Don’t Toss It! Here’s How to Fix Faux Leather Peeling Couch

Updated November 19th, 2023
person repairs faux leather couch

To fix a peeling faux leather couch, it’s best to use a leather repair kit to fill in the peeling areas and then apply a leather conditioner to prevent further peeling.

In this article, we’ll talk more about rescuing your peeling faux leather couch and giving it a second chance to shine in your living space. We’ll dive into the why’s, the how’s, and the must-know tips to revive your couch.

So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started on this exciting couch-saving adventure!

Understanding the Causes of Peeling

peeling worn synthetic leather

Peeling on couches can be a real eyesore, and before we jump into the solution, it’s important to understand why it happens in the first place.

Knowledge of the root causes can help you not only fix the issue but also prevent it from happening again in the future. Let’s break it down:

Factors that Lead to Peeling

  • Low-Quality Materials: One of the primary culprits behind peeling is the use of low-quality faux materials in furniture production. As opposed to real leather or genuine leather, cheaper materials tend to deteriorate and peel over time.
  • Wear and Tear: Daily use, dogs licking the couch, friction, and constant exposure to sunlight can gradually wear down the faux leather surface, making it more susceptible to peeling. 
  • Humidity and Temperature: Extreme variations in temperature and humidity levels can cause the material to expand and contract, leading to cracking and peeling.
  • Chemical Exposure: Spills, harsh cleaning agents, and exposure to certain chemicals can damage the faux leather’s protective coatings, making it more prone to peeling.

Identifying Wear and Tear on Faux Leather

  • Cracks and Wrinkles: Over time, the faux bonded leather may develop cracks and wrinkles, indicating that it’s starting to lose its integrity.
  • Fading and Discoloration: Fading or discoloration in specific areas can be a sign of damage, especially on lower quality bonded leather.
  • Peeling Edges: Peeling often starts at the edges or seams of the couch and gradually spreads to other areas.

Signs of a Peeling Couch

  • Visual Peeling: Obvious signs include flaking or peeling sections on the couch’s surface.
  • Texture Changes: The texture may become rough or uneven in peeling areas.
  • Loss of Luster: A once-glossy faux leather surface may lose its shine.

Gathering Your Tools and Materials

Before embarking on your DIY furniture repair journey, it’s crucial to assemble all the necessary tools and materials. Being prepared will not only make the process smoother but also ensure the best possible results.

Here’s what you’ll need:


  1. Utility Knife or Scissors: These will be essential for cutting and trimming damaged areas.
  2. Fine-Grit Sandpaper: You’ll use this to smooth the surface and prepare it for adhesive.
  3. Clean Cloth or Microfiber Towel: For cleaning and wiping down the couch.
  4. Disposable Gloves: To protect your hands from adhesives and cleaning agents.
  5. Old Toothbrush or Soft Brush: Useful for gentle cleaning and applying adhesive.
  6. Hair Dryer or Heat Gun: These can help with drying and curing processes.
  7. Measuring Tape and Straightedge: These will ensure precise cuts and placements.
  8. Work Area Cover: Lay down an old sheet of plastic to protect your work area from adhesives and mess.


  1. Faux Leather Vinyl Repair Kit: This kit typically includes latex paint, adhesive, patch material or leather binder, and tools specifically designed for faux leather repairs. Make sure to choose one that closely matches the color and texture of your couch.
  2. Matching Faux Leather Fabric: In case you need to replace larger sections, having extra matching material is essential.
  3. Faux Leather Cleaner: To thoroughly clean the couch before making repairs.
  4. Faux Leather Conditioner: This helps maintain the suppleness and appearance of the faux leather.
  5. Adhesive: In case your faux leather vinyl repair kit doesn’t provide enough, a high-quality fabric or leather adhesive will be required.
  6. Tweezers: For precision work and handling small details.
  7. Safety Gear: Depending on the adhesive and cleaning agents used, you may need safety goggles or a mask to protect your eyes and respiratory system.

Safety Precautions

When working on your faux leather couch repair, it’s crucial to prioritize safety. Always conduct your repair in a well-ventilated space, which helps prevent inhaling potentially harmful fumes released by adhesives and cleaning agents. 

Equally important, wear the necessary safety gear, including gloves and eye protection, when dealing with chemicals to safeguard your skin and eyes from potential hazards.

Lastly, keep all these repair materials out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental exposure and ensure a secure working environment.

Steps on How to Fix Faux Leather Peeling Couch

woman performing tan faux leather couch restoration

Now that you’ve gathered your tools and materials, it’s time to dive into the actual process of fixing your peeling faux leather sofa. Follow these steps carefully to give your couch a new lease on life:

Prepare the Workspace

Like how to prepare furniture for a moving service, repairing a worn faux leather sofa involves laying down your work area cover to protect your surroundings from cleaning solutions, adhesive, and potential mess. Ensure proper lighting and ventilation in your workspace.

Clean the Couch

Use a faux leather cleaner to thoroughly clean the affected area. This will remove dirt, oils, and grime that can interfere with adhesion. Allow the surface to dry completely before proceeding.

Remove Loose and Peeling Layers

Gently trim away any loose or peeling sections with a utility knife or scissors. Avoid cutting too deep into the faux leather, as you want to preserve the base material.

Patch Small Areas with Leather Filler and Faux Leather Repair Kits

If you have a small area to repair, follow the instructions on your leather filler or leather binder and faux leather repair kit. Typically, you’ll apply adhesive to the leather filler and press it firmly onto the damaged area. Use a straightedge to smooth out any wrinkles and ensure a flush fit.

Replace Larger Sections with Matching Material

For larger damaged areas, cut a piece of matching bonded or faux leather fabric that’s slightly larger than the damaged area.

