What Are Cigarette Burns On Leather?
Cigarette burns on leather used to be very common, but as more people are giving up smoking it’s becoming less common.
Cigarette burns are caused by the embers of a cigarette landing on the leather item and it slowly burns a hole in the leathers surface, it does not always go all the way through, but normally what happens is the cigarettes leave an indentation in the leather and shrinks the leather causing this to pull tight like a star shape.
This type of damage can be repaired, then a grain like structure put back in place.
With any cigarette burn it will shrink the leather, where it’s shrunk, you need to put a small cut into each pull, this will release the shrinkage and put it back to a flat leather again.
The next stage is to cut out the burn left around the hole, once this has been cut out, you are ready to carry out the repair.
The very first stage is to prep the leather using a red scotch pad and the leather prep solution, this is done by spraying the prep into a red pad and rubbing over the surface, the purpose of this is to remove the surface colour and to help soften the leather where it will be hard from the cigarette burn.
Cut a section of backing fabric to go under the leather, securing the centre with a pin so the fabric isn’t lost inside your item. Once in place you can then apply glue to the back of the leather and gently push this down to the backing fabric to secure in place. Once fully glued using a low tack clear tape hold on place to allow to dry. Once dry remove the tape and begin applying thin layers of heavy filler, drying thoroughly between each layer.
The final stage is to apply some flexi filler, but this is done using a sponge and it’s stippled onto the surface of the leather to create a grain effect. This particular method is extremely successful and produces outstanding results.
Once this has been carried out you can start by stippling on the leather colourant to the repaired areas.
When you have stippled on the first coat, this can be sanded to perfect the filler that’s been applied, leaving this looking like a natural grain area in the repair and blending into the rest of the leather. You will need to apply at least two more coats of pigment paint to the repaired areas to perfect the repair. Making sure you lightly sand between coats.
Once this is completed apply the clear coat lacquer to seal in your repair.