Hooray! I might actually be ahead of a trend!
There was a fabulous collection of cowhide rugs show-cased at The Stories of A to Z. I don't know that I want a whole (very expensive!) hide. However, I am glad I hung on to a dresser re-do from a while back. I did this project for an old cabin we had several years ago, but I liked it so much that I kept it even after we sold our cabin.
I'm using it as a buffet in our dining room.
I used a chemical paint stripper, scrapers and finally a wire brush to get the paint off. Since it was acrylic paint, it really wasn't too bad.
Once all of the paint was off it was obvious the dresser had previously been stained a dark wood color. It looked old and rustic (perfect for a cabin), so I just rubbed a little wood polish onto it.
I scoured ebay looking for genuine cowhide. After a couple of weeks I had enough to do the drawer fronts.
Each of the drawer fronts had a raised rectangular panel. I cut the cowhide to size and then used regular old Goop/Gorilla Glue to adhere the hide to the wood. (I had been thinking that if I got tired of the cowhide, I could also do a similar treatment with burlap or some other fabric…)
I used nail-head upholstery trim on the edges. This was the fabulous trim that comes in a roll and you only need to nail in every 5th or 6th nail-head. Making sure the corners lined up well was a bit of a challenge, but otherwise it was very easy.
I like the texture it adds. I used the hole placement from the old knobs to poke a hole in the cowhide and add new ones.