How to Repair Cat Scratches on Vinyl Furniture
Repair cat scratches on vinyl furniture with a leather and vinyl repair kit. Tint the repair liquid, apply it over the area, then heat set it.
Small cat scratches and minor tears on vinyl furniture can be repaired with a leather and vinyl repair kit. This liquid-based solution allows you to color-match the vinyl. Grain papers included with the kit texture the repaired area to look like faux leather, or to take on a texture that closely matches the vinyl.
Things You Will Need
- Rubbing alcohol or vinyl cleaner
- Fine-grit sandpaper
- Soft cloth
- Scrap cloth such as canvas
- Tintable leather and vinyl repair kit
Clean the area surrounding the scratch thoroughly with rubbing alcohol or a household cleaner suitable for vinyl. If using a cleaning product, wipe the area with a damp cloth afterward and dry the area.
Trim any strings or fibers sticking up from the damaged area. Vinyl upholstery often has a mesh-like fabric backing; it may be damaged from the cat scratches.
Gently sand the scratched area with a fine-grit sandpaper to create a smoother repair finish. Wipe the area with a soft cloth after sanding to remove loose particles.
Cut a piece of scrap fabric, such as canvas, for a scratch resulting in a tear more than 1/2-inch long. Cut the material so it is 1/2 inch longer in all directions than the tear, then stuff into the hole, lining it up so you can't see its edges through the hole. Use the spatula tool from the repair kit to line up the material, then secure the fabric to the backside of the vinyl with the adhesive from the kit, and let the adhesive dry completely. Skip this step if there are no holes in the vinyl.
Mix the repair liquid with the tints included in the kit until the color matches the vinyl as closely as possible. Apply a small amount of the tinted liquid to an inconspicuous area and allow it to dry to ensure that the color is correct; if not, adjust it with tints as necessary and test it again.
Spread a layer of the tinted repair solution over the damaged vinyl using the tiny spatula from the repair kit. Spread it so the solution is level with the vinyl as much as possible while still completely covering and sealing the damage.
Select one of the grain papers from the kit, choosing the one that most closely matches the texture of the vinyl. Set this paper grain-sized down over the wet repair area.
Heat up the small, flat-tipped metal tool included with the repair kit. Warm it on the plate of an iron set to high heat without steam and hold the tool on the iron for a few minutes. Apply the warmed metal tool flat-side-down over the back of the grain paper for 45 seconds or so, moving it slowly in circular motion to transfer heat through the paper to the repair solution. Re-warm the tool as it cools, if necessary, for a large repair area. Allow the repair to cool for several minutes, then peel the grain paper away.
- If the grain paper doesn't pull away from the repair easily, heat the metal tool again and rub it slowly over the back of the grain paper. Heat helps to set the repair solution. * If the damage is extensive enough that large areas of the couch look shredded, repairs may be a bit obvious. In some cases, replacing the couch may be a better option.
Clean the Vinyl
Trim Stray Fibers
Sand the Damaged Area
Cut Scrap Fabric to Help Fix a Hole
Mix the Repair Solution
Spread the Repair Solution
Apply the Grain Paper
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer. She is an avid DIYer that is equally at home repurposing random objects into new, useful creations as she is at supporting community gardening efforts and writing about healthy alternatives to household chemicals. She's written numerous DIY articles for paint and decor companies, as well as for Black + Decker, Hunker, Landlordology, SFGate and others.