Much to the dismay of our Boxer, we traded in our upholstered couch for something a little more sleek.

I had grown tired of the endless amount of cleaning I had to do on our old couch. Here’s the reason why:

millie old couch 2

millie old couch

millie old couch 3

The upholstery was pilling, making it look discolored and dirty even after cleaning. Vacuuming proved to be an exercise in frustration. For months I had been thinking about re-upholstering it, but ultimately it would be cost prohibitive. Firstly, I don’t know how to do it – and I wouldn’t want to waste fabric trying – secondly, I wasn’t exactly sure I wanted more upholstery. I started looking for a leather or leather-like couch on Craigslist, but my budget was pretty low – like $100 or less. With three cats, I did not want to invest in a brand new leather couch until I was sure the cats wouldn’t use it as a scratching post.

Needless to say, it was pretty slim pickins’. Everything that fit my budget had major damage. That is, until my bff Amy said she was getting rid of their old couch! It had some light scratches, but no major tears…and it was FREE! Plus, the hubs and I got to walk it down the street from their house to ours – no truck needed.

I immediately went to work looking for remedies for cat scratched leather (or faux-leather). By far the best results, in my opinion, looked to be coming from shoe polish. Yup, the stuff in the small tin you can find at most grocery stores.

how to fix cat scratches

Now the couch had little white scratch marks almost everywhere, all looking like the picture I snapped above. I bought a tin of KIWI in “Cordovan” which is a dark brown with red undertones. It worked perfectly on the color of this couch! Just your basic wax-on-wax-off a la Karate Kid worked a small miracle! If you look closely and the light is right, you can see where some of the scratches were. But overall the look is SO much better. In natural light the scratches are invisible. This is the arm of the couch after 3 coatings of polish right next to a lamp at night- and it was probably one of the worse areas!

after polish

The key is to really rub the polish into the scratches with a very heavy circular motion. Let it dry for about 5 minutes, then buff off with a clean rag. You might have to do several applications, but I think for the cost of the polish and time invested, this one is a no-brainer!

(you’ll definitely want to test on an inconspicuous area first, though)

I am thrilled with the new look of our living room and the major decrease in the amount of dog/cat hair ending up on my butt after sitting. The dog, however, is not pleased. Not. At. All. She moved to the other couch. I don’t mind too much because it’s microfiber, so clean up is a breeze.

millie new spot

I’ve got to get styling on our new {dogless} couch, then I’ll post updated pictures of the living room. I just realized how old the ones on the house tour are! Shhh don’t tell hubs but I may have acquired two new pillows in my new couch excitement.

And a throw.


9 Responses

  1. suzanne morse

    I am soooo grateful to you for this….I bought my husband a beautiful leather chair a year ago and one of my cats (I have 4) has made it her scratching post….I am definitely going to try this….thank you again!!

  2. Mary Fran

    That is BRILLIANT!!! I have a leather chair that my cats have christened. I was wondering what to do with it…and I now have the answer! I can’t wait to try it. Will the polish come off on your hands or anything after it is dry? Just curious…

    Thank you so much for the tip!
    Mary Fran

    • Mary Fran

      Your dog is cracking me up by the way. He looks so depressed. Such a hard life our pets lead! 😉

    • Rachael Evans

      Hi Mary Fran – we didn’t have any trouble with residue being left behind after buffing!

  3. Living Room Update!

    […] told you a couple of weeks ago that we inherited a new couch from our friends who were moving. After I spiffed it up with some shoe polish, it looked pretty […]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.