Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Bed Rails for the Little Guy

Well, the time has finally come to switch our Little Boy from his crib to a big boy bed. Sniff! Since Little Girl will be using the crib, we couldn't convert the crib into a toddler bed. We looked at buying a toddler bed for Little Boy, but the super practical side of us decided to skip that whole shebang and go straight to a twin sized bed that he could use for years. We did not have a toddler sized blanket/quilt, so we would have needed to buy the bed, mattress, and bedding for a toddler bed, then turn around in a year and buy a twin bed, mattress, and bedding.

We looked around at beds, hoping to find a good deal. Insert hysterical laughter here. Beds are SO expensive! We looked at Target, Overstock, Walmart, etc, but had zero luck finding something decent in white for less than $500. Crazy, especially considering we bought our queen sized bed from Haverty's for $400! Apparently, there is no discount for smaller beds... Next, we checked out Rooms to Go and found a bed for $379. Expensive, but it would last him until he's all tall and getting a deep voice and needs to wear deodorant. :) But, I wasn't super in love with it. On a whim, I checked Pottery Barn Kids and they had their Catalina bed on sale for $399. It's originally $599! Score! We purchased the bed and were on our way to getting the Little Guy all switched to a big boy bed.

Because the bed is a twin, we wanted bed guardrails so he wouldn't fall out of bed at night. I'm not a huge fan of the mesh, fabric ones, so we kept our eye out for wooden rails. Unfortunately, they were $100 a piece and we needed 2! Seriously?! That's half the price of the bed! No can do. I bet you can totally guess what we did, can't you? We decided to just DIY and build some!

We used the Pottery Barn rails as our inspiration and headed to Home Depot to get lumber. We picked up a couple pine boards (they are a little under 1" thick and are 2 1/2" wide) and a rounded router bit and got to work. Well, Jeremy got to work and I took pictures with my phone. :)

He designed the rails super simple and I tweaked the Pottery Barn layout so that the boards were flush with each other instead of the sides sticking up. Jeremy made his cuts, then rounded the edges of the boards with his router. He toenailed the pieces together using his nail gun, then filled in the nail holes with wood filler. Here's the basic plans that we used. The yellow lines are where the nails went. I know you're impressed with my crazy graphic drawing skills aren't you? Ha!

After the rails were assembled, he sanded them down with his orbit sander to get them nice and smooth. Then the fun part...painting. He gave them a coat of primer, then we gave them two coats of white paint.

Now, insert drama because no project is complete without drama, right? We assembled the bed and realized that it was not a true white like we ordered. It was slightly cream. We took it back and exchanged it for another bed. The second one was considerably better, but still slightly darker than all the other white furniture in his room. So aggravating! Thankfully, once we got it in the room, the second bed was much better and looked fine with his other white furniture. But, because the bed rails would be installed right on the bed, the white color difference was more noticeable.

To remedy the problem, I took one of bed finials to Ace and had them color match the white. Then, I had to give the rails two more coats of paint with the color matched paint, then a coat of polyurethane to finish them off. All told, there are six stinking coats of paint on these puppies. Talk about taking forever! Ok, drama over. ;)

To install, we simply screwed the guardrails into the bed rails, making sure our screws were short enough that they wouldn't go through the front. The bottom slats of the bed got in the way a bit, so Jeremy just made a notch in the guardrail to get it in.

Here's the final (totally unstyled) product! 

Between lumber, the router bit, hardware, and the extra cost of the second can of paint, we spent about $45. If we had purchased them at Pottery Barn, they would have cost $200 before tax and their super expensive shipping! We're happy with how they turned out and especially happy with saving $155 by DIYing! Thanks to my amazing hubby for all his hard work!

Linking up to One Project CloserChic on a Shoestring Decorating, Simply Designing, and My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia!


  1. Wow great job! They absolutely appear to be original rails that came with the bed, very nice paint finish Samantha!

  2. they are awesome and so much cheaper! if we weren't done with bedrails i would totally whip these up! Thanks for linking up and featuring you tonight.

  3. What paint color did you use to match it so well?


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