A leather sofa is an investment. With the right care, it can last you for 15-20 years. The only problem is that, for that decade or so, your sofa will remain the same colour. But what if you want to change the design of your living room and your trusty leather sofa suddenly doesn’t fit in? Or what if your sofa has seen a lot of wear and is starting to show creased and cracked areas? Buying a new sofa could run you into the thousands of pounds, but dyeing your leather sofa will be much cheaper and will make it look as good as new.

Professional or DIY to dye a leather sofa?

You can get just as successful results from learning how to dye a leather sofa yourself, as long as you follow all of the steps. However, using a professional can be a good idea if you want to be absolutely sure that the finish will look perfect.

It can also be a better idea to bring in a professional if there is extensive damage to your sofa as they can restore leather as well as colour it.

How much does it cost to get a leather sofa professionally dyed?

Alongside the dyeing, a professional company may also offer other services to protect and repair your sofa. This could include repairing any damage and working with the leather to keep it in good condition.

The exact cost to dye your leather sofa will vary depending on:

  • The sofa size
  • Whether you want a complete colour change or you are re-doing the original colour
  • The condition of the leather and how much prep work is needed

On average, a professional leather sofa dye job will cost between £100 and £200. This is still much, much cheaper than buying a new leather sofa and you can be sure that the dyeing and leather care will be completed to a high standard.

How much does it cost to dye my own leather sofa?

Dyeing a leather couch can seem like a big job. In fact, it is relatively easy to complete it yourself, as long as you have the time and the right equipment.

What will I need?

You can pick up a leather sofa colourant kit from hardware stores or online. These kits will provide you with all of the equipment you need to transform your leather furniture.

The kit will usually include:

  • Leather dye/ leather colourant
  • Leather oil
  • Leather finish (can be gloss finish, matt finish, or both)
  • Leather prep cleaner
  • Alcohol cleaner
  • Sometimes spray gun/airbrush
  • Sponges and other application accessories

The cost of the leather dye kit will vary depending on its size. Some kits are created to dye leather car interiors. Others are for a full three-piece suite. For leather sofas, you can expect to pay between £50 and £70.

A quick guide to dyeing a leather sofa

Let’s take a look at the process of dyeing your leather couch. Using the correct procedure will leave you with a perfect finished product, giving your sofa a new lease of life.

Step 1 – preparing the sofa

The first thing you will need to do is clean the sofa. You can either use a specialist leather cleaning solution to do this or you can just use warm soapy water and a microfibre cloth. Focus on the seating cushions as these are the areas with the most use and damage.

Your leather couch will have a manufactured finish that contains oils and waxes. These will need to be stripped away before you can dye the sofa. If they aren’t, then the paint won’t adhere properly to the leather surface. Use cotton wool balls soaked in alcohol cleaner to do this.

Again, the seat cushion will be the place that needs the most attention. The leather will have a thicker application of waxes here.

If there are any creases in the leather, you should use some sandpaper to sand these down. Otherwise, the colour may be uneven. Sandpapering will also help the dye to absorb into the leather.

Leather oil will help the colour to absorb evenly. You can apply the oil in sections so that it doesn’t warp the sofa. Wait for it to dry and then your sofa will be ready for colouring.

Step 2 – the first coat

You should always apply the dye in a correct and sparing way, aiming for a thin coat. Lots of thin layers are far better than fewer thick layers. You are much less likely to get streaking or pooling.

Apply light pressure with a sponge or cloth dampened with the leather dye. This will ensure that the dye is absorbed into the leather. Work in sections so that you can be sure that the dye is applied evenly.

You can either leave this to dry naturally (which takes a few hours) or you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process. A hair dryer will also allow you to focus the drying on any streaks to get rid of them.

Step 3 – second coat and more

Once the colour is dry, you can apply the second coat. It can take up to six coats for the colour to be perfect, and each coat needs to fully dry before the next one is applied.

Some people prefer to use a spray gun or airbrush for the final few coats to make sure that the finish is perfect. This isn’t strictly necessary, but a completely even finish is harder to achieve with just a sponge.

Step 4 – finish the leather

You can have a choice of finishes for your leather, although a satin finish is the most common for furniture (semi-matte is most common for a car interior). This is a 50:50 mix of gloss and matte finishes.

Once the finish is dry, the sofa will be a different colour and ready to use.

Final thoughts

If you have seen people in the news talking about how they’ve revamped their leather sofa using a kit they found online, you might have thought it would be too risky a job. Actually, dyeing a leather couch yourself is relatively simple. There are professional companies who will do it for you, however, if you don’t have the time or the sofa needs extra attention. And these will still work out a lot cheaper than buying a new sofa.

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