PunkconformityLife, history, and the pursuit of knitting.

Monday, February 8, 2010

(Re)Construction: The Bed Saga

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In my ever fruitless quest to encourage my dad to finish the construction upstairs, I decided to tackle some of the furniture that will eventually go in the bedroom I floored this past summer. It's going to be a guest bedroom, and after much arguing between my parents about the size and type of the bed/beds it ought to contain, my mom prevailed and we agreed to use the two twin pineapple-post beds we had up in the attic.

We've had these bed-frames for close to 25 years now; one of them was my first big-girl bed when I was 3. They originally came from the old tobacco farmhouse of a friend and neighbor, and are consequently of indeterminate age, although I would hazard a guess of at least 55-60 years old. When I got them down from the attic, they looked something like this:
I tried sanding them with 80-grit sandpaper, but nothing doing. The paint would not budge, but the wood that showed was getting worn down to nothing. So I went at it with a paint scraper, which was actually a lot of fun. I discovered that sometime in the past, both beds had been painted pitch-black, and that was covering a burgundy stain (remember this, it will be important later). After getting most of the paint off, I glued down the loose pieces of the headboards, filled in the really obvious holes, sanded the whole thing down with 220-grit sandpaper. The result?

Because I knew I was just going to paint them, I wasn't as worried about getting every bit of old paint off. I just made sure the edges were smooth.

Then I started to paint. And paint. And paint. Because it was quickly becoming clear to me why the past-someone who had painted these suckers black had been so avant garde for their time - it was the only color that would cover up the ridiculously strong burgundy stain that had been originally applied. I applied the first coat of the ecru paint - it turned pink. So I went at these babies with Killz primer, which I usually find is strong enough to take on God himself, and after three coats of it (so, four coats of a paint-like substance), the beds still looked like this:

It took three more coats of the ecru paint before the beds finally came out ecru-colored and not pink. But they're done, now, and aren't they pretty?

I can't wait to put up the rest of the trim and get the room finished, so they can be put in their place of honor.