How to build a platform bed frame

Written by beverly ward
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How to build a platform bed frame
Photo by bedzine/Flikr (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en)

Platform beds offer a modern, simple look for your bedroom, as well as firm back support. Building your own is also an economical do-it-yourself project. The building materials for a platform bed will usually cost less than £65 and may be obtained at an even lower cost if recycled lumber is used. The following instructions use 1-by-12s to build a base and 1-by-4s to trim the edges of the particle board platform. The base is inset six inches on each side. The 1-by-4 trim creates a lip to keep your mattress from sliding and an extra 1/2 inch on each side is provided to allow for tucking in sheets and other bedding.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Lumber (1-by-4s and 1-by-12s)
  • Particle Board (one inch thick)
  • Wood screws
  • Metal straps (for full-size bed or larger)
  • Eight metal L-brackets
  • Wood filler
  • Measuring tape
  • Mitre saw
  • Power drill
  • Sand paper
  • Stain or paint

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Cut or have the lumber yard cut your lumber to the measurements below.

    Twin size mattress--one 4x8 foot sheet of particle board cut to 40x76 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 28 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 62 1/2 inches, (2) 1x4s cut to 40 inches, and (2) 1x4s cut to 77 ½ inches

    Full size mattress--two sheets of particle board cut to 38x55 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 43 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 62 1/2 inches, (2) 1x4s cut to 55 inches, and (2) 1x4s cut to 77 ½ inches

    Queen size mattress--two sheets of particle board cut to 40 ½ x 61 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 49 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 67 1/2 inches, (2) 1x4s cut to 61 inches, and (2) 1x4s cut to 82 ½ inches

    King size mattress--two sheets of particle board cut to 40 ½ x 77 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 65 inches, (4) 1x12s cut to 67 1/2 inches, (2) 1x4s cut to 77 inches, and (2) 1x4s cut to 82 ½ inches

  2. 2

    If joining two pieces of particle board together for a full size or larger bed, attach them from the underside with straight metal straps. One half will form the top of the platform and one half the bottom portion. Sand any rough edges on your lumber before building the base frame.

  3. 3

    Build the base frame for your platform bed. Build a rectangular box from four 1-by-12s, using wood screws and the illustration here as a guide. Sink the screws and cover the holes with wood filler. Attach the remaining long boards at 1/3 intervals inside the frame. Measure the distance between each section and cut the remaining short boards into six pieces to attach at staggered intervals as shown in the drawing. This creates a strong base that will not warp or twist.

    How to build a platform bed frame
  4. 4

    Lay the particle board platform topside down and centre the base frame on the underside. Attach the base to the platform using the metal L-brackets, two on each side.

  5. 5

    Flip the bed over and attach the 1-by-4s around the edge of the particle board platform with wood screws, leaving a one-inch lip above the particle board. You may want to use a measuring tape to mark the boards at the one-inch mark.

  6. 6

    Stain or paint your platform bed frame as desired. If a natural wood finish is desired, simply place a coat of polyurethane over the entire structure.

Tips and warnings

  • Always pre-drill holes before inserting screws to prevent splintering the wood.
  • Thick foam mattresses are recommended for platform beds. No box spring is required.

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