Taking on the challenge to upcycling an old wooden bed into a beautiful kids bed for that special room when they upgrade from a cot to a bed!
It is finally time for our last child to ditch the cot that has served her, her brothers (and youngest uncles!) so well, and move on to a single bed. She still likes her cot, and we’ve never had any issues with her trying to climb out so we haven’t worried about it before now. But we have always moved our children in their own single bed by the time they’re 3 years old, and it’s her birthday this month. I’ll also rearrange her furniture to make room for the new bed, ditch the change table as she’s too big for it and we will then start the wonderful task of toilet training by the end of the year. Definitely a task best left for the warmer weather. Our lives are slowly changing.
In her bedroom, she has a side table as well as a tall boy that I have previously sanded back and painted when she first moved into her own bedroom. These pieces of furniture were the standard dark stain with wooden handles. I had some spare enamel paint leftover from when I painted the kitchen cupboards, so painted these two pieces of furniture in a lovely off-white called “tailored linen”. I discarded the old handles and found these great gem-look ones on ebay. Ta-dah, new looking furniture.
So for the bed….. I did – briefly – consider buying a single bed, but then the problem of matching it to her other furniture, the cost involved…. Nah. I knew I had a spare single bedframe hidden in the garage somewhere that had been given to us over 5 years ago. I knew it would come in handy one day! A quick check on the same tailored linen enamel paint (after removing a thick skin of dried paint from the top of the paint and giving it a good stir), about 2-3 inches hiding in the bottom of the tin. Yay!
This bed was really easy to give a makeover. The frame is solid wood with a coat of lacquer. I used my Ozito detail sander, using 120 grit paper, to sand over as much as I could. I didn’t go too crazy and take it back to raw wood, but I did try and sand off as much lacquer as I could. Anything that the detail sander couldn’t reach, I sanded by hand. The sanding didn’t really take very long at all, maybe 1-1.5 hours, and then I gave it a really good wipe down.
I decided to put the bedframe together before I painted it. I did it this way, rather than painting all the pieces individually, so that I could paint both sides of the wood at once. It’s currently winter and there aren’t many good days to paint with enamel as it takes a while to dry. I covered the heads of the bolts with a sticker that I’ll remove after painting; this will keep the bolt-heads clean.
The first coat of paint I did using a brush. As you can see, the first coat was quite patchy. I didn’t use a roller on this first coat as I find it goes on pretty thin, whereas the brush covers better.
I left this first coat to dry overnight. The next day, after checking to ensure the paint didn’t feel tacky, I did the second coat of enamel. This time I used both a brush, and a small roller using a foam head suitable for gloss/semi-gloss paint. This second coat evened out the patchiness and the colour looks a lot smoother. After finishing the second coat, I left it to dry overnight before storing in the garage for a few days for the paint to harden off properly.
Once completely dried, I set about rearranging Miss-Nearly-3’s bedroom. Out went the cot and the change table. Mixed feelings here…..sad that whole stage is forever behind us, but also looking forward to the next stages…. The tallboy was moved and the bed was brought in. I was able to pick up a brand new Dreamaker mattress from the Salvation Army for $139. Sheets, waterproof mattress protector, washable quilt and kids pillow from Kmart, and new “Jiggle Giggle” brand quilt cover set from eBay. Total cost of the mattress and bedding, less than $250. Total cost of the bed makeover $0.
Handy tip: To stop your kids from rolling out of bed, roll up a towel or blanket and place it under the edge of the mattress near their pillow. This will give the mattress a gentle slope and keep your kids from rolling off the edge.
If you need some new furniture in your house, keep your eye out on Gumtree or check out your local charity shop. You can usually pick up older style wooden furniture really cheaply. All you need are good bones to work with, a sander and some paint. It’s a great weekend project and you end up with something totally unique. I hope you try it.