Queen Farmhouse Bed with Arch

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About This Project

It has taken longer than I care to admit to finish this project, but life tends to get in the way sometimes.  But it turned out great, there were little to no hickups during the process, and of course I had a lot of fun building this bed!

Thanks Anna for the plans! 

I have posted pics of the process below. 

Pic 1: All the wood.  Nothing smells better than a garage full of lumber! Oh, and please excuse my bulldog mooning you. She doesn't mean anything by it.

Pic 2: Headboard and Footboard finished and leaning up against the garage.

Pic 3: Just making sure everything would fit right.  I used the cross-beam from the original bed frame as a guide.

Pic 4: staining in progress.

Pic 5: Finished and installed!

Required Skill Level: 
Estimated Time Investment: 
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Finish Used: 
Sanded well, increasing the grit from 120 - 150 - 180 - 220. Used wood pre-treater to prevent blotchiness. General Finishes Java Gel Stain - 2 coats. General Finishes Gel Poly (Satin) 4 coats lightly sanding in between with 320 grit for the first two and 400 grit in between coat 3 and 4. For the final coat, I painted it on with a foam brush to make sure there were no marks from rubbing it on.
Estimated Cost: 
$350 - Since I was staining, I used select Pine (no knots) which is much more expensive.


I'm just getting into building using Anna's plans, but we're having a heck of a time getting the look we want for the farmhouse bedside tables we made of pine. Everyone is telling us pine won't stain dark, but obviously you've done it, and it looks fantastic! I'm going for a not-quite-espresso-but-almost color, very close to what you've done. We sanded to 220 in steps and then applied the wood conditioner, followed by Minwax oil-based stain. It's like the wood just doesn't want to soak it up. It looks very rustic, like pine boards in a cabin with a weird reddish-brown stain going on. Very strange looking! Going to look for General Finishes products...

I went through the same issues about 20 times over. Getting the right color is a pain in the ... First and foremost, I will scream from the mountain tops how much I love General Finishes! I have been woodworking in some form or another since I could hold a hammer, and everytime I try to use something else (usually because I am cheap, and GF is a little pricey compared to other brands and more difficult to find) I am always disapointed with the end product.

Also, whoever told you pine won't stain dark...is uninformed. Due to its open cell structure, it will actually absorb MORE than other woods...but a by-prodcut of that open cell structure is that it makes staining vastly more difficult (versus a hardwood like oak) since it has a tendency to become "blotchy". So your informants may have been referring to the inherent difficulty that comes with staining pine versus the actual color.

Many will tell you not to sand to 220 and use a pre-treater since it could prevent absorbtion of the stain, leading to a lighter color (what you described)...this happens because as you sand the wood finer and finer, you are essentially making the pores of the wood smaller and smaller...allowing less stain to penetrate. I haven't had this issue going to 220 with Pine (more on hardwood), and I would rather have a silky smooth surface versus a a tiny-bit lighter color. But you can always resand to abre wood (pain in the butt, I know) and only sand to 150 or 180 and see if that works.

Also, the reddish color you described...may be cause by a few factors:
1. The stain may not have been stirred completely allowing the red pigments and brown pigments in the stain to vary on the surface.
2. The brand name of the stain...one of my least favorites...but others are very loyal and have great results. But I have had similar issues with that name brand...
3. How many coats did you use? After your first coat...sand LIGHTLY with 320 or so...it will look all scuffed, but clean it off with a damp rag, let dry, and stain again (repeat as necessary up to 4 coats). The wood should absorb a little more of the color and in a more even fashion (same goes for the finish as well).

Hope that helps! In the end, it may just come to what the wood is like...even with Pine, there are large variances...quality grade, location, etc. and this will impact how it takes stain.

That definitely helps! I'll have to post a little later how things go with the General Finishes stain. I can't get it too easily nearby, but I found where I can order it online. I had read elsewhere-- after the fact of course-- that the particular brand stain I was using (cough cough) is regarded amongst many as a... not so great product. Ah, well. I've also been advised by some professionals to not stop sanding at 220, but to do what you did later in the process-- sand even finer. I have a feeling our difficulty has probably been a combination of the stain, the temperature in the garage the other day, and the pine perhaps not being the greatest. We didn't get the higher grade for this project, and I also am convinced that lumber from this particular establishment isn't always even totally dry. So we'll see!

Thank you for your response-- I will be sure to post how everything goes once we finally get our hands on some GF!

Just thought I should report back and say the end tables project is looking up. We were busy for a while there, but just a few days ago finally got our hands on some of the GF gel stain and did a test on a board that had the other stain on the opposite end that I was really disappointed with. Two coats of the GF looked ready to seal, and absolutely professional next to two coats of the other product! It's a thousand times better. Totally different results. So glad I found your brag post! Thanks again!

thank you so much for your brag post! My husband and I are taking this on as "our" first project together. We are so excited! The arch in the headboard adds so much to the bed and we are terribly excited to get started! Thanks again for all of your advice!

Attach the rails to your footboard? I ended up dadoing out a slot to put the 2x10 rails on the headboard 4x4s and looks just like what you did with the 2x4s put together. I'm not sure how I'm going to attach them to the footboard yet, or if I need to worry about having crossing joists if we're using a boxspring anyway. Thanks, and very well done