Which species is better for a bed

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Forum topic by Jimintomahawak posted 03-31-2017 02:04 AM 862 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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73 posts in 622 days

03-31-2017 02:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question joining sanding finishing

Hi Everyone, I am designing a bed for my daughter. It will be a full or queen size bed and maybe a couple night stands. I will be painting it she wants pink but Dad may insist on white.
Would pine or poplar or something else be the best choice? If she decides a natural wood color or a stained finish I would probably do red oak, but I’m not sure about oak too.

I’m still a newbie and still learning. This site is great.

She is 6 and frequently helps out in the shop. She liked to do finishing but I don’t care to let her be exposed to that yet. (Can’t find rubber gloves that small) she likes to push paint and she does ok.

Thanks in advance.

-- Laziness drives creative thinking...

17 replies so far

View Carloz's profile


1147 posts in 738 days

#1 posted 03-31-2017 02:15 AM

Poplar is a better choice than pine as you want to paint it. Neither however is hard enough to resist dings but it is al least twice less expensive than maple or cherry. On the other hand painting maple or cherry is a crime so poplar seems to be the most appropriate material for you

View firefighterontheside's profile


19069 posts in 2003 days

#2 posted 03-31-2017 02:30 AM

I second the poplar for paint.
Red oak, white oak, maple it’s all good for stain. Poplar can look good too with stain.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2810 posts in 3584 days

#3 posted 03-31-2017 03:27 AM

Ditto the poplar as less expensive but good to work with and harder than pine. You won’t have to deal with any resins either which can bleed through and discolor over time.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View BurlyBob's profile


5917 posts in 2412 days

#4 posted 03-31-2017 03:58 AM

I’m going to vote for beech. It takes paint very well and is a harder more solid wood. Also it’s cost is very reasonable.

View bondogaposis's profile


4992 posts in 2497 days

#5 posted 03-31-2017 01:30 PM

Poplar takes paint very well. Pine has a lot of resin pockets and resinous knots that don’t take paint well. Clear poplar is generally cheaper and easier to find than clear pine, it also harder.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View LittleShaver's profile


398 posts in 766 days

#6 posted 03-31-2017 03:34 PM

Poplar ++ Takes paint great, easy to work with. Any other hardwood would work, but its criminal to paint any other hardwood.

-- Sawdust Maker

View Bobmedic's profile


381 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 03-31-2017 03:39 PM

Cabinet grade plywood is also another option. You can laminate pieces together to get thicker parts. It sands well and paints great.

View DrDirt's profile


4464 posts in 3888 days

#8 posted 03-31-2017 05:18 PM

Poplar, and merhaps MDO ply if you have panels. you get a wood core with a thin MDF layer facing.. so you get a super smooth surface compared to plywood.

made my daughter a bed many moons ago

went with white, but had enough pink trim to be “acceptable”

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View buckbuster31's profile


254 posts in 662 days

#9 posted 03-31-2017 06:24 PM

im on the beech train. super cheap and hard

View dschlic1's profile


442 posts in 2116 days

#10 posted 03-31-2017 06:25 PM

Jay Bates made a bunk bed out of southern yellow pine dimensional lumber. Turned out quite well. He did not paint it, but rather used a colored wax to finish it.

View dalepage's profile


367 posts in 987 days

#11 posted 04-03-2017 09:30 AM

Use poplar. It’s perfect for painting. (Otherwise, I am no fan.) I would not use pine because of the tendency of pitch to bleed through the paint, especially at knots or pitch pockets. Poplar’s a little harder, too.

-- Dale

View bonesbr549's profile


1576 posts in 3213 days

#12 posted 04-03-2017 03:32 PM

If painting Poplar would be the cheap good solution. However it will have a tendency to show dings etc. Maple paints very well and would be harder but much more expensive. If the bed is a queen size for rails I’d do a lamination instead of a solid piece. Any solid piece that long will twist over time. Laminating pieces together and putting a top/bottom cap on will stand the test of time. Use bed bolts and float your head board and its a piece of cake. I Made a california king 4 poster bed and used that method from Charles Neil’s DVD. The laminating rail was the best idea and has held up over time. I’ll post a link to my bed so you can see as mines out of cherry, and to his DVD. Any of his stuff is top notch.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View Lazyman's profile


2527 posts in 1534 days

#13 posted 04-03-2017 03:40 PM

If they end up wanting a white look, then the maple or beech are a good natural alternative. Just put a clear finish on it and you can still see the grain but also get a look in the white-ish spectrum.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Carol's profile


62 posts in 659 days

#14 posted 04-03-2017 05:34 PM

think i’d use 3/4 cabinet grade plywood as well, seems to take the dings better than either poplar or pine.

-- Carol

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 922 days

#15 posted 04-03-2017 05:40 PM

Walnut also takes paint pretty well.

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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