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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11 Responses to A Revamped Bookcase with Faux Aged Leather Inserts

  1. Hello Linda!

    It's Kelli from A Happy Place Called Home. Thanks for dropping by my site to say hello! I'm glad you liked my faux capiz chandelier.

    This finish on these pieces is to die for! I am about to start refinishing some furniture, and this gives me inspiration!

    Thanks a bunch!


  2. Linda Leyble says:

    Hi Kelli – Thanks for commenting. I will pop over to your site and read some more. If you have any question re finishing your furniture – just give me a call. Thanks again for stopping by.

  3. Becolorful says:

    Really impressive. I really like that faux leather treatment and how it takes this project to a whole new level.
    Thanks for sharing your revamped entertainment center on Motivated Monday at BeColorful

  4. dee dee says:

    Great transformation!
    dee dee

  5. Darlene G says:

    Your bookshelves are absolutely beautiful.

  6. Linda Leyble says:

    Hey Darlene and Dee – Thanks so much for your kind words. I love transforming furniture. Thanks for stopping by!


  7. This is GORGEOUS! Thanks so much for sharing… I'm your newest follower, and can't wait to see more pieces you've redone!

    stringtown home

  8. Lyn Leonhardt says:

    WOW! You really know how to brighten up a room. Come help me please… 🙂

  9. Hey I know this is off topic but I was wondering if you knew of any widgets I could add to my blog that automatically tweet my newest twitter updates. I’ve been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    • Linda says:

      Hi – I am not up on my WordPress plugins but I know that Hootsuite will give you that ability (I believe). There are so many webinars and help on this topic that if you do a search on Google you are bound to find a lot of help and answers.

      Try going to Boost Blog Traffic – that’s Jon Morrow’s blog. He has a great course (many of them also) on how to increase your numbers. He has a great online class that I am taking – Serious Bloggers Only – I would highly recommend that to you! It’s not only a class on increasing traffic (and using widgets etc to update your Twitter posts etc) – it encompasses so much more.


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