How Doors Became Our Daybed

Alright, here it is.  Building the daybed in its tedious details.


You guys were so sweet in your comments on my reveal post of the daybed and the video post explaining the major parts of the build…thank you!
For those of you who might pick up doors you have lying around and build them into a daybed, this post could be helpful to you.
It started with the doors I grew up slamming as a kid.  When I saw them in my mom’s barn, I knew they would be used for something great, I just had no idea how gratifying and wonderful it would be!


Just in case you wanted a shot of what you’re getting a tutorial on, here is the daybed now…
Okay, in step by step detail, here we go.
I remember Matt was out of town when I started this project, and oh my, I can’t believe I thought I could lift those doors.  I’m not so much of a girly-girl (i love some good fashion, though), but I literally just grunted….I could not lift it at all.  Sometimes how I wish I could be my neighbors watching me.
First, I removed all the hardware, even the tiny peephole and spackled it all.  I began sanding with a palm sander, 60 grit.  Realizing there was no way to get past the lacquered red and black underneath, I gave up on getting down to bare wood.
And it wasn’t worth it to strip it.
So I used a high hiding grey-tinted primer.
Now for the part I was most nervous about….cutting the doors.  My mom, who seems unusually calm about cutting apart pieces of her house, gave me a hand drawing off the pattern.
Then we simly traced it onto the door,
and with me holding my breath, Matt began cutting.  He began with the jigsaw, but it was just not getting it done…the doors are solid oak and SO thick!  He’s told me that if he had a larger bit, that would have been ideal, but in the end, his circular saw did the best job.
After he finished cutting, he routed the “headboard” edges on one side and the side edges on both with a 3/8 inch roundover bit.  If you’re nervous about this part, you can always practice on the pieces you’ve already cut off your door.  That will give you a feel for the exact wood you’re routing.
And because I had no idea how I wanted the bed painted (funny, I paint everyday very decisively, but couldn’t decide for myself), so I tested a couple of things out before we put the bed together.
Before it actually got to this stage, a couple of things happened.  We trimmed the door to be the same distance from the middle to each end…about 77 inches total so it would match the bed frame we had.  We got that from my aunt (thanks, Aunt Vonda!), and it was so helpful to have during the construction.
We bought 2 4 foot poplar balusters from Lowe’s; they were about $23 a piece.  You can buy a little cheaper version, but since I knew we were going white, the smoother and less wood grain we had to start with the better.
Matt pre-drilled the holes (with 3/8 in drill bit) to attach the balusters to the sides and the back of the bed.  This is a necessary step when using lag screws (we used 8 6 inch)….You can’t just drill in a lag screw.  Pre-drilling helps create the space for the screw and still leave enough room for the lag to “grab” the wood.  He also used a 1 inch bit to recess the lag screws so they weren’t sticking out in the end.  We have little caps to place on top, but we haven’t gotten to that yet.  :)
He then attached the legs first…again, just bought at Lowe’s and you can trim them to be the length that works for your doors.  You can see from this pic how he cut into the door to flush the leg inside the frame…but he could have trimmed it all the way down…either way will work!
He then attached the balusters to the headboard first, one lag screw on top and bottom and on each side….this thing is sturdy!  You can also see that we chose to get the keep the baluster flush with the front of the headboard so it would be a seamless look from the front.  Then we attached the sides and that’s pretty much it!
Ready some “after” shots again?  Some of you have seen these plenty of times now, but I can’t very well do a whole post on the construction and not remind you what all that work was for, right?
After the high-hiding primer, and 2 coats of white from my sprayer, I simply glazed the panel grooves with an antiquing glaze, wiping it off almost completely with a wet cloth.  I really just wanted the panels to pop, but I really still loved that crisp white in the end.  I haven’t sealed it yet, but I’ll use my go-to choice, Varathane.
I am so thrilled with it, and I hope this helps you build a daybed this weekend if you’re up for it!
Have a great one!  :)


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38 Responses to How Doors Became Our Daybed

  1. Marsha (Sassy Mini Dolls) July 13, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    This is just fabulous and a wonderful way to repurpose!!!

  2. Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys July 13, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    How absolutely GORGEOUS!!! Hard work but well worth it.

  3. Restorative Living July 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

    SO ambitious! SO pretty!

  4. Kate@TwentySixToLife July 13, 2010 at 5:01 pm #

    It's beautiful! You did a wonderful job!

  5. Ms. Bake-it July 13, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

    All your hard work paid off. I think it looks gorgeous! Very inspiring! You and hubby make a great team!

  6. Kindra July 13, 2010 at 5:35 pm #

    I'm a new reader of your blog so I have been following the trasformation process of your new bed. This is just beautiful! Thanks for the step by step process. I have several old doors in my shed screaming for this project! I'm thinking patio furniture though. :)

  7. amyg July 13, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    I LOVE that!!! It looks super classy and expensive. Great job!

