Before & After: Ben's One-of-a-Kind Wallpapered Dresser

Before & After: Ben's One-of-a-Kind Wallpapered Dresser

Janel Laban
Mar 15, 2011

Apartment Therapy readers are a creative force that I have learned to never underestimate — if they can dream it up, they always find a way make it a reality. Ben had gotten tired of his sturdy, but plain, vintage dresser and simply went all out with a very creative makeover process that yielded truly one-of-a-kind results …

...and the After!

Here is Ben's story, including details on how he pulled off the transformation:

I bought the mid-century style dresser online from a couple of guys who got it at an estate sale, for a couple hundred bucks. My wife and I used the old soild wood dresserfor two years before its drabness finally got to me; seeing all these other dresser makeovers on Apartment Therapy on a regular basis inspired me to finally give it a go.

After lightly sanding and cleaning all the dresser surfaces, I affixed each panel of wallpaper (by Ferm Living, bought on sale at 2Modern) with standard wallpaper paste; the trick was getting it to stick around the corners and edges, which I reinforced with Mod Podge. I chose not to apply sealer to the wallpaper, since the nonwoven nature of the wallpaper renders it pretty durable to begin with.

The old legs were easily unscrewed, but the front buttressing bracket on the bottom had to be sawed off, which I did by hand. I had the blackened steel base custom made by a blacksmith on Etsy Alchemy.The commissioned base is raw 1" tubular steel that screwed in perfectly.

The drawer fronts were redone with Douglas Fir veneer.The drawer fronts were veneered over with pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) veneer, the edges of which were then trimmed and sanded by hand. Finally, i applied Tried & True Danish oil to finish it.

The initial inspiration, which I came across years ago, was BDDW's Lake dresser, which I drooled over for quite a while. Nevertheless, despite my keen appreciation for quality furniture pieces, the price I was quoted when I inquired about buying one - let's just say it wasn't 4 but in fact 5 digits - was too much for me (plus my wife would've killed me for even thinking about it).

All in all, I tried to keep the project as green as possible, since it sits in our master bedroom.

Thanks, Ben!

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Images: Ben Hsu

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