Trimming and staining our DIY Murphy bed

Trimming and staining our DIY Murphy bed

Blog PhotoThe beautiful weather this weekend had Rob and I knocking out several small projects for our revamped spare room.

If you remember, Rob recently built a single Murphy bed to help us save space.

We went back and forth a little about how to finish it, especially the side that faces out, which is the bottom when the mattress is pulled down. (Does that make sense?) I'll call this the front, for simplicity's sake.

I wanted Rob to add trim, including some sort of chair rail in the middle, and paint the top with chalkboard paint. He pointed out that he made it using birch plywood with the idea that we could stain it and it would look really nice. He didn't want to cover up the birch with paint.

He had a really good point, so we worked out a compromise. We'd stain the wood, and he'd help me find another way to incorporate a chalk board into the spare room.

When it came time to trim out the front of the bed, we decided to mimic the built-in cabinet in the spare room we use to hold linens and craft supplies. (That's it in the top photo.)

Blog PhotoRob used the same boxy style of trim (I'm sure there's a name for it, but I have no idea what it is), so there were no 45-degree angles to cut. Rob used a 2 1/4 inch-wide trim on the vertical sides, and 3 1/4 inch-wide trim on the horizontal sides.

He put the wider trim across the middle. He did so at the same height as the top of the bottom cabinet in the built-in, so the proportions would be similar. He attached the trim with our nail gun and finishing nails, added wood putty to the holes and sanded the cabinet down.

We tested several colors of stain, including the walnut stain in the basement that I believe was used on most of our woodwork. It simply didn't make the wood dark enough to match the dark wood of the built-in, which has probably been in that room for 90 years. We bought an ebony stain, decided it was too dark and then settled on Minwax Jacobean.


Blog PhotoWe put on two thick coats of stain, because I wanted the cabinet to be really dark. I think it looks good, but I reserve the right to add more stain in a day or so if it still seems too light. I want it to look like the wood is actually a dark color, not that we made the bed with light-colored wood and stained it dark.

Anyhow, it looks great and seems to match the built-in pretty well. I know Rob is relieved I didn't paint it. More soon about how we'll incorporate a chalkboard, and how I used spray paint to add another cute touch to the room.



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