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Repair or makeover an old bed

Twin headboards - off an old bed - are reinvented as a daybed-extra bed for the guest room. Some Woodoc Gel Stain and Sealer and some comfy bedding complete the look.

When I stumbled upon a pair of discarded twin headboards at an auction, I liked the fact that they were in pretty good shape. I originally intended to use them to build twin beds in a spare room of my house. I even refinished them with that goal in mind.
Then one day I dreamed up an even better idea: what if I transformed those matching headboards into a charming daybed-spare bed for the guest bedroom?

Follow these step-by-step instructions to build your own one-of-a-kind daybed. This is a pretty easy project to tackle, requiring only basic DIY skills.

Make sure the headboards you choose are structurally sound with secure joints and sturdy, sound legs. Recessed panels for upholstery are icing on the cake and you can always tackle this at a later stage.


(2) pine planks 1900 x 200mm for the side rails
(2) pine planks 50 x 50 x 1800mm for the mattress supports
(1) chipboard 920 (or as wide as the headboard panel) x 1950mm
Hand, jigsaw or circular saw (or have the wood cut to size at the store)
Drill/Driver or standard drill with assorted wood drill and screw bits
5 x 35mm cut screws
Woodoc Gel Stain - cherrywood
Woodoc 10 interior sealer
Woodoc steelwool






Before assembling the bed it's easier to do the sanding, staining and sealing now. Depending upon the existing finish you may need to sand down with 120-grit to remove any old varnish, or smooth out any chips or dents. Once done, sand down again with 240-grit sandpaper.

Woodoc Gel Stain - cherrywood - provides a rich, cherry colour to the entire bed, and is finished off with 3 coats of Woodoc 10 interior sealer. Remember to allow each coat to dry completely and sand lightly between the first and second coat with Woodoc Steelwool.

1. The two side rails will run the length of the bed, connecting the headboards at either end. The side rails will be secured directly to the outside of the headboard leg posts.

2. Drill 3mm pilot holes to secure the mattress supports to the side rails, making certain space at both ends is equal and bottom edges are flush. Use screws to attach the mattress supports to the side rails.

3. Have someone to help you hold the side rails against the headboard legs - or clamp into position - and drill 3mm pilot holes before screwing the side rails to the legs. Fastening the screws from the outside will be visible, but more secure.

4. Insert the mattress base; grab the mattress, pillows, and some linens, and give your new daybed a test drive!

Upholster the panels
A piece of hardboard (cut to size), batting, fabric, and a staple gun are all you need to finish off your new bed. Measure the inside dimensions (height and width) of the inset panel on the headboard and mark and cut the board to size. Place batting and fabric over one side and staple to the back. Screw or glue the panel into position.