Before and After: A Dresser from 1964 Becomes a Black and White Beauty

published Jun 24, 2022
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Before: Brown Stag Minstrel dresser

Spotting quality vintage furniture in antique and secondhand stores is a true talent, one that the best collectors and furniture flippers alike have, so it’s no surprise that when professional furniture flipper Katie Grossman (@therevivalist_) saw this 1964 dresser, she knew it was something special.

The dresser was from Stag, a once-popular but now-defunct UK-based brand, part of its Minstrel silhouette line, known for its cherry wood and ring-shaped drawer pulls. “The Stag Minstrel range is one of the most recognizable and popular of all mid-century modern furniture,” Katie says, adding that it’s one of her favorite antiques she’s found to date. (Adding to her excitement is the fact that she found hers on Facebook Marketplace for £60, or about $74 USD.)

“I … love to transform iconic pieces like this into unique, one-of-kind, eye-catching conversation pieces,” she says. For this flip, she used a wallpaper she’d been wanting to try that she first saw on Instagram. The print is called “My Body,” and it was gifted from British wallpaper brand Lust Home.

“I love the body positivity vibes and was just waiting for the right piece of furniture,” she says. But before she affixed the wallpaper, she made sure to prep the vintage piece properly.

“Put time into the prep,” Katie recommends. “It’s the most important part of upcycling!” Her prep involved removing the pulls, sanding, cleaning and degreasing, and a few repairs here and there.

After her surfaces were prepped, Katie painted the dresser top and edges black. She taped off the edges of each of the three drawers and painted them gold. She then applied and her wallpaper with decoupage, smoothing as she went. Katie says addding the paint and pattern was the most fun part. “I love that it’s truly feel-good furniture,” she says.

To complete the piece, Katie re-attached the ring-shaped pulls (which she refinished before putting back on) and sealed the dresser with several top coats, and voila! Dresser complete. (To style it, she used an apropos vase shape! Check out some similar shoppable picks here and here.)

Katie’s dresser is a great reminder that paint isn’t the only thing you can use to give old furniture a whole new look. Whether you’re going for linear black and white, tropical green, or ditsy florals, peel-and-stick wallpaper’s also got you (and your furniture) covered.