A Revamped Bookcase with Faux Aged Leather Inserts
I love to refinish furniture – taking something less than OK and making it into something special. About 6 or 7 years ago, my husband and I bought a bookcase/entertainment unit at JC Penney that, at the time, was fine for just holding a TV and some books and photos. It was dark and not the greatest finish – but at the time I was just going for storage and I figured that at some point I would re-do the whole unit to blend better with the colors of our home.
Well, I was invited to take part in a Designer Showhouse – so I needed some extra furniture for the room that I was doing. The two ends of the bookcase/entertainment unit would fit perfectly in one corner of the room.
The finished room – The Architect’s Study – at the Caumsett Designer Showhouse 2010
Here are some pictures, taken in my office, as we started to revamp the piece…
Oops a little blurry…as it was being primed
With 2 coats of an off white latex on it. You can see more of the original color,
if you look at the inside where the TV is
I wanted to give the piece a little bit more distinction because it was a little plain, architecturally speaking. So, for the recesses of the cabinet fronts, I crumpled up some gift wrapping tissue into a ball and then uncrumpled it and smoothed it a bit. I put another layer of the basepaint in the recesses of the cabinet fronts, placed the wrinkled tissue on – and then put another layer of the basepaint on.
A close up of the finish. It has a slight worn leather look to it.
Some closeups in my office along with some other cabinet samples
Then I glazed the entire piece with a brown, dark brown and gold glaze – let it dry and then I sanded it down on the edges to have the original dark color come through here and there. I then topcoated it with some polyurethane for protection.
In case you were wondering about the walls in my office – they are authentic Venetian Plaster…the real deal from Europe. It’s a very labor intensive process – several layers of the Plaster that’s custom tinted and troweled by hand, then your burnish with the trowel to start the shine and to close the pores – then you wax it and buff it. I did a great post awhile back on everything you’d want to know about Venetian Plaster here
Hope you enjoyed this. If you have any questions about doing the tissue finish, let me know. I may be doing a more thorough tutorial about it – as well as some of my other finishes very soon. Let me know if you have ever tried this technique. It’s great on furniture – especially nondescript types of pieces. You can even sand down the wrinkled part after you’ve painted and glazed for a rice paper look, which is really beautiful. I’ve done this on entire walls – especially when the walls are not in great shape! Try it – it’s something a little different for your revamped furniture pieces.
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