How to Fix Cracked Leather Armrest – 5 Step Guide

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Leather is a very sturdy material, but it’s prone to cracking and tearing if proper care is not taken of it. Whether it happens on the furniture or the center console of your car, you should know how to fix a cracked leather armrest.

Tip: Use a leather filler or leather patch

If the leather armrest only has small cracks, you can use a high quality leather filler. However, if you’re dealing with a hole in the leather, you will want to use a leather patch. Our article on how to fix a hole in leather will give you the options for DIY repair.

Fixing cracked leather can be challenging if you don’t have the right leather repair kit and some DIY skills at your fingertips. However, you can fix it easily by following some simple steps. Let’s dive in!

How to Fix Cracked Leather Armrest

Why Does Leather Crack?

Before exploring how to fix the leather armrest, let’s see why leather cracks first. As you may already know, it consists of numerous interwoven fibers that are packed firmly together.

Like other natural materials, leather gets damaged and worn with time. It becomes prone to cracking when getting dry, which eventually results in an unsightly worn appearance. That said, it is no surprise that cracked leather is a common issue.

This type of damage is usually a result of microscopic changes that happen in leather. It can also happen when the leather has been pulled too tight or if a sharp item has been dropped on it causing a tear.

Whatever the reason, the steps below will make it easier for you to repair the cracked leather on your own. It’s worth noting that this step-by-step repair process is very similar to fixing cracked vinyl armrests.

How to Fix Cracked Leather Armrest in 5 Steps

First things first, you should gather some items and tools required. Here’s what you will need for this do-it-yourself task:

Do you have these items at hand? Now let’s get to work!

Step 1: Clean the Cracked Area

Cleaning can unveil the real color of your leather, so it’s helpful for color matching. The entire surface surrounding the crack(s) should be cleaned thoroughly for the best results. To get rid of any grease or dirt, rub this area gently using a cotton swab or a soft cloth dipped in alcohol.

A fine-bristle brush can also serve the purpose of cleaning leather. If the area is greasy or dirty, your best bet is to use leather cleaners. Some people prefer mild soap when cleaning their leather armrests. It can do the job just fine.

Cleaning Tips

  • Whether you use a cleaner or soap, test it on a small surface, just in case.
  • Don’t use a lot of force to avoid causing additional damages or cracks.
  • Make sure the leather is in a flexible, soft state when you’re done.
  • Wait overnight to allow it to dry entirely before moving to the next step.

Step 2: Smooth the Cracks if Needed

While this step is not always necessary, it’s recommended as the repair holds better when scuffing the area beforehand. Use a piece of super-fine 600-grit sandpaper to smooth the crack(s). Avoid using coarse, harsh sandpaper because it may cause scratches.

While wearing it down, be sure to apply gentle pressure to avoid additional damage. The aim is to make the cracks visibly less deep or pronounced. At the same time, the finish needs to feel smooth to the touch. Once done, any excess product or dust should be wiped off using ​a dry, soft cloth.

Step 3: Cover the Crack with a Patch and Secure It

Take the measurements of the crack before applying a patch. Then cut the repair patch (grain paper) so that it matches the tear. Simply cover the crack with the grain patch and glue it to the leather underside.

Besides, you should secure the patch material with a heated iron by moving it around continuously for about ten seconds. Check the repair kit recommendations and tips on the setting to get it right without causing any damage to the leather.

The same should be done with a piece of leather. After cutting and placing it in the crack, it should be secured in place with adhesive. If your repair kit doesn’t contain a piece of leather, then you will need to purchase it separately.


  • Each grain paper coming with the repair kit should be examined to find the right one that will resemble the armrest texture.
  • Before pulling the grain paper away from your leather armrest, allow it to cool down for a couple of minutes. It takes about 3 minutes.
  • If there are multiple tears, the ironing and patching process should be repeated for every single crack on the armrest.

Use Leather Filler Instead (Paste)

Alternatively, you can cover the area by applying leather filler, making sure the cracks appear filled. This method is more suitable for a lot of small surface cracks.

Take a palette knife (or another tool that can fit the bill) and spread the paste over the cracks. To fill holes in your armrest, apply and brush in leather filler simultaneously. Use a knife to remove the excess paste.

Step 4: Mix Tints to Get the Right Color

Scoop the kit tints into a container and mix them up to make the appropriate shade of color. The enclosed spatula tools are suitable for this job. While stirring the repair color, consider adding more tint if needed.

The repair shouldn’t be obvious. It is supposed to match the leather color of your furniture or center console, depending on where the cracks are.

TIP: If you need to fix cracks in your car and your leather repair kit doesn’t include the tints required, then look for colors offered by auto parts shops. They may help you create or choose the best match.

Step 5: Apply the Color and Allow It to Dry

Once you get the right repair color, apply it smoothly with a little brush. You can also spray paint. Either way, make sure all the cracks are covered completely.

After filling in the cracked area on your armrest, leave it to get dry for at least 3 hours. Do not come into contact or touch the armrest meanwhile.

FAQs About How to Fix Cracked Leather Armrest

How to Fix Leather Center Console?

First, identify the crack to check whether it is only on the surface or it goes deeper into the leather. Cover the torn area with a piece of leather or repair patch and apply glue to the underside of the patch before placing it over that area. When buying a repair kit, make sure leather fits in with the center console.

Can I Repair Cracked Leather Myself?

Luckily, worn or cracked leather can be fixed without hiring a professional leather restorer. You need to rub the surface before rinsing the cloth. Then keep rubbing the concerned area with a cleaning solution to wipe it clean. Use a leather filler to smooth over the cracks.

How to Fix Cracked Vinyl in My Car?

Use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab to clean the damaged area. Then place the patch material over the tear so that it expands beyond its edges, gluing it with adhesive. Afterward, the repair color (or an air-dry compound) should be applied to the leather repair patch and leave it to dry.


Cracked leather can be an annoying problem to deal with. While cracks on leather can be fixed by a professional, you should try to get it done yourself. Whether the cracks occur on your center console or chair, follow these tips on how to fix a cracked leather armrest.

How to Fix a Tear in a Leather Couch – 3 Easy Ways

How to Fix a Hole in a Leather Couch

How to Get Wrinkles out of Pleather


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