Introduction: Upgrading a Solid-Wood Bunk Bed

About: Father of 5 sons, and step-dad to 2 daughters and a 6th son. We are constantly creating projects and developing solutions to our day-to-day living. Also a 20+ year Marketing Design Solutions firm - AdJourney.

I had a solid wood bunk bed that has GREAT bones, but a dated look. It worked, but the boys had been hinting about getting a "new" bed... I decided to upgrade the existing one with a coat of paint and a new layout...

Step 1: Getting Started...

Solid wood furniture provides a GREAT base thta will last many years! But the dated finish and design can mask the potential. I decided to update the look of the boys heavy duty bunk beds into a modern looking piece - for the price of time and paint!

Materials needed:

  • Find a piece of solid wood furniture
  • Paint of choice. I went with a quality acrylic in Satin finish for the body and a gloss black for the knobs.
  • Stir stick & paint key are necessary for EVERY paint job involving acrylic or oil in a can!
  • I used a 2" brush for MOST of the painting, but I did use a 4" roller for the plywood sheets.

Step 2: Spray the Knobs

At first I thought of picking up some knobs from the hardware store - but decided to give the wooden knobs a touch of gloss black.... REALLY liked the look, so stayed with that.

Be sure and have a "larger than you think you will need" area to paint - that is open to fresh air.

Step 3: Base Coat of Gray

I painted the drawers and the enture unit in the gun-metal gray color chosen. You want a good applying paint - because it will most likely require some touch up or a second coat! The self-priming paint is VERY valuable and worth the couple dollars more to ensure of good coverage.

Step 4: Paint Your Accents...

The solid gray looked fine (like a piece from Pottery Barn Kids)... but I wanted something with a little more personality. The touch of bright orange really made the piece pop. Each section of ORANGE, needed to be painted 4x!!! You can tape up where you do not want the paint if you do not have a steady hand...

Step 5: Ladder

I painted the ladder with the same gloss black which lended a strong industrial look to the overall piece. Tied to the knobs and went perfectly with the colors.

Step 6: Assembled...

I decided to make this a single bunk with a desk beneath - so simply arranged the bottom differntly. My youngest LOVED the idea!!

Step 7: Enjoy!

The finished bunk bed looks great and Wes loves it!!

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