Considering first finishing project - dark stained contemporary bed - and have a few questions!

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Forum topic by AaronG posted 05-19-2013 08:00 AM 1711 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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5 posts in 1875 days

05-19-2013 08:00 AM

Topic tags/keywords: bed first project refinish dark stain

Hi all,
I am here after watching a few wood whisperer videos on youtube, and saw he recommended this place!

I have become more and more interested in woodwork over the last couple of years, I find myself regularly daydreaming about trying to make this or that simple item to start (window boxes/chopping boards/simple futon base/chicken run for allotment). Similarly, I have found myself eyeing up old pieces of furniture thinking ‘if I could refinish that, it would look fantastic, and I could afford to buy and live with it(!)’

At the moment it is the refinishing that I want to try first. I have a couple of projects in mind. I am intending practicing any techniques/processes I need to use on other bits of scrap wood whilst trying these early projects as I go along. I will post my progress on here, maybe it will in turn help others…

My brother recently gave me a bed for the flat into which I am about to move. The bed isn’t actually in all that bad condition really (maybe best described as a little ‘tired’). My thinking is that because it isn’t it that bad a condition to begin with, maybe it will be a straightforward project to fix up and get good results from, but I realise this might be wrong!
Fixing the bed up will sort of make it mine, and the fact I am moving make it seem like the timing is right to try my hand at this! I am not too concerned with justifying the cost of the refinishing v. the % improvement made, I am concerned with having a good experience and getting good results with it!

So, there are a few pictures of the bed below, and here are my initial questions:

Firstly, the pictures I have taken aren’t of the most damaged parts of the finish. The first picture, of the vertical post, show the type of wear there is on the frame – dents and scratches really, but the other pictures don’t relect the volume of ‘damage’ there is. (From the pictures the bed looks better than it does in the flesh!)

1. What type of wood does anybody think this is? All I can say is that it is very heavy!
2. Similarly, what are people’s opinion on the type of stain that has been used on the bedrame?

3. My initial thinking (put in the most simple terms) is that some combination of stain removal, sanding/rubbing down with wire wool (for instance to smooth dents), then restaining, is the approach to take with this. Would anybody agree or disagree with this? (WIll come up with a detailed plan later).

4. Finally, here are photos of the slats upon which the mattress sits. Again they are heavy, and feel tough – I can’t nick them with my finger nail. There isn’t any way these could be the same wood as the frame is there? (I would assume not, but my brother paid what I would class as a large amount for the bed). I wonder this because if I wanted to try some stain or whatever I thought I could safely try on these bit of the bed.

Thanks very much


3 replies so far

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2878 days

#1 posted 05-19-2013 12:52 PM

Welcome AAron, and I comment you on your dreams and ambitions. All those things you’re talking about are achievable, particularly with the experience and spirit that’s found here at LJ.

I’m in the colonies, so my experience of wood identity leans that way. The slats look to me like heart pine while the bedframe shots look like fir.

The fir will be hard on the narrow line parts and softer between them.

As for the dents, many of those will come up with a drop of water and the heat from an iron—clothes or soldering (the latter with a new tip).

The caution with fir (f it is that, and I’m open to better answers) is that, in sanding or even working with it, you can sometimes pull off big slivers and that can be disheartening. Still, taking into account the quality of the bed, I think it’s worth a go.

I’d suggest experimenting with technique on the rails first.

Please make this into a blog post and show us your progress. Answers to your questions will always be generous here, but there you can really uncork the details of what you’re doing. I think it will inspire other LJs.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Clint Searl's profile

Clint Searl

1533 posts in 2389 days

#2 posted 05-19-2013 04:30 PM

The wood is conifer of indeterminate origin. Any attempt to strip the finish to bare wood will be disappointing, so I suggest scrubbing it well with a strong detergent (dishwasher), and painting it with an oil or acrylic solid color paint.

-- Clint Searl....Ya can no more do what ya don't know how than ya can git back from where ya ain't been

View AaronG's profile


5 posts in 1875 days

#3 posted 05-20-2013 09:40 AM

Hi thanks for the replies, I appreciate them. I do have a couple of replies/questions, but I will make this into a blog post later on and put them there. Am new to lumberjocks so finding my way around!

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