Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to Paint a Wooden Bed Frame....Note: Sob Story

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glossy olive green sleigh bed

I've been searching for the perfect bed frame for my room for years.  Craigslist, consignment, thrift stores.... I think part of my problem is not knowing exactly what I want.  I do know that we want a comfortable headboard, a side rail, and preferably a foot board to keep the duvet from falling off.  Well two weeks ago my search came to an end (or so I thought).
how to paint a wooden bed

A massive sleigh bed was listed on Craigslist:

PERFECT!  Using a 2 inch angled brush with tapered bristles, I applied two coats of primer.  Zinsser Primer is some serious stuff and from experience (my own and others) you don't need to sand first.  I would, however, recommend using a tinted primer.

painting primer onto wooden furniture
It doesn't take long to dry so by the time the first coat was finished I moved right on into the second.  Each coat took about 3 hours.  I worked one evening and part of a morning.  Even the inside of my car was stinky for like three days.  Next I took to it with a 275 fine grain sand paper, feeling it with my hands as I sanded to be sure it was smooth.

Setting my kids up with some painting projects of their own, I got to work on coat one.  Then coat two.  Then three and four and yes.....parts had a coat five.

I used a one and a half inch tapered angled brush and a three inch brush, depending on the area I was painting.  Using long strokes, pulling my arm up away from the bed in an arc form, I applied Martha Stewart Okra in gloss.
Martha Stewart Okra gloss paint green

With this type of painting, there was minimal visible brush strokes.  In between coats I covered my brushes in plastic wrap.

After coat three you could still detect the white primer showing through.  Four coats pretty much covered the entire thing but I was in love with this olive bed you see...(Olive and Love?), so I wanted it perfect.
painting an assembled bed
I painted the bed assembled so I needed to do some touch up on the connecting pieces to be sure none of the original wood would show.
painting gloss polyurethane over paint bed

Finished?  Not yet....In the above picture you can see the difference a high gloss polyurethane makes.  I wanted as protection on the bed from nicks and because I was digging the glossy finish.  One coat total of poly and I let the bed dry for two days.
Unfortunately in the above picture, the finish looks uneven because it is still wet.  At this point I thought I would have an opportunity to take the "After" picture in my room.

The following are the only two pictures I have of the bed in my room before realizing that it was in fact NOT a cal-king, but a queen.  There are not any queens in my house (besides me).  There fore I am now out quite a chunk of change and about thirty hours of my life.  Can you tell I'm still a little sore on the subject?  When I first realized it was for sure a queen for I layed down on my pile of blankets and pillows I had taken off my bed and sobbed.  My husband Dan lay down with me and rubbed my back.

Now what to do with this queen bed?  Well let me know if you are interested because it is in fact for sale. Everything happens for a reason right?  Perhaps this bed is the beginning of my new line of furniture.  Meanwhile my mattress is on the floor in my room and my quest continues...

This post is linked to the following parties:

Boogieboard Cottage
Todays Creative Blog


  1. What a total bummer that it is a Queen...though I have a queen bed and would happily take it, I know I could never get it past my apartment door. Amazing work and I adore the color!!!

  2. Awesome job! So sad you're selling it! or so sad I'm too far away?

  3. UGH. That is heartbreaking. I am sorry. But it is BEAUTIFUL!

  4. First, you did an AMAZING job, it looks beautiful! Second, I know I shouldn't laugh at your misery, but that made my lol, was not expecting that twist. I probably would've broke down crying as well if I were you. Good luck selling it, and don't give up! I'm sure you're final bed will look just as great!

  5. First of all, I L.O.V.E. what you've done with the bed. So very sorry it was the wrong size! Your hard work will be someone else's blessing. OK, I've officially spent two hours on your blog this morning ... uhgggg ... and by uhgggg, I mean whoo-hoo, I've had fun! Your blog is becoming a fast favorite and I've subscribed to your RSS! I think I better take your talents in small daily doses or I'll be the guest that never leaves {wink}.

  6. Hmmmm....there has to be a way to tweak it for a King somehow, maybe? Of course it may require some building something, but where there is a will there is a way? Maybe check out Anna White's build plans? It's SO perty! :) :)

  7. Oh my gosh, how disappointing! Especially because that bed turned out beautifully!!! I'm sure you'll have no problem selling it, but wow...all that hard work.

  8. What a beautiful bed. Stinks that it's not the right size! ugh. I hate when you find something you're in love with just to figure out it won't work as planned... =(

  9. That's beautiful! and sad... all at once. It should be a Leonardo DiCaprio movie- with Meg Ryan.

  10. The bed is looking very nice. At present lots of new modern bed sale on the market. But I always like wooden bed. Can you share the actual price of this beautiful product !!

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