  8. Rhiannon July 13, 2010 at 8:49 pm #

    it is absolutely fab! I love the detail on the wood just beautiful! great job!

  9. Casey July 13, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    WOW! that is gorgeous!! I would love to own something like that but I doubt I would have the patience to actually build it

  10. Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful July 14, 2010 at 12:02 am #

    Absolutely spectacular! I am in serious love with your daybed fashioned out of your old childhood doors. What great vision you have. Great job!

  11. Camie at "Home is where they love you" July 14, 2010 at 4:53 am #

    You are always so inspiring…this is beautiful.

  12. decdiva1 July 14, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    best project i've seen yet from the csi projects!

  13. Aimee July 14, 2010 at 7:57 pm #

    This is just beautiful Shaunna! Awesome job!!

  14. thriftytickle July 16, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    I LOVE it! Truly inspired! Please come by and link up to

  15. Chas July 23, 2010 at 3:33 am #


  16. Lindsay @ hlsd September 13, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    This is amazing! I desperately need a new day bed solution for my home office/guest room! I am loving this! Thanks for sharing :)

  17. Anonymous November 13, 2010 at 7:48 am #

    It's beautiful! I love it. ; )

  18. Brooke @ All Things Thrifty March 2, 2011 at 10:11 am #

    I stumbled on your blog and found this project. I was immediately blown away by your creativity. I featured you today at my site. :) Thank you for sharing your talents with all of us in blogland! You rock.

  19. Eloisa March 2, 2011 at 10:51 am #

    So Allthingsthrifty blogged about this post and I ahve to say, I recently bought a door that looks EXACTLY like the ones you have here!! I was stunned with how beautiful the bed came out! I used my door as a headboard instead. Thanks for sharing!!

  20. Heather March 2, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    This is an amazing transformation! I love it!

  21. Eates-A-Lot March 2, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    OMG – I was thinking about this a couple weeks ago while I was at my architectual salvage warehouse……. I’m totally going to have to copy this. TOTALLY. It’s awesome.

  22. Nellita Haase March 2, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Hi, I love this daybed! I’m curious to know what you used for support – what is that metal spring thingy you place inside the daybed? Thanks!

  23. Shae March 2, 2011 at 2:02 pm #

    This makes me wish I had random doors lying around. This came out gorgeous!

  24. Stephanie March 3, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Love how the bed turned out, very pretty and creative! I just have to add in that I have that same wooden photo box that’s on your coffee table. Saw it at Hobby Lobby and it was love at first sight, HAD to have it! : )

  25. Lesley March 3, 2011 at 7:32 am #

    This is so pretty! I just LOVE the detailing on the solid wood doors. What a find!!! It seems like it took a bit of work, but it came out so great and I am sure it was a super deal for a solid wood piece with such detail. thanks for sharing

  26. Jane Meeker June 1, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    I have the same question as Nellita: Where did you find the springs and the part for the mattress to sit on? Did you have to have it customized to fit?
    Jane Meeker Portland OR Thanks for getting back to us!

    Please respond:
    Nellita Haase says:
    March 2, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Hi, I love this daybed! I’m curious to know what you used for support – what is that metal spring thingy you place inside the daybed? Thanks!

  27. Kimberly Temple September 23, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Beautiful! I never would’ve imagined that DOORS could be turned into such a beautiful piece of furniture like this daybed! Absolutely gorgeous, really. Ingenious idea. <3

  28. Taia September 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Hi Shaunna,
    How did you guys attach the trundle bed frame to the doors? I have old doors to do this with, but with two small boys I need it to be really sturdy! Thanks, I love how you got to keep a piece of your childhood, it’s beautiful!

    • perfectlyimperfect October 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

      Let me look at it again, Taia….I think we simply screwed the frame in…it’s very sturdy. I’ll check for ya! :-)

  29. Ramya January 6, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Now..this is what I call ‘Cool!!’…Amazing job with the doors!!

  30. Tasha June 7, 2012 at 11:19 am #

    This is so amazing! Creativity at its best! Fabulous job! <3

  31. April January 23, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    What a wonderful project! And it came out beautifully!

  32. Kathleen June 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    What a great idea! I just pinned this post for future reference…contemplating ideas for a day bed in a very small room that functions as extra guest quarters as well as homeschool storage…thanks for the step-by-step instructions and pictures!!

  33. Lindsay June 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm #

    I absolutely love this idea. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for my be for awhile now! I love the bedding too- where did you get it from? I love your blog all around. I will definitely be doing some of the ideas you posted :) thanks for sharing!

    • perfectlyimperfect June 17, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      Hey Lindsay! Thanks so much! It all came from Target…the shabby chic collection. :-)

  34. Alli July 8, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I love seeing new ways to play with old doors.
    What a cute idea!!!

  35. Ananasa August 27, 2013 at 5:40 am #

    Simply beautiful and truly remarkable outcome! Amazing creativity! Home For Handmade

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