How to Repair Leather of a Saddle Seat Bar Stool

saddle seat stools
  • 3-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Curved upholstery needle (from any fabric store)
Leather conditioner
600 grit wet/dry sandpaper
Small piece of vinyl about the same color as the leather and larger than the hole
Leather or upholstery adhesive
Leather or upholstery crack filler
Wooden ice stick (or tongue depressor)
Leather color spray (same color as the leather, or close to it)

With time and wear and tear, the leather of a saddle seat bar stool can get damaged and need repair. Extended use can result in scratches, stains and rips. Added to the problem are the rivets in jeans that can catch and scrape against the leather as a person moves, resulting in tears if the leather is old.

Here is the procedure to patch a rip in the leather top. Note that cheap ‘leather repair sprays’ and ‘infomercial’ type products do not work well.

Step 1 – Soften and Lubricate the Leather

Lubricate the leather with leather conditioner then place a cloth over it. Wait for 20 minuted before beginning the repair job. This allows the leather to stretch a little, reducing the the mark on the finished repair.

Step 2 – Clean the Leather

Scrub the leather with a cloth dipped in soapy water to remove any dirt or polish. If the leather is very dirty, use a cloth dipped in acetone. The acetone will remove some of the color, but we will be recoloring the whole seat later so this is not a problem. Sand lightly with 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper, which will help clean off any grubby marks and allow the color to adhere to the seat better.

Step 3 – Insert Vinyl Patch

With the underside facing up, draw a mark on the underside of the vinyl (in the middle). Push the vinyl piece through the hole and center it under the hole. Move it around with the needle until it is flat and without wrinkles. The mark should be in the center of the hole.

Step 4 – Glue the Vinyl Patch

Hold the vinyl in place with the needle as you apply adhesive around the underside edges of the hole. Try to glue to the edge of the leather but not to have too much bubbling out of the hole. Leave to set.

Step 5 – Fill the Crater

Fill the crater with the filler until it is level with the surface. Check the instructions on the filler to see if can be sanded, if so, sand the area smooth. If you cannot sand the filler, smooth it as best you can by troweling with the ice stick.

Step 6 – Re-color the Leather

Spray the color over the whole leather piece as it is unlikely that the color will match the leather well enough to only color the ripped portion. Use a lint-free cloth to lightly rub the leather which will give a light mottled look which is typical of aged leather.

If the leather is brittle and old, you will need to replace the whole leather top. A worn seat cover will probably rip again so you should treat this as a temporary repair and recover the leather seat later.