So, it finally happened guys, we got our bed frame done!!! I think its been like two months since I mentioned to you that I was finally working on our bed frame plan and how excited I was at the time. But, the weather and just plain life got in the way! And, goodness knows, I always have something I can work on that makes it easy to put off the bigger projects until later. I knew this one was going to be a big project for one main reason: A very narrow stairwell. At the time of the renovation moving our load bearing wall for a few more inches of width in our stairwell just didn’t seem worth it. SO, to get to our master bedroom on the second floor, every single thing I do has to be calculated around that stairwell. Which meant I knew I would have to take every individual piece of the bed frame upstairs and put it together there. Not to mention I had to haul the old bed frame out of there all while trying real hard not to put holes in every wall on the way down.
A couple months ago when I finally had the plan settled in my head I ran out to the barn and grabbed all of the materials I needed. (I calculate all of my projects around what we have on hand – that was one of my biggest obstacles in getting this bed frame figured out.) I grabbed the last of the 12 foot decking boards we had leftover from our deck and hauled everything down to my basement workshop. I barely had enough material so you can see, looking at the backside of all three sides of the bed, that I actually ran several of the decking boards short to save on wood. Looking at the “right” side of the bed you can’t tell as everything is hidden behind the 2x6s I used as supports and for screwing it all together. The entire bed frame is 76×80 – the exact dimensions of our king size mattress.
With the foot of the bed and the two sides done I sanded them down first with medium and then fine grit sand paper with my electric palm sander. Then I stained them with Minwax Dark Walnut stain. Are the deck boards green treated? Why yes, they are. But they have also been in the barn for a year and a half and the standard time for letting green treated anything sit before staining or finishing is a year – so I was good to go. And, I figured, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the deck boards and the 2x6s once they were stained and I was right.
Here are the two sides after staining, the bottom of the bed was complete at this point too. From there I did one heavy coat of satin poly acrylic on all three of them just to keep them protected. With the sides and the foot of the bed frame done I set them out of the way in my shop and proceeded to procrastinate for a couple of months. This last weekend my husband asked if he could help me get it done and I really couldn’t think of a good enough reason to tell him no so, we got to work Sunday morning. The rest of the frame that needed to be cut was four 2x6s and the plywood to go on top of them. I ran upstairs and first got our bed out of the way and cut out the chunk of base board and trim that I knew needed to be out of our way before we could install the bed frame. The entire bed would be screwed flush to the wall.
We cut the 2x6s at the interior measurement which was 70 1/2 which gave us a full 76 width when the sides were attached to them. We screwed one to the wall across the floor and the other to the wall flush with the top of the sides making sure to hit every stud on the way using 3″ long screws. (I wasn’t playing around here, I never wanted this bed to move.) Then we screwed the sides to them and then attached the foot of the bed to the end of both the right and left sides which squared everything up. From there we ran the two supports from one side of the bed to the other and I cut a support to go under the center of each of them. I also used L-brackets on each of the center supports and across the inside foot of the bed too. We’re dealing with a very unlevel very old floor so we needed these L-brackets for a couple reasons: For one the center support of the footer wasn’t even sitting on the floor because there is a barely perceptible dip there, also I didn’t want the bed to want to lift or shift at all at the bottom, as that would put all kinds of stress on the screws at the head of the bed. So, a couple of L-brackets that attached the foot of the bed to our floor solved all of our problems. (Though I will admit putting screws into our 100 year old hard wood floors made me wince.)
From there we moved on to getting the 5/8th plywood cut and in place. It took two pieces of plywood all together and getting that upstairs without destroying our walls took serious effort. I put lots and lots of 2 1/2″ screws in it along all of the edges and across the center supports. I even stood on it afterward and did a bit of a tap to be sure that this frame would never move. We also put the plywood “shiny side” up, so the bed would have an easier time getting on it without snagging. I hand sanded all of the edges with fine grit sand paper and went around the entire thing with the same Dark walnut stain I used on the rest of the bed frame. I simply brushed the stain on and then let it sit twenty minutes before wiping it off with an old t-shirt.
From there it was just a waiting game for the stain to dry (about an hour) before we could heft our heavy mattress on to it. So, what was wrong with our old bed frame that I am ridiculously excited about this and have been talking about it since we moved in? Our old bed frame was the basic steel frame I think everyone has had in their lives at some point and our old “box spring” was actually just a plastic box that came with my sleep number bed (that bed died right after we moved in.) Said plastic box was designed to support a sleep number bed which is simply a glorified air mattress which practically weighs nothing. Enter in my replacement mattress: A 100 pound temper pedic knockoff that has the literal density of a dying sun. My old plastic “box spring” and basic steel frame didn’t stand a chance and the steel wheels were doing truly horrible things to our floors. So, what does all that add up to? It adds up to a sagging bed and two people who already had bad backs barely able to walk in the morning. Not good.
I knew it was getting imperceptibly worse by the day but I honestly had no idea just how BAD it had gotten until I laid down on our mattress when it was just flat on the floor during the build process. It was like night and day, in comparison I felt like I was in a hammock before. My neck literally rejoiced. (I have a bad neck due to a crushed vertebrae from my child hood and goodness knows how many other injuries over the years.) Once we got the bed together and our mattress on it Joe and I laid down side by side and were left speechless. It was literally like we purchased a whole new bed frame and mattress: everything. The difference was shocking and I am SO excited!
So, how was the first night? I slept better then I have in months! Joe woke me up to say good bye and the first words out of his mouth were, “My back is so much better! We should have done this a long time ago!” I couldn’t agree more! Current observations: I had no idea how much my feet were going UNDER the old bed, definitely some getting used to there and I know someone is going to ask so: No, we did not use the underside of our bed for storage (we have plenty in other areas of the house) it had literally become a dust bunny farm. However, in my initial plans, I was going to put drawers in the bottom of the bed and that is something that would be easy to do with this design.
So how did I do on our budget? Well, every single piece of wood I used was wood left over from other projects so my only cost was the screws lol. (Even the stain and paint brush was leftover from another project!) My only regret (and this really isn’t a regret) is when I had first started working on the plan to build us a new platform bed frame I had intended to make it lower then our current bed admittedly because I wanted any of our future dogs to have an easier time getting up on it. (This frame is 17 1/2 inches all together then plus our mattress of 8 inches our bed is 25 1/2 inches tall – which is about to my mid thigh. Looking at the frame I could have removed one board from all of the sides and made the whole bed about 5 inches shorter and I kind of wish I still had. Why didn’t I? Because I really like where our headboard is on the wall and I really thought it would look strange if it were much lower. Besides that it was nice not to have to move our headboard again, this whole frame ended up only 1/2 an inch shorter then our old bed so nothing up here had to change to accommodate it – it was simply take the old frame out and move the new one in.
So, there you have it guys! All in, if I had purchased all of the materials new this bed would have still only cost around $160 all together and, goodness knows, you could never buy something like this for so little! Besides a little calculation this was actually a very simple wood project.