before and after

before & after: faux leather sofa + campaign dresser

by Kate Pruitt

Antique sofas are beautiful, but I’ve never considered them practical, especially if they are upholstered in the light colored linens, leathers and wools that look so fantastic on sofas of this shape. Rebekah had the ingenious idea of using a white faux leather on this old piece; according to her, the fabric holds up amazingly well against kids, dogs and the rest. It looks awesome in her home, and I’m well on my way to being fully convinced that I need an identical sofa. Great job, Rebekah! — Kate

Cost: $450 (for the vinyl fabric and cushions)

Basic Steps: I bought the antique sofa off Craigslist after drooling over Rashida Jones’ white linen beauty in Domino back in 2008. After looking through tons of fabric books, I was actually surprised at how gorgeous the faux leathers were and how reasonably priced — in fact, they were much less than some of the designer prints. My friend Denise Lingle did the upholstery work for me including the antique brass tacks. It has held up so well with the kids and dog and cleans up great with just a wet cloth! — Rebekah

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CLICK HERE to see Jamie’s bright and crisp new dresser after the jump!

Refinishing old dressers can be quite laborious, especially when they include lots of rusted hardware. Although more hardware means more work, in the end, the results can be well worth it, as this campaign-style dresser from Jamie illustrates. The fresh coat of white is a big improvement, and it shows off the newly polished hardware nicely. Great job, Jamie!

Time: 3–4 hours

Cost: about $100

Basic Steps: The hardest part of this project was prying off the hardware without bending it or damaging the dresser! Next I sanded the top of the dresser — the top is Formica and the rest is solid wood, so I wanted to make sure the paint would adhere to the top. I like to use the sanding “sponges” as opposed to sandpaper because they are easier to use.

Next I used a putty knife to fill the holes and gouges with wood filler. I did a light sanding over the entire dresser to smooth the wood filler. Before painting, I took a damp towel and wiped down the entire dresser to make sure it was clean and then let it air dry. I used one coat of Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Primer. Then I used a foam paint roller to apply three coats of semi-gloss paint.

I like to leave a lot of drying time between coats of paint, and I used the finest grit sanding sponge over the entire dresser between every coat to make sure it was smooth. I let the hardware soak in a mix of Bar Keepers Friend and water and then rubbed it on to clean off all of the grime and make them shiny again! The last step was to reattach the hardware. — Jamie

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