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How to repair cat scratches on vinyl or faux leather?

 

Repairing cat scratches on vinyl or faux leather is very painstaking work. As professional repair artisans, we learned to walk away from this kind of damage, because perfection is impossible.

The results are almost as good (not to mention faster and cheaper) by tacking down or trimming away any flaps staining the exposed fabric with a similar color. However, the holes will remain and the surface will not repel water nor reflect light without filler.

Here’s how to repair cat claw damage using Soft Filler:

  1. Trim away any fibers or threads.
  2. Subpatch any holes through the material.
  3. If any flap stretched and does not lay down into the void evenly, cut it away completely. Use a large needle and a flexible fabric glue (or even Soft Filler) to tack down every little flap.
  4. Allow to dry.
  5. Wipe the surface clean with rubbing alcohol.
  6. Use the needle to apply a tiny dab of Soft Filler to each little hole or areas of damage.
  7. Level it smooth with a plastic spreader or glossy business card.
  8. Allow to cure, and repeat until an even surface is achieved. The filler may shrink as it cures, so additional applications may be necessary (typically 2-3), and even then it may look uneven and pock-marked. Alternatively, do a large pass of filler over an area of damage. Allow to cure. Repeat until the surface is level.
  9. If necessary, use rubbing alcohol to smooth any uneven areas.
  10. Apply a final thin layer of Soft Filler and emboss the wet filler with saran wrap or a gloved hand to impart texture. Allow to cure.
  11. Apply color and clear finish.

Click here for Soft Filler video and written instructions and troubleshooting.

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The Knowledge Hub is a library of articles and videos complied to help our customers complete their DIY leather and vinyl restoration projects.