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How to repair perforated leather or vinyl?

Perforated leather or vinyl is a tricky repair. If the perforations no longer align, the result is likely to be imperfect. Each hole needs to be preserved or re-created in order to avoid a patched appearance.

Here’s how:

  1. Subpatch any holes or tears.
  2. Apply Soft Filler to the remaining tear or hole.
  3. Use a glossy business card or plastic spreader to swipe the filler in the direction of the tear, removing all excess from surrounding perforations, until a level surface is achieved.
  4. While the filler is still wet, use a large needle to re-punch the perforations in the repair area to avoid a solid, patched appearance.
  5. Allow the filler to cure.
  6. If necessary, re-punch the perforations once more.
  7. Repeat steps 2-6 until the repair is level and can no longer be felt.
  8. Apply a final thin coat of filler, and emboss with a gloved hand to impart texture and mimic the grain of the leather. Re-punch all holes.
  9. Allow to cure.
  10. Apply color and finish. The shadow created from the perforation should create a black dot that appears uniform with the rest. One could also paint the black dot(s) on the area (so long as the leather is not already black in color).

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