Two-toned farmhouse bed

Submitted by JW on Thu, 09/05/2013 - 05:41

He likes natural wood, I like painted furniture. Solution: two-toned bed! Vertical slats are stained in Minwax Red Oak (took 3 times to get that dark color!), surround is painted black. I thought we'd never find a workable compromise!

I changed up the dimensions a bit to fit my preferences:
1. I like a taller headboard and footboard (dog can't rub against the end of the bed anymore - wahoo!).
2. Also wanted the bed to be just a bit higher above the ground so I wouldn't have to buy new under-bed storage boxes.
3. Used 1x6s instead of 1x8s for the vertical slats because they fit the width just perfectly - no trimming needed.
4. Added about 2" to the length so I'd have plenty of room for tucking the duvet at the end of the bed. I hate when the covers get stuck and I can't pull them up easily!
5. I routed out a groove in the posts to slide the side rails in because it seemed more secure than screws alone. Could've done it without, though.
6. We used dowels and wood glue on the 2x6 tops of the headboard and footboard pieces. I think it made a big difference in the overall appearance. We don't have a doweler, but the hubby made a guide with a spare 2x4 to keep our dowels lined up correctly. It worked pretty well.

Next time I would use pocket screws. I've acquired a jig since this piece was completed. It would definitely have saved me some time in the finishing process.

I really wish I could have talked the hubby into letting me distress the finish just a bit. The thing is, it's inevitable around here (my kids are like crazy apes sometimes!). So I really wanted it to at least look intentional. Oh well, I guess we'll get there soon enough even without it!

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Cost
$300 (be bought the select pine for the vertical slats; wouldn't been a lot cheaper if we'd used all regular lumber)
Estimated Time Investment
Weekend Project (10-20 Hours)
Type of Wood
Finish Used
Minwax Wood Finish stain in Red Oak - It took 3 coats to get the right color.

Valspar flat paint in the only good shade of black that I could find. This stuff was terrible - I would NOT use this again! Unfortunately, there were only about 4 shades of black paint available in all of Lowe's, and the others were all too purple in tone.

2 coats of Minwax fast-drying polyurethane.
Recommended Skill Level



Thu, 09/05/2013 - 09:07

I like the foot board height. I noticed it in the Arched Headboard version of the Farmhouse bed a while back but could not find dimensions. I also like the idea of having more space under the sides to fit my storage bins. Could you tell me what the cut length was for the 2x6s on the foot board? I like the finish too! Bed looks great.


Thu, 09/05/2013 - 10:27

GScott -


I changed several things on the footboard, as follows:
Slats = 22"
Post = 26.5"
Total height of footboard = 29.5"

I made the slats on the headboard a bit longer too, but didn't change the actual height of the headboard. I just wanted the wood to extend down behind my mattress a bit so I wouldn't have a little corner of wall showing behind it.

As for more space under the sides - I just screwed the siderails in just a bit higher than the plan called for.

Free Plans Made Possible By Our Sponsors