Craigslist Make Over on a Budget! Tutorial Using Rub N Restore

3 Materials
Our college cuties were renting a house this year and moving out of the dorm. That meant finding comfy, cozy furniture on a budget. If it looked good that was a plus. The college cuties have champagne tastes on a beer budget! They wanted a Pottery Barn look without the price tag. Craiglist to the rescue! We found 3 leather pieces for their living room in great shape. No smells, no tears, cushions that are still firm and comfy. They looked good and were comfy. But all three together gave them that college day eclectic look that they really wanted to avoid. They wanted classic. So I did a little research on ideas for pulling it all together and looked through the Pottery Barn Catalogue for color and style ideas and found a product called Rub N Restore, Inc Leather.
We found all 3 pieces for $200 they would have costs thousands new and the sofa was a Pottery Barn piece! The chair was from Haverty's. Quality furniture not normally found on a college students budget. The girls were thrilled. We watchen several YouTube videos on the Rub N Restore leather color change process and then cooked up fajitas, made a pitcher of sangria and got to work. ;) Yes, all hands on deck! Those college cuties are serious about style and were willing to put in the time.
We chose the Mahagony color because several Pinterest reviews said it gives you the Pottery Barn rich colored leather....sounded perfect to us and it was.
The sofa had a stain on one cushion and water stains in several places where the original owner had tried to clean it. It cost us $150 was originally $$$$ from Pottery Barn 2 years ago and the orig owner decided to replace it after she felt like it was ruined. We were not worried because we had a plan.
Look how beautiful she turned out! Three thin coats of the Rub N Restore dye and 2 coats of sealer. The leather still shows texture and is as smooth as butter baby! All three pieces turned out terrific. Definitely recommend this product. You can find mor information on the blog! We have a very happy house of college girls who are ready to show off their new furniture. Let me know what you think.
One of the videos I watched. I used a true leather cleaner instead of a household spray cleaner.
Suggested materials:
  • Rub N Restore   (
  • Sponges
  • Gloves
TJ Harvey
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
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3 of 4 questions
  • Beth Cashen King Beth Cashen King on Nov 17, 2015
    Looks great, but have the girls noticed and rub off after sitting on the leather? Has it come off on their clothes?

  • Jessica Woolford Jessica Woolford on May 10, 2017
    Hi there! Has this started to peel or crack at all?

  • Monica Manuel Vincent Monica Manuel Vincent on Sep 24, 2017
    I'm trying to find a solution for my feux leather couch that is cracked and peeling. Any thoughts or sug. The Furnature is still in good shape otherwise just peeling and cracking.

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2 of 23 comments
  • TJ Harvey TJ Harvey on Nov 12, 2016
    Yes, we've been thrilled with the results. It is an amazing product to breathe new life into a dated leather piece or leather that is the wrong color.

  • Maureen Maureen on Dec 02, 2016
    Wow great job & awesome recycling of someone else's cast offs!!!!