How to Refinish Bunk Beds


Well-built bunk beds made of wood can hold up for an entire childhood. However, while the bunk beds themselves may last, the finish will need to be redone at least once during that time. You can have a professional woodworker do the job, but it is much less-expensive to do it yourself, and the work is relatively easy. Waiting for the wood to dry after staining and finishing might be the most difficult part of the process.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Sandpaper (fine and medium grain)
  • Prestain conditioner
  • Wood stain
  • Wood finish
  • Paint brushes
  • Foam brushes
  • Plastic throw mat
  • Rags

How to Refinish Bunk Beds

  • Disassemble the bunk bed.Treating each piece separately is the only way to reach some of the parts; this is especially true of the areas where two components meet and form hard-to-reach areas, such as corners.

  • Sand all of the wood components with coarse sandpaper until all of the old finish and stain are gone. The wood will look and feel rough and scarred at this point.

  • Sand the components with a fine grain sandpaper until smooth. Sanding with a finer grain will remove the rough grooves and scratches that appeared as a result of sanding with coarse grain sandpaper.

  • Apply prestain conditioner to the surfaces to be stained. Prestain conditioner will ensure that any stain that is applied to the wood later will spread and soak into the surface evenly.

  • Apply the new wood stain with a brush in broad, even coats. After brushing the stain to the desired area, use a rag to remove any excess stain. Removing excess stain will help the wood dry faster.

  • Apply the finish coat with a paint brush using broad, even strokes to achieve the best results. After you have applied the finish to each piece, let it dry before further handling.

  • Reassemble the bunk bed after all of the pieces have completely dried. Handling the pieces dry will help prevent any damage that might otherwise affect wet or sticky areas.

Tips & Warnings

  • Apply the wood stain in the same direction as the wood grain. This technique will help to ensure an even, seamless stain application. Applying several coats will bring out
  • the fine detail of the natural wood grain.
  • The more coats of finish that you apply, the glossier the final product will be.
  • Sand in the direction of the wood's grain, if possible. Sanding with the line of the wood grain will diminish the possibility of irreparable scratches and pocks in the wood.
  • Wood stains and finishes can be toxic and shouldn't be ingested. The fumes from these products can also be toxic. When using stains and finishes, work in a well-ventilated area.

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