Update a Bunk Bed With Paint and Drapery Panels

Add designer flair to a kids' room by transforming a basic bunk bed with ceiling-mounted hardware, floor-to-ceiling drapery panels and a fresh coat of paint.

Purple Contemporary Girls Bedroom With Bunk Beds

Purple Contemporary Girls Bedroom With Bunk Beds

Give a kids' room some personality with this designer bunk bed upgrade perfect for a tween or teen room.

Materials Needed:

  • wooden bunk bed
  • HVLP (high-volume, low-pressure) paint sprayer
  • regular or tinted primer
  • drop cloth
  • lacquer or exterior latex paint
  • universal Allen wrench
  • drill
  • fine-grit sanding block
  • sealable plastic sandwich bag
  • stud finder
  • drapery panels
  • ceiling-mounted drapery hardware
  • wall-mounted drapery hardware
  • drapery hooks
  • drapery rings

Determine Measurements

With bunk bed intact, measure the width and depth of the bed as well as the distance from the floor to the ceiling. These measurements will determine the height and width needed for drapery panels as well as ceiling-mounted and wall-mounted hardware.

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Dismantle Bed

Using a drill or universal Allen wrench, disassemble the bunk bed.

Tip: Keep all bolts, screws, nuts and washers inside a sealable plastic sandwich bag to avoid losing them while the bed remains disassembled.

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Remove Existing Finish

Before paint can be applied, the existing finish of the bed needs to be removed. Set up bed in a well-ventilated area with drop cloth protecting floor surface. To remove the finish, use a fine-grit sanding block along all surfaces of the bed.

Tip: Ensure an even, clean finish removal by moving the sanding block back and forth with the grain. When used against the grain, scratches are likely to occur.

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Spray Primer

Once all pieces of bed have been sanded, use HVLP paint sprayer to cover all surfaces, front and back, with an even coat of primer. For the best coverage, keep tip of sprayer approximately 8” from surface of bed pieces, moving back and forth in a slow, controlled manner.

Tip: For bold-colored updates such as red, black or yellow, consider having a tinted primer mixed. This will cut down on the number of finish coats needed for proper coverage.

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Spray Finish Coat

Allow primer to dry for at least three hours, or until surface is dry to the touch. Empty primer from HVLP sprayer, then load it with finish color paint. Apply two coats of finish color, keeping the tip of the sprayer approximately 8” from surface of bed pieces, moving back and forth in a slow, controlled manner. Allow finish coat to dry for one full day.

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Reassemble Bunk Bed

After finish coat has dried for a full day, reassemble bunk bed using the drill and Allen wrench.

Position Mattresses

Before beginning the drapery hardware installation, it’s important to add weight to the bunk bed to keep it from becoming unsteady. With the help of a friend, position both mattresses in place along the top and bottom bunks.

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Install Drapery Hardware

Use a stud finder to locate joists along the ceiling and studs along the adjacent walls, then mark with pencil. Next, use drill to fasten flanges or brackets directly to the wall into marks made with pencil. Once wall flanges are in place, place ceiling-mounted hardware along marks made with pencil, then attach up into joists using drill. Slide poles and rings into proper positions and secure as needed.

Attach Drapery Panels

Place drapery panels up to drapery rings, then secure in place with drapery hooks. Ta-da! The made-over kids' room is ready to use and enjoy.

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