January 09, 2015

DIY Platform Bed Frame

Post numero dos for Carpe DIY! Since the last post was a simple spray paint job, I wanted get down and dirty and actually show you how to build something. So today, I'm going to layout how to build a custom, gorgeous, platform bed frame made from REAL wood -- and for less than $100. 

My husband, Jay, and I had been sleeping on a mattress box since we moved into our new place (yes, for about 5 months...don't judge). After scouring thrift stores, Craigslist and various furniture stores, everything either was not my style, cost a million dollars or was cheaply-made. So the floor-sleeping continued...I was close to buying a simple metal frame, when I came across a platform frame online and realized I could definitely build it! Luckily, it's the easiest style to build for a newbie and only requires wood, a saw and power drill. The saw is a non-issue, as Home Depot will cut your wood free of charge. If you're in the market for a new frame, I guarantee you'll not only surprise yourself  by building this, but also anyone that comes to hear "yeah, I built my bed". Their response will initially be, "like you bought it from IKEA and put it together?". No fool, I BUILT THIS :)

Step 1: Take Measurements. What size mattress do you have? How much of the platform do you want to show from under the mattress? All of these things will determine how much wood you need (mattress sizes shown in the image). We had just bought a King bed, and I wanted about 3" on either side and 4" at the base to show -- all together that means I need to cover 82"x84" of area. Additionally, the frame that supports the cross beams should have a bit of overhang (1-2"). You'll need to have these written down when you go to Home Depot, below is my list of materials.
Step 2: Prep the Wood. Once you have all of your materials at home, you can start prepping the wood for stain. I wanted the wood to look reclaimed, so to put it simply, I beat the crap out of it with anything I could find. Screws, screwdrivers, paint openers, hammers. These indentations gather more of the stain, giving the wood surface some really cool, visual interest.
Step 3: Stain & Poly. Now it's all about getting the wood to suit your color-scheme. I wanted a deeper, beach wood which ended up taking me about eight coats of the Varathane Stain + Poly in Ash. Using a brush and foam roller (to avoid brush strokes), spread a thin layer on the surface and allow to dry. Between each coat, be sure to lightly sand the surface with a fine 100 grit sandpaper. The surface needs something to adhere to otherwise the wood won't absorb the color and you'll end up with coats of stain that do not dry. Since I wanted to minimize my work, I only stained + polyed the visible areas of the boards. This step will most likely be the longest of the process, 2-3 days.

Step 4: Build the Frame. Now it's time to start building! I chose to build in our bedroom since I didn't want to have the hassle of moving a King size bed frame made of heavy-ass wood. Plus, sleeping in the living room for a couple of nights will force you to finish faster :) To start, add three pre-drilled holes in the ends of the interior boards (2"x8"x78") and the tops of the exterior boards (2"x8"x83"). During this stage, the measuring tape IS YOUR FRIEND! Be sure to measure and mark with a pencil where to drill the holes, both from the top of the wood and between the holes. Now you can start screwing the "interior" and "exterior" boards to form a rectangular outline. Use an electric drill! It'll keep you from getting blisters on your hands and keep the frame sturdy. Next, you'll add support beams to the middle of the frame. Again, pre-drill holes in the ends of the interior boards and the tops of the exterior boards. I only chose to use two support beams, but would've used a third if I had it. Center the support beams, leaving about 8-10" between each. Support beams are essential for the middle of the frame so the boards don't snap when you lay on your bed!

Step 5: Platform that Puppy! Now, all you have to do is lay all of your cross beams to create the actual "platform" of the frame. I've seen some tutorials that frame the platform, like this one from Shanty 2 Chic, but I wanted more of a planked-look across the entire frame. I used four screws per cross beam, pre-drilling all of the holes in advance. Screw in at each end and into both of the center support beams. Keep doing this until you cover the entire open frame, with little to no space between each of the beams.
There you have it -- a bonafide wood, platform bed for under $100. Next week I'm going to talk you through building some amazing floating side tables to match your frame (see image). Since the wall at the head of our bed has windows I didn't want to block the natural light, and these side tables act to balance the frame (kind of like a head board). Until then...Carpe Your DIY,


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