I’m officially an adult: I bought a bed frame! Like a real, wooden frame with a headboard and everything. My husband and I have had this on our “to buy” list for years, and we finally pulled the trigger. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money, so we took some serious cost cutting measures to get what we wanted. Here’s how I DIYed a custom stained bed frame.
IKEA, Always IKEA
Whenever I’m looking for furniture on the cheap, the first place I turn is either Kijiji or IKEA. Since most of the bed frames on Kijiji were pretty dated looking and hard to transport with our little Golf, IKEA was the natural second choice. I had a budget in mind of $200, which meant I had about four different bed frames to choose from on IKEA, none of which were the colour I wanted. But there was one that was unstained pine, and I knew I could customize that one to what I wanted.
Customizing the IKEA Tarva Bedframe
The bed I chose was the IKEA TARVA Bedframe.
The full-size frame retailed for $159 but I was able to get 15% off by ordering during their “bedroom event”. It was also deliverable by Canada Post, which is key for me because there are no local IKEAs and shipping is my only option. Typically it would cost me $23 to ship via Canada Post, but I also had a coupon for that, and the whole shebang ended up costing $180 delivered to my door.
Stain, Poly, and Spray Paint
As I mentioned the TARVA Bedframe came in unstained pine, so I knew it would be easy to sand, stain and poly it into the beautiful special walnut colour I’m a fan of.
I still had some leftover supplies from my last DIY project, but here’s what I needed to buy:
- Minwax Stain in Special Walnut ($8.57)
- Minwax Water-Based Polycrylic in Gloss (9.17)
- A Cheap Brush ($3)
- 1 Can Oil Rubbed Bronze Spraypaint ($10)
The bedframe came pretty well sanded already, so I just did a cursory run over with 120 grit sandpaper to smooth out any dings from transit, and then wiped it down with a damp lintless paper towel to eliminate dust.
Once it was dry (the next night) I got started with the staining process. I did two coats of stain on everything, which took four evenings. It wasn’t so bad though, I just cranked The Mindy Project, poured myself a glass of white wine and worked away. I used lintless paper towels (already purchased) to wipe up any excess stain between coats.
I did a light sanding between coats to get rid of any air bubbles and unevenness from the stain. The worst part of this process was the smell. Stain stinks! I was doing the project in my dining room so it wasn’t long before the chemical smell permeated the whole apartment. To combat this, I opened windows, cranked our ventilation system and let the wood cure outside on the patio during the day.
Next up was the poly. I did three coats of water-based poly. I use water-based because it doesn’t change the colour of the stain too much (oil based tends to give it an amber tinge) and also because it has almost no smell, which was nice after the fumes from the stain.
The poly-ing process went a bit quicker, but it still took about six evenings to do all three coats.
Once that was complete, I turned my attention to the hardware. IKEA had sent me hardware that looked like most hardware – bright, light, metal. This wouldn’t do. Now that the wood was a nice dark brown colour, I knew the light hardware would stand out, and not in a good way. So I lugged it down to our parking lot with a piece of cardboard that the bedframe came in, and spray painted it all a dark oil rubbed bronze colour.
I also took the opportunity to spray paint the knobs from my last DIY project, so they would match the new bed frame.
Once everything was complete, I handed the reins over to my husband, who assembled the bed frame on his day off. And here is the finished project: (Sorry for my terrible cell phone photos!)
Overall the entire project cost $210. I’m really happy with it. The stain matches the chest of drawers that I DIYed earlier in the year perfectly, making it look like we bought them as a set. The bed is a little lower than I’m used to because it doesn’t require a box spring (but I kept my original mattress), but it didn’t take long to become accustomed to the difference.
Now that I’ve completed two chests of drawers and a bed frame, I can happily say that our bed set cost only $460. Not bad, and I truly love all of the pieces. To put things in perspective, I could’ve spent $729 buying this bed frame and these nightstands from IKEA (by no means an upscale place to shop).
Next up on my DIY list: A custom desk for my office.
Tell me about your latest DIY project! I want to hear about it!