove debris left behind from sanding.
Make sure that there area is free of any lint, loose threads or debris. If you have loose threads, simply push them back into the opening of the damaged area, or trim them off. A tiny drop of Super Glue will stop any seam threads from unraveling any further. Proceed to Step 2.
Step 2: Applying Leather Repair Compound
Note: leather repair compound will NOT work on seams
Cracks, Scratches, Wear Spots, Cuts, Pet Claw Scratches and Punctures
For damage caused by pet claws, we recommend adhering the flap of leather, if any, (using a small amount of repair compound as adhesive) to the backing or snip it off before applying the repair compound. Trim any ragged edges with scissors. If the area is really frayed, you can use an electric mustache/beard trimmer to trim off the frayed leather.
Take the application tool (palette knife) that came with your kit, and spread a thin layer of repair compound over the damaged area, over lapping about ½” of the surrounding area. Try to smooth out the repair compound as much as possible. You can wet the tip of your finger with water to smooth out the edges. Just don’t use too much water, or it will dilute it. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but the smoother you apply it now, the easier it will be to smooth out when it is dry. Allow to completely dry. Generally it takes about 10-15 minutes. You can accelerate this time by using a blow dryer. Wipe the excess compound off of the application tool between each application. This will insure that the spreading tool will glide smoothly over the surface each time. It normally takes anywhere between 2-5 applications to completely fill the damage areas. By layering the repair compound in this way, you will obtain a much stronger repair and it takes less time for it to dry. Once you feel that the damaged area has been filled enough, then proceed to Step 3, otherwise repeat this procedure until you are satisfied with the surface level of the repair. TIP: It’s better to have applied too much repair compound than not enough. If you don’t apply enough, you’ll still be able to see the damage. If you apply too much, you can easily smooth it out by wiping over the area with Presto Prep or rubbing alcohol.
Large Cuts, Burn Holes using the Sub-patch Material
Repairs that are deep and burns that have gone completely through (holes up to 2″ diameter) require the sub-patch. The reason for using a sub-patch is to give the surface a stable backing and to give the repair compound a surface to adhere to.
Trim ragged edges but do not cut off flaps if there are any. If the damage is a burn, using a razor blade, scrape off any charred areas. Cut a piece of sub-patch material (the mesh fabric that is included with your kit) at least ½ wider than the actual damage, rounding the edges. Position the sub- patch on the underside of the repair (on items with a backing, simply slide it into the hole and place in position). In some cases, it might be a little difficult to slide the sub-patch into and under the hole. You can use the spreading tool to help work the sub-patch in and smooth it out. Using the tip of the spreading tool, spread a small amount of repair compound between the sub-patch and the underside of the leather or vinyl. Allow to completely dry. Once the sub-patch is dry, follow the instructions above for repairing cracks, scratches. DO NOT just apply a glob of repair compound and expect it to dry, it won’t.
Pour a little Presto Prep on a folded paper towel and wipe over the surface just as if you were sanding it with sandpaper, until it’s smooth. Be sure that thel towel is wet enough so that it doesn’t drag across the repair. If it dries out, apply more to the towel. You can also use Presto Prep on your finger. Presto Prep is no stronger than rubbing alcohol, but if your skin is sensitive you might want to wear vinyl gloves. Be careful with this step because the alcohol or Presto Prep can actually start to remove the repair if you wipe over it too many times. Be sure to let the surface dry completely before moving to the next step.
If you have purchased the optional “Spray Grain”, you would apply after this step. Follow the instructions on the bottle. If you decide that your leather repair needs to be smoother or textured more, all of these steps can be performed again after you apply the Color Flex. If you are now satisfied with the surface of your leather repair. Proceed to Step 3.
Step 3: Applying Color Flex for leather repair
If you’re re-coloring just a section of a seat or chair etc. you should be able to proceed without masking off the surrounding area. Just put down a drop cloth to protect the floor surface. Mask any areas of the item that you don’t want to get color on. You’re now ready to apply the Color Flex.
It is very important to first shake the bottle for about 1 minute to insure that the color at the bottom of the bottle is mixed completely. Then carefully remove the cap from the bottle and pour a small amount into the plastic palette that came with your kit. Recap the bottle of Color Flex so that it won’t dry out.
Dampen the sponge with water first and wring out really well so that the sponge is damp, not wet.
Dip the sponge into the Color Flex. Dab it on a the paint tray a couple of times so that the sponge is not too wet. (Watch our repair video at mark 3:04 to see how the tech does this.)
Start by wiping the area just as if you were painting with a brush or you can just rub it on as if you were cleaning the surface. Be sure to work it into the crevices and creases. If the piece you are working on has a lot of creases, be careful that the sides don’t touch until the surface is dry. Use a blow dryer at the same time to dry these areas quickly. Don’t worry if the color streaks, that’s normal at this point. Apply only a thin coat. Don’t try to achieve coverage with one application . Allow your first coat to completely dry (about 15-20 minutes) before you apply the next coat. You can use a blow dryer to accelerate the drying time. DO NOT reapply to partially dry areas. The color MUST be dry before you apply another coat. The surface should feel smooth to the touch and not tacky if it is completely dry. Be sure to rinse the sponge between applications so the color doesn’t dry in it while you’re waiting for your color to dry on your item.
Once the first coat is completely dry, dip the sponge in the sponge in the Color Flex again, but this time, start dabbing it on the surface moving your hand in a random motion. You may notice that the second coat is a different color when it’s applied, that’s normal, it will change color as it dries. By dabbing on the color you avoid streaks and it gives the slight appearance of a texture. You can repeat these steps as many as 5 times but we don’t recommend any more applications than that.
If you’ve made a leather repair, the second coat should start to cover it, but if it doesn’t, simply apply as many coats as necessary in the same manner, allowing drying time between coats. Be sure to blend in the surrounding area. The color will then blend with the rest of the item, making the leather repair less noticeable.
That’s all there is to it.
* If you’ve purchase the optional Clear Coat, you would apply after the final coat of Color Flex is dry it by dabbing it on in the random motion as described above.
Both leather repair compound and Color Flex clean up with soap and water. If either has dried you can try using rubbing alcohol to remove it.
Wash sponge in warm water and liquid soap before the Color Flex dries in it.
Conditioning – Optional
Allow the Color-Flex to completely dry then apply a conditioner of your choice on the entire area. DO NOT use any cleaners or conditioners that contain ammonia or solvent of any kind on your repaired area.
You can watch a demonstration here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mcntjXiCiig
If you should happen to run into any difficulties while making your leather repair, please don’t hesitate to contact us at : Support@MagicMender.com