Zoe’s bed, in white, at long last!

For those of you just joining us on this bed-update journey, poor Zoe had been sleeping in her crib-now-converted-to-toddler-bed for her whole life. She did still fit in it, but as she said, “Mommy! Six-year-olds should not be sleeping in toddler beds.”

I knew I wanted to buy a bed that could be an heirloom someday (or that would at least last until Zoe moves out!), but I didn’t want to pay $600. So, I poked around on Craig’s List and found just what I was looking for…a wooden bed with drawers underneath it.

And it was $50. Shweet.

I don’t have a very good before picture, but this will have to do.

Here are the drawers. I was so excited to find one with drawers because I dearly love hidden storage.

I sanded the bed using my orbital sander. I didn’t go down all the way to the wood grain since pine grain doesn’t show through paint nearly as well as oak does. Also, the grain doesn’t show as well with white as it does with black.

So, I just sanded enough to take off the gloss. I primed it with white Painter’s Touch spray primer, and then painted it with the brush-on Painter’s Touch paint, using lots of very thin coats.

My whole sanding/priming/painting method is outlined in this post, so go check it out if you’ve got questions!

I know some of you adore the bare wood look, but I love this bed SO much more in white.

You really wanted to see it in Zoe’s room, though, right?

Well, first we had to take apart her crib. This picture should satisfy those of you who think my house is always clean.

It’s not.

We took the crib apart and gave it to my brother and his wife, who are expecting their second baby. It had definitely served its time here at our house, and though I felt slightly sentimental about it, I was mostly glad that it was going to someone who needed it.

Zoe must have been feeling a little sentimental too, because she took a photo with her toy camera. ;)

The floor under the crib was pretty dirty. What can I say? I don’t vacuum under beds very often*!

*meaning, never

(can you see the dirt marks on the walls from baby/toddler fingers reaching through the crib slats?)

The carpet really kind of needed a shampooing, but I was in too much of a hurry for that. So, I just vacuumed.

One of the bed slats broke in transit to our house, but we had a piece of scrap wood that was the right thickness, and Mr. FG just used his saw to cut it down to the perfect length.

Ok. Here’s the bed all put together…ta-da!

Except the drawers have new handles on them now, so they look like this:

Zoe’s quilt before was a toddler-sized one, so we had to buy something new. This fish quilt was perfect.

I especially liked the pillow sham.

I moved her tropical fish wall hook set to a new place, and also installed a hook for her bath towel.

I was a little worried that this chest, a painted Freecycle find, wouldn’t fit at the foot of her new bed like it did with her crib, but I was pleasantly surprised.

One of the underbed drawers holds Zoe’s craft/art supplies.

And the other holds some blankets and clothes.

The nice thing about painting old furniture is that you can make mismatched pieces look like they sort of go together. In addition to the bed and storage chest, Zoe’s got a nightstand from freecycle:

A dresser from freecycle:

And a bulletin board from Goodwill.

I’ve painted everything white and added new matching hardware, so it looks nicely pulled-together.

I’m really happy with how this turned out, and I’m also very pleased that we obtained a good-quality bed for a very fair price. The bed was a mere $50, and I spent $5-$7 on paint and another $6 on hardware.

But, I sold the Ikea chair that used to live in Zoe’s room for $35, so that offset my bed expenditures a bit and freed up some space for the bed.

Of course, I did have to put in some hours of labor to pull this off (probably about 8 hours all told), but considering that a similar bed from Pottery Barn or L.L. Bean costs $800 with the underbed storage, I’m quite sure this was worth my time.

And Zoe’s very pleased that she’s not sleeping in a toddler bed anymore, so that makes me happy.


Today’s 365 post: If your bratwurst keep sliding off the camping grill…


  1. says

    Wow! I love it. My husband just built my daughter a very similar bed for $150. Her’s has 2 drawers on either side, and then he decided to put her initials painted in white as well at the top and center of the head board! She loves it! Took my husband and both my boys and i to get it up to her room since daddy did not make it in sections (he’s new to bed making and didn’t think that part through) I love all your free cycle finds, I wish it was more active in our area.

    • Kristen says

      She doesn’t right now, but probably in a year or so, we’ll switch things up and give Lisey her own room and put Sonia and Zoe in together.

      What in particular is a struggle for you with your sharing kids? Lisey and Sonia have shared for years, so I might be able to help.

      • Crystal says

        Probably the biggest issue right now is combing two different styles into one room. I’m trying to get around it by using neutrals and gving them their own areas (such as shelves) to display their personal items.

        But I know the main issue as they start to get older will be privacy. Hard to find in a small house. I’m not sure what I’ll do about that.

