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How to Paint A Bed Frame | Easy DIY Tutorial

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Last Updated on July 6, 2023 by lindseymahoney

If you’re looking to give your bedroom a fresh new look, painting your bed frame can be a great DIY project.

With just a few supplies and some basic steps, you can transform your bed into a stylish centerpiece of your room. Follow this step-by-step guide to learn how to paint a bed frame.

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

Bedroom Before

I purchased this bed frame with the intent to paint it and use it in my son’s room. I am proud to say that after 8 years of owning this bed frame, I am finally tackling this DIY project! LOL!

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
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Bedroom before

We moved into our new home in 2019 and I decided to use this wooden bed frame for our daughter’s bedroom. While we transitioned our daughter from a crib to a mattress on the floor, I got to work on painting the bed frame.

Our bedrooms are in a sad state of affairs right now and they all need some love!

I am excited to tackle our first project in the bedrooms with this quick and easy paint DIY.

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How to Paint a Bed Frame with Primer & Latex Paint

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1 | Gather Your Supplies

Before you begin painting your bed frame, you’ll need to gather all the necessary supplies.

You’ll need sandpaper, primer, paint, a paintbrush or roller, and a drop cloth or newspaper to protect your floors, or in my case, a dirty basement floor!

Once you have all your supplies, you’re ready to get started on your DIY bed frame painting project.

Materials for This Project

2 | Prep Your Bed Frame

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
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The first step in painting your bed frame is to prep it. Start by removing any bedding and placing a drop cloth or newspaper on the floor to protect it from paint drips.

You can also move it to an unfinished basement or outdoors. It is wintertime so the basement is where I set up shop!

Next, use sandpaper to lightly sand the surface of the bed frame. This will help the primer and paint adhere better.

After sanding, wipe down the bed frame with a damp cloth to remove any dust or debris. Once the bed frame is clean and dry, you’re ready to move on to the next step.

3 | Apply the Paint Primer (2 coats)

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

After prepping your bed frame, the next step is to apply primer.

I used Kilz (water-based primer) for this project. Primer helps the paint adhere better and provides a smooth surface for the paint to go on.

The paint primer also helps to prevent the wood grain from bleeding through the latex paint.

Oil-based primers are a great option for a smooth finish, however, they are really stinky and should really be used in a well-ventilated area or outdoors.

Use a paintbrush or roller to apply the primer evenly to the bed frame. Be sure to cover all areas, including any nooks and crannies.

In my experience, I preferred using the paint paintbrush over the roller, I felt like I could move more quickly.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
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Allow the primer to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Depending on the type of primer you use, this could take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours.

Apply a second coat of primer to ensure complete protection from wood grain bleeding through.

4 | Apply Paint to the Bed Frame

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
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Once the primer is dry, it’s time to apply the paint.

Choose a paint color that complements your bedroom decor and use a paintbrush or roller to apply it evenly to the bed frame.

I chose a fresh, white paint color in a satin sheen, which is a good choice for bedrooms. Start with the larger areas and work your way to the smaller details.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
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Be sure to apply the paint in thin, even coats to avoid drips and uneven coverage.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
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Allow the first coat to dry completely before applying a second coat.

Once the final coat is dry, your newly painted bed frame is ready to be put back together and enjoyed in your updated bedroom.

5 | Let Dry and Reassemble the Frame

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Unicorn | Quilt (similar) | Sheets

After applying the final coat of paint, it’s important to let the bed frame dry completely before reassembling it.

This will prevent any smudging or damage to the newly painted surface.

Depending on the type of paint you used, drying time can vary from a few hours to a full day.

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

Once the paint is completely dry, carefully reassemble the bed frame according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Take your time and make sure all the pieces are securely in place before using the bed. Now you can enjoy your newly painted bed frame and the updated look it brings to your bedroom.

How to paint a bed frame with these simple steps | Building Bluebird
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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
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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!

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 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 the paint adhere to the surface.

Before applying paint, be sure to clean the surface thoroughly to remove any dust.

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

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 used this kit when painting my brother’s kitchen cabinets and it is extremely durable.

*Check out the $200 kitchen makeover at my brother’s house!

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

I have used this kit on our bedroom dresser and a dining room buffet and it works great.

Do I need to prime the wood before painting?

I recommend applying at least one coat of primer before painting wood furniture.

The primer layer prevents any of the wood colorings 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 polyurethane, will extend the life of your painted furniture.

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

When I used the paint kit from Rust-Oleum, it included a matte topcoat to apply to the furniture over the paint.

Can I use normal paint on furniture?

You can do anything you want, although certain types of paint will hold up better than others.

When I painted our wooden bed frame, I applied a coat of primer and then used normal, latex 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.

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

When I painted a music sheet cabinet for my living room, I used an 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.

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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Thursday 10th of November 2022

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


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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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!


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?


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.