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How to Paint A Bed Frame | Easy DIY Tutorial

Step by step tutorial to paint your old bed frame and modernize your space!  | Building Bluebird

After 8 years of owning this Craigslist bed frame, I am finally tackling this DIY project! I will be taking you through every step to show you how to paint a bed frame. Paint is so transformative and is an affordable way to freshen up a space. We moved into our new home and decided to use this wooden bed frame in our daughters bedroom.

How to paint a bed frame and the best materials to use | Building Bluebird

To avoid procrastination, I waited to set it up in my daughter’s room until I had painted the bed frame! Luckily, my daughter was ready to move from her crib to a big girl bed and it worked well having her sleep on a mattress on the floor.

Check out her recent vintage-inspired big girl bedroom makeover!

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial
Bedroom before

Now that our kitchen and dining room renovations are complete, I am excited to give our upstairs a little attention. Our bedrooms are in a sad state of affairs right now and they all need some love! Our first project for the upstairs is painting Evie’s bed and setting it up in her room.

More Furniture Makeover Posts You Will Love


How to Paint a Bed Frame with Primer & Normal Paint

Affiliate links may be used, thanks for supporting Building Bluebird! For a complete list of project materials, scroll to the bottom of the post.

Step 1 | Find an Open Space to Paint

Because it is winter, I set the bed up in our basement. If it was warmer outside I definitely would have been doing this project in my garage.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial

Step 2 | Sand the Wooden Bed Frame

The amount of sanding required really depends on the condition of your bed frame. I used a sanding block and lightly sanded the entire bed, then wiped the dust off with a damp rag.

Step 3 | Apply the Paint Primer (2 coats)

When painting a bed frame, there are a few methods you can use. You can use a paint sprayer, a paintbrush, or a small roller. Because I was in my basement, I opted for the paintbrush.

If the weather was warm I probably would have used my paint sprayer outside but I didn’t have to mental energy to figure out drop cloths in the basement. Whatever feels best for you, that’s the way you should go. At one point I also tried a small roller but felt that I could move through the project the quickest with my paintbrush.

How to paint a bed frame and the best materials to use | Building Bluebird

Apply the first coat of primer and let it dry for at least an hour, then paint the second coat. If you paint the second coat too early, you risk pulling up the first coat in some spots where it may still be tacky. The primer prevents any of the wood to bleed through the paint and provides a strong base for the satin paint.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial

Step 4 | Apply Satin Paint to the Frame

When you choose your paint color, I recommend a satin sheen. This sheen has a slight luster and is durable for the activity in a bedroom. I applied the first coat of satin paint, waited an hour, and then applied the second coat.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial

Be mindful of any potential drips if you are painting slats or spindles. Once the second coat was applied I let the bed frame dry for 24 hours.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial
How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial

Step 5 | Assemble the Bed Frame

After 24 hours, we brought the bed frame upstairs and assembled it in my daughters room. It looks so good! Going from the mattress on the floor to a crisp white bed frame makes such a difference! Who would have thought?! This room is much more put together now and is super cozy for my little princess.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial
Unicorn | Quilt (similar) | Sheets

Starting with one project in a room that requires lots of work always gets me energized! We still have a lot to do in my daughter’s bedroom, including painting the walls, but this is a GREAT start!

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial

There are so many beautiful furniture pieces for sale at thrift stores and second-hand stores that just need a little love. Painting a bed frame is an inexpensive project that can transform the feel of an entire room. I am excited to share my process with you to up-cycle an old bed frame.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
#diy #tutorial #upcycle #painttutorial

Materials for This Project

I hope you enjoyed this DIY bed frame project and plan your own furniture paint project soon!


Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to sand a bed frame before painting?

It depends. In most instances, and for this project specifically, giving your furniture a light sanding will help paint adhere to the surface. Before applying paint, be sure to clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dust.

There are painting kits available that do not require any sanding of your furniture. I used Rust-Oleum’s Cabinet kit (a furniture kit is also available) and I had to wipe down the surface with a de-glosser instead of using a sanding block. I have used this kit on our bedroom dresser and a dining room buffet and it works great.

How to paint furniture and best paint to use | Building Bluebird

Do I need to prime wood before painting?

I recommend applying at least one coat of primer before painting wood furniture. The primer layer prevents any of the wood coloring from bleeding through the regular paint. Paint primer also creates a strong base layer for the furniture paint to adhere to and prevent the paint from chipping.

Do I need a topcoat on painted furniture?

Adding a topcoat, like a polyurethane, will extend the life of your painted furniture. When I used the paint kit from Rust-Oleum, it included a matte topcoat to apply to the furniture over the paint.

How to paint furniture and best paint to use | Building Bluebird

Can I use normal paint on furniture?

You can do anything you want, although certain types of paint will hold up better than others. For my painted wood bed, I applied a coat of primer and then used normal, drywall paint to finish the piece. My daughter used the bed frame for 2-3 years and it held up perfectly. It may not have held up as well on a piece of furniture that is used more often, like a table.

What is the best furniture paint to use?

For the best results, I always recommend using a furniture specific type of paint or a furniture painting kit. When I painted a music sheet cabinet for my living room, I used a Extreme Bond Primer from Sherwin Williams as the base coat. I bought a quart of Emerald Urethane Trim Enamel interior paint from Sherwin Williams and applied two coats of paint to finish the cabinet. This trim enamel paint is more durable than standard drywall paint and will hold up to more wear and tear.

How to paint furniture and best paint to use | Building Bluebird

Furniture painting kits are also a great option. I mentioned Rust-Oleum cabinet kits and furniture kits. I have only used the cabinet kits and have used a single kit to paint multiple pieces of furniture.


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alex

Thursday 10th of November 2022

Thank you for the tutorial, this is very helpful. What is the color that you used on the bedframe?

lindseymahoney

Friday 11th of November 2022

I just used an untinted white can of paint that I had in our basement.

Lori Tseng

Thursday 25th of August 2022

Thank you for this well written article. Can you tell me how to determine whether old paint is oil based or water based?

lindseymahoney

Thursday 25th of August 2022

Absolutely! If you suspect that paint may be oil-based, put some denatured alcohol (nail polish remover will work) on a cotton swab and rub it against the paint. If any paint comes off onto the cotton ball, it is latex paint and you can paint over it. If no paint is removed with the cotton swab, the paint is oil-based and needs to be primed first.

Betty

Friday 1st of April 2022

This is a great tutorial; but I missed how much pain should be purchased for a bedframe? Or how much was used for this (twin? full?) one.

lindseymahoney

Friday 1st of April 2022

I am glad you found it helpful! I used paint I already owned that was leftover from a previous project. You can definitely get away with purchasing a quart of paint for a bed frame. The bed frame I painted was a queen.

Rina

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Hello, this was very helpful but did you have to seal it after you finished painting it? Or is the satin paint enough?

lindseymahoney

Wednesday 12th of May 2021

Hi there, I did not seal the bed frame, only satin paint! After one year I have not seen any chips or issues on the bed frame even with a very active 4-year-old climbing all over it!

Erin

Monday 1st of February 2021

Thanks for the article. If I want to paint an off-white wooden bed frame pure white, do I need to sand it first?

lindseymahoney

Monday 1st of February 2021

Hi Erin, it depends on the type of paint on the bed! If it is oil based paint, you will need a deglosser or specific primer to get your new paint to adhere. I just ran into this issue in my mudroom where I painted old doors and trim and then learned they had oil based paint and the new paint just scraped off. If the bed has regular paint, I would give it a quick sanding with a sanding block. I also like using Rust-Oleum transformations cabinet kits for furniture because it comes with a deglosser and requires no sanding.