  2. says

    This is beautiful! You really did a great job on the bed. It looks really pretty and the room looks great! I bet Zoe love it, too. Almost like getting a new room!

  3. Kate W says

    Beautiful. It’s a great find for $50, made even more beautiful with your hard work. Freecycle and other similar groups are very active in my area (austin, tx), so active that it is hard to use. There are hundreds of postings daily, and things like furniture get claimed within minutes! I’ve given many items, but never been able to find anything to bring home.

  4. Erika says

    Love it! The white looks so much better than the pine – I’m happy you decided to paint it! It brought the bed from looking sort of ’80s-ish to straight out of Pottery Barn. Yay for redecorating!

    • Kristen says

      I’m so glad you agree with me. I’m not opposed to bare wood, but gosh, I think this looks so much better now!

  5. says

    Oh Kristen! This turned out very nice — job well done! But do you know what I like the most in your photos? That you didn’t totally clean up Zoe’s room in the before shot with her crib. Because that’s the way kids’s rooms look a good deal of the time, until Mom or Dad come along and say it has to be picked up. Too often, on other sites, the homes just look too perfectly tidy, a standard I could never live up to.

    • Elaine in Ark says

      There’s one blog I follow where everything is always neat and tidy. The blogger said that is normally looks like that because both she and her husband are neatniks, and they can’t stand messes or clutter.

      They don’t have any children yet.

      Hee hee.

      • Kristen says

        Ha! I bet that will change.

        Although there ARE some people who manage to maintain a nearly perfectly neat home with children. I’m not one of those, though!

        • WilliamB says

          I find myself wondering what the opportunity cost is of maintaining a nearly perfectly neat home with children – ie, what the *don’t* do that gives them time to clean up. Or maybe their kids have their own bed- and play-rooms?

          • Kristen says

            That’s what my mom reminds me of when I get discouraged about messes in my home especially as compared to other people who have neater homes…we all have the same number of hours per day, and in order to maintain a perfectly neat home, they’re not doing something that I do.

            And vice versa.

            Thus far, I’ve decided that I don’t want to give up all the things I’m doing that are keeping my home from being perfectly neat.

  6. Trish says

    Thanks for the inspiration! I was just looking for a new bed for my husband and I- totally forgot to check into used furniture. Your blog is always full of such great ideas and reminders. Thank you.

  7. says

    Kristen, great job! I love how it matches all of the other white pieces in the room. My son’s bed is a Craig’s List find, too. It’s a wooden sleigh bed, twin size, that all I had to do was dust off before I put it in place years ago. He’s 15 now and the bed doesn’t look so big any longer :)

  8. Neena says

    The new room looks incredible, just like it was pulled out of a glossy ad. Great work! Do you mind sharing where you purchased the fish quilt and sham? My daughter would love it and her birthday is just around the corner. Thanks!

  9. Candice says

    Lovely! Zoey must be a happy little fish in her new room! I love the white look…. Gives a nice “light” feeling… I also love the french country look – the kind you paint just an off white and then sand all the corners to be a slight worn/ shabby chic look…. Well done on your efforts and the time you put into making a happy nest for you little one.

  10. says

    I slept in a crib until I was six that didn’t even turn into a toddler bed so I sure understand Zoe’s happiness with her new bed. It was nice to finally feel grown up although, at nearly age 65, I’m still the baby in our family. :)

  11. says

    It looks amazing! And if I may say, you are a brave woman to keep art supplies in her bedroom, my kids would have a mess for sure!

    • says

      p.s – we’re struggling to convince our newly 4-year old into a big boy bed. The cotbed’s going on eBay regardless this week. We’ve compromised by using his Big Sis’ trundle bed ((pull-out from under her ‘New England Style White bed – similar to Zoe’s new one, but costing a small fortune in comparison (as I said you’re my hero!)). I’m now totally inspired to try and track one down that can be refurbed. Might paint it red I think :-)

  12. says

    I’ve been waiting for these photos. (I was out of town for a few days and completely off the grid so just seeing them now). Congratulations on the bed. And the whole room works so well. I can only imagine that Zoe is thrilled with the end result and the new quilt :)

    Another project checked off! Well done.

  13. Laura says

    Amazing, Kristen,
    Oh I so wish I was practical,
    Zoe Bedroom looks lovely. So fresh….
    And as for a super tidy house with children….well… I am always suspicious of that, as our Kids wont remember how tidy their house was growing up, just the time you spent with them, Like your Mum, my Mum always reminded me of that :)


  14. Carolyn McCosh says

    I have just found a rice carved 4poster bed that I intend to paint off white
    Any pointers fro making sure it is sanded well?

    AWould you use the spray primer for the posts?

    this is my first project so I am really being bold

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