all in the family: bunk beds
It is no secret that I love to thrift shop but I also love hand me downs. When I was pregnant I took anything and everything that was offered for free. Including a nice crib and changing table which we painted and made our own. My little now nearly 4, technically still sleeps in her crib that has been rigged into a toddler bed by simply removing one side. I wasn’t in a hurry to necessarily move her to a “big girl” bed but a set of old bunk beds fell into my hands that had at one time belonged to my brother and I. So I thought it would be a fun challenge to work with, plus their free!
My first thought was to lower the top bunk a little and make the bottom part a play area. But then I realized we would be compromising the structure by removing part of the bottom. We would have to do a lot of stabilizing and at that point we should just build a loft bed from scratch.
After doing some image surfing online for inspiration my husband and I decided to just build upon the top bunk and make a little play area like a tree house.
While my daughter and I started painting the frame, my husband got to work on building the top portion. Rather then having a second mattress he put down a piece of plywood which he reenforced with thicker (2x4) slats. Then he built on to it using plywood and then framed the inside for stability.
Green is currently her favorite color, so thats what she choose as paint color for her bed. I really didn’t care to do a flat solid color, so I thought it would be fun to layer the paint like I did with the bench. We choose two different shades of green, Olympic Bell Pepper and Antique Moss. I also used some leftover paint from other projects, Atmospheric Blue and a Valspar Aqua. After sanding down the beds to remove the old finish, I applied a quick thin coat of atmospheric blue, then I applied Antique Moss, followed by Aqua (sparingly) then a full coat of Bell Pepper. I sanded in between coats and used the soap technique like I did with the bench.
When it came to applying the green paint, my daughter helped. This was fun and added a nice texture to some of the boards. The texture worked perfectly with the distress look I was going for. Of course this would not work if I was using a high gloss paint and going for a chic smooth finish. She tends to use a lot of paint in one area and then rubs her brush every which way. But I felt it was important for her to be part of the process since it is her bed. Besides I thought she had a great technique that I could not even replicate if I tried (and yes I did try).
Once all the painting was done and the top portion was built we were faced with the dilemma of how should we paint the top. We knew that painting it green would be too much and just white would be boring. After a week of thinking about it, I thought maybe some wallpaper would work. I had some vintage wallpaper that I had purchased at a yard sale a while back. It was a green floral pattern that went perfectly. Unfortunately I only had one strip. So we picked up some scrapbook paper and glued it all on.
The bunks didn’t have a ladder, so once we assembled the bed we built one using the wood from the rail. It took us about 2 1/2 weekends to paint, build and assemble. We still have a few finishing touches that I hope to complete over the next week or so. But its a comfy bed, very solid and makes for a fun reading/play area up top. So far this has been my favorite project to date! k
pinterest: little rooms
flickr: gorgeous greens
Wes Anderson's film Moonrise Kingdom