Apply adhesive and leather filler putty with a putty knife to both the damaged area and the back of the replacement piece.

Press the replacement material firmly onto the damaged section, aligning any patterns or textures. Smooth it out with a straightedge and remove any excess adhesive.

Apply Adhesive

When using adhesive from a tube, apply a thin layer to both the patch or replacement material and the damaged area.

Follow the adhesive manufacturer’s recommendations for drying and curing time. In some cases, you may need to use a hair dryer or heat gun to expedite the process.

Ensure a Seamless Leather Paint Finish

Gently press the repaired section to ensure a tight bond. Use a fine sandpaper to lightly smooth any edges or seams to create a seamless, smooth surface of leather paint finish on the fake leather or vegan leather.

Allow Proper Drying and Curing Time

Let the leather finish dry and cure as per the adhesive manufacturer’s instructions. Avoid sitting or putting pressure on the repaired section until it’s completely dry and secure.

By following this step-by-step repair guide, you’ll be well on your way to rescuing your peeling faux leather sofa. Remember that patience and precision are key to achieving a professional-looking repair. In the next sections, we’ll explore tips for preventing future peeling, ensuring your couch remains in great shape for years to come!

Tips for Preventing Future Peeling

light brown faux leather full living room set

Congratulations on successfully repairing your faux leather couch! Now that it’s looking as good as new, it’s important to take steps to prevent future peeling.

Here are some valuable tips to help you maintain the beauty and integrity of leather couches:

Proper Maintenance and Care

  1. Regular Cleaning: Wipe down your couch with a clean, damp cloth regularly to remove dust and dirt. Use a faux leather cleaner as needed to keep it looking fresh.
  2. Avoid Sharp Objects: Be mindful of sharp objects like pet claws or belt buckles that can scratch or puncture the faux leather.
  3. No Sitting on Armrests: Encourage everyone to use the seats rather than the armrests for sitting to prevent unnecessary strain.

Using Protective Measures

  1. Furniture Covers: Consider using furniture covers or throws to shield your couch from spills, stains, and excessive wear.
  2. Cushion Rotation: Rotate and flip cushions regularly to ensure even wear and tear.

Regular Cleaning Routines

  1. Gentle Cleaning: Stick to mild, pH-balanced cleaning agents specifically designed for faux leather. Harsh chemicals can damage the surface.
  2. Spill Cleanup: Promptly blot and clean up spills with a clean cloth to prevent staining and damage.

Keeping the Faux Leather Moisturized

  1. Faux Leather Conditioner: Use a faux leather conditioner every few months to keep the material supple and prevent drying out.
  2. Avoid Direct Sunlight: Position your couch away from direct sunlight to prevent excessive drying and fading of the material.

Regular Inspections

  1. Check for Wear: Periodically inspect your couch for any signs of wear, cracks, or peeling. Catching issues early can prevent them from worsening.

Gentle Use

  1. No Jumping: Discourage anyone from jumping or roughhousing on the couch. Excessive force can damage the faux leather.
  2. Mind the Zippers and Buttons: Be cautious around zippers, buttons, or any other hard or sharp components on clothing, as these can easily cause damage.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your regular couch maintenance routine, you can significantly extend the lifespan of your faux leather upholstery and enjoy a beautiful and comfortable seating area.

Cost Comparison of Repair vs. Replacement

One crucial consideration when dealing with a peeling faux leather couch is whether to repair it or opt for a replacement.

Both options come with their own costs and benefits, and evaluating them will help you make an informed decision.

Repairing Your Peeling Faux Leather Couch

  • Lower Immediate Costs: Repairing your peeling leather couch is often the more budget-friendly option in the short term. Faux leather repair kits and materials are generally more affordable than buying a new piece of furniture.
  • Preserving Sentimental Value: If your couch holds sentimental value, whether it’s a family heirloom or simply a beloved piece of furniture, repairing it allows you to retain that connection.
  • Eco-Friendly Choice: Repairing reduces waste and promotes sustainability, as you’re not discarding your couch, which may end up in a landfill.
  • Customization: Repair allows you to customize the repair materials and colors to closely match your existing furniture.

Replacing Your Faux Leather Couch

  • Long-Term Investment: While the upfront cost of a new couch is higher, it may be a better long-term investment in durability and comfort, especially if you choose a high-quality piece.
  • Upgraded Features: A new couch provides an opportunity to upgrade to a better quality or more comfortable model with modern features.
  • Aesthetics: If your existing couch no longer matches your decor or personal style, replacing it can offer a fresh look and enhance the aesthetics of your living space. Speaking of which, check out these awesome bedroom couch ideas that add character to a space! 
  • Warranty and Guarantees: New furniture often comes with warranties and guarantees, giving you peace of mind against future issues.

The decision to repair or replace your peeling faux leather couch depends on your specific circumstances and priorities.

While repair is often a more cost-effective and sustainable choice, replacing your couch can provide long-term benefits in terms of comfort, aesthetics, and features. Carefully evaluate your options to make the choice that best suits your needs and preferences.

Embrace Eco-friendly Living and Restore Your Faux Leather Couch

Congratulations on completing this comprehensive guide on how to rescue your peeling faux leather couch from its sorry state.

We’ve covered everything from understanding the causes of peeling to gathering the necessary tools, providing a step-by-step repair guide, and offering preventive measures.

The main takeaway here is that you don’t have to say farewell to your beloved couch just because it’s peeling. With the right tools, materials, and a little patience, you can revive it, restoring not only its appearance but also its place in your home and heart.

Remember that prevention is often the best cure, so don’t neglect the care and maintenance tips. Regular cleaning, proper usage, and cautious handling can extend the life of your faux leather furniture.

Here’s to many more memories and comfortable moments on your beautifully restored faux leather couch!

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