Monday, September 29, 2014

Queen Farmhouse Bed

I was decluttering the house, but I put that on hiatus for a couple weeks while I built several pieces of furniture to help with organizing things. This is one of the pieces I built.

I decluttered the basement a month or so ago and decided it was finally time for the basement bedroom to have an actual bed- we've been using it for storage and exercise space. I liked the plans for the queen Farmhouse bed on Ana White's site, so decided to go with that one.

I initially planned on putting this bed in the basement bedroom, but as it came together I decided it really needed to go in our bedroom and our old log bed could go into the basement bedroom.

I mostly followed the plans, but I added height to the leg posts to accommodate under the bed storage. I also changed how I attached the cleats to make them a bit more sturdy and I used 2x8's for the side rails because I wanted to make sure they were super strong.

Untreated 4x4 posts are hard to find here- I had to go to a lumber yard instead of Lowes, and my only option was fir, not pine, so the cost was higher. Some commenters on the plan post had no problem finding pine 4x4 posts, but that was definitely not the case here.

As I purchased the wood I realized this bed was going to be heavy and sturdy. That's not a bad thing, it just ended up being a bit heftier than I anticipated.

Before I could assemble the bed, I worked on the headboard, footboard, and side rails. I built the head and footboards, then wood puttied the nail holes and knot holes. I finished all the pieces with a really good sanding.

Here's a good example of why you should always pay attention to how you're putting things together:

Luckily I caught it right away and was able to change it up before the glue dried and made fixing it a problem. Much better!

I didn't want the heads of my lag screws showing, so I counter-sunk them, then glued small pieces of dowel in the holes. Wood plugs look so much nicer than exposed screw heads.

I clamped the headboard and footboard to each leg to make sure all the wood stayed in contact. If I hadn't clamped everything there would be gaps between the legs and the panels.

Headboard all built and ready to be painted.

After a coat of primer to seal the knot holes, I painted everything. I mixed my chalk paints together until I had a nice cream color. I only did one coat of paint, mostly because I ran out of time and needed to finish it up and I thought it looked fine how it was. After the paint dried I waxed all the pieces with a mixture of clear and dark wax. I could have just used the dark, but I was afraid of running out and I have to order it online and didn't have time to wait for a shipment. The wax added some depth to the paint and gave it all a nice smooth finish.

I thought about using metal hardware like this or this to attach the side rails to the header and footer, but I was concerned about the weight of the wood and the strength of the metal, so I didn't use them. Maybe in the future if we need to take it apart and put it back together I'll add them in, but I think my current solution works well.  The plan I used to build the pieces for the bed was vague about how to assemble it, but I found better directions in this plan. The main changes I made was to use heavy lag bolts to attach the cleats to the headboard legs and I used metal pins in the ends of the side rails to make a more secure attachment to the head and footboard legs. I cut a 2' length of 1/2" threaded (because that's what they had- non-threaded would have worked as well) pipe into 6" pieces with my Dremel, then drilled holes in the side rails and legs. The hard part was making the holes all match up. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of that process, so you'll just have to use your imagination :)

lag bolts attaching the cleat to the headboard leg

the ends of the cleats are screwed into the board that goes across the length of the footboard. 

the ends of the cleats and the end board rest on the lower board of the footboard

Because of the size and weight of this bed, I assembled it in our room. Mr M was at work, so I assembled it by myself. It took twice as long as it should have and I have some battle scars. This was the first time I've ever hit my thumb full-on with a hammer. Glancing hits are nowhere near as painful as direct hits. This has to be one of the most painful injuries I've had in a really long time. The throbbing didn't go away for a couple days and is still quite painful. The swelling of the soft tissues has started to decrease, but the swelling in my cuticle area has gotten worse and I still can't bend my thumb very far.  I'm sure I'll be losing my nail at some point- I'm just not sure when. And I've realized just how important our opposable thumbs are. Have you tried tying your shoes without using one of your thumbs? It's hard!
48 hrs after I whacked it with the hammer. it actually looks worse now, even though it hurts less

Anyway, after lots of sweating and adjusting and shifting and balancing, I finally got the bed put together.

I may eventually cut down the headboard posts a bit (it stands 5' tall), but I am NOT taking the bed apart again any time soon, so it's staying as-is for now.

Because of the way the bed is built, there's no way a normal bedskirt would work, so I intended to attach a dust ruffle to the backside of the side rails and footboard before I installed the stretchers and mattress. However, I was running short on time and wanted to get the bed finished, so I skipped that part. Some day soon I'll spend some time rolling around on the floor under the bed while I staple the fabric to the wood.
stretchers in. I should have attached the dust ruffle before I put them in

plywood on top of the stretchers to support the mattress (we don't have a box spring)

I made the bed with a new quilt, but I think the color is a little too close, yet not close enough, to the color on the walls. Does that make any sense? I have another quilt that I purchased for the guest room that I need to try out and see if it looks better. We've had some cloudy days so I haven't been able to get a good picture of the other quilt.

I'm really happy with our new bed! It's very solid and secure and I like how the paint turned out. I actually dislike painting, except for the creative process of getting the color and finish just right. That part I like. The rest is tedious and messy :)

While I was moving things around, I also changed out the rug. I moved our blue one to the basement and brought a new gray one into our room.

Next up: painting the white nightstand to match the gray one on the other side of the bed and getting some artwork and a mirror on the walls. I'm also looking for a chair to put in the corner by the window at the foot of the bed. The new bed takes up less room than the old log bed, so there's actually room for a chair now.

1 comment:

  1. Looks good! I like how it turned out, very nice.