How to use a leather/vinyl repair kit
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Photo 1: Glue in the reinforcement fabric
Tuck the backing under
the damaged area to
form a patch. Then
apply adhesive around
the edges and the
middle. Let it dry
before adding colorant.
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Photo 2: Cure the patch with heat
Touch the heating tool
(included with the kit)
to the face of a hot
clothes iron. Then press
the hot tool onto the
textured mat and hold it
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Photo 3: Check out the results
The patch won’t be
perfect. But it sure
beats the look of a
tear or burn.
If you walk around with tools in your
pockets, don’t be surprised if you tear a
hole in your car seat, sofa or easy chair. If
a perfect repair is important, call a pro to
fix it (about $150). But if you just want to prevent further tearing, you can fix it yourself
with a leather/vinyl repair kit. The kit is inexpensive, and the repair takes only an hour.
But don’t expect perfection. You’ll still see the tear, and you probably won’t get a perfect
color match. However, this fix will contain the tear and look better than a gaping hole.
Buy a kit at any hardware store, home center or auto parts store (one choice is the 3M
08579 Leather and Vinyl Repair Kit, available through our affiliation with Amazon.com). Follow the cleaning instructions in the kit and
trim the damaged area to remove any frayed edges. Then cut the backing fabric so it
extends under the tear by at least 1/2 in. Glue it in place (Photo 1) and let it dry for the recommended time.
Then mix the heat-set colored filler. This is the hardest and most frustrating part of
the repair. But take your time and get as close to the color as you can. Apply just enough
colorant to fill in the tear. Then cover it with the textured mat and apply heat (Photo 2).
Let it cool and remove the mat (Photo 3).