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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