How to Refurbish a Wooden Bedframe

A double bed with a wooden frame is placed in a loft
Abode / Getty Images

Has your wooden bed frame seen better days or have you recently received a used one that’s not quite your style? If you have a wooden bed frame that’s falling apart or is an outdated color or style, refurbish it to make it like new again and to match your room’s décor and your decorating style.

Before you begin refurbishing your bed frame, remove all linens, the mattress, and the box spring, and put aside (I recommend setting up against a wall or in another room).

For best results and safety, disassemble the bed frame in pieces so you can easily remove it from the bedroom and place it in a well-ventilated area, such as a garage or covered patio.

It is important that you work in a well-ventilated area when working on a project this size so that all chemical fumes and sanding dust can easily escape the area. I also recommend that you wear a painter’s or dust mask (or some other nose and mouth protectant) to prevent you from breathing in any chemicals or sanding dust.


Dust, dirt and other particles accumulate over time. It’s important that you remove them before you begin refurbishing. If you received your bed frame used, it is even more important that you clean it for sanitary reasons. You should always clean used furniture before using.

For best results, I like to use a solution of water and vinegar to clean wooden furniture. It not only helps remove odors, but it’s also a natural way to get rid of germs.

If you’re worried about any other germs, bed bugs or other pests in the bed frame, spray it with a disinfectant spray and/or a safe, indoor bug spray.

Tip: If you spray bug spray on the bed frame, wipe it down after it dries to remove any residue.

Repair and Sand

After the bed frame is thoroughly clean and dry, repair any damaged areas.

Use wood filler or putty to fill in any cracks, dents or chips in the frame. If your frame is severely damaged, you may need to replace a part of the frame with a new piece of wood or use wood glue and clamps to reinforce any broken parts of the frame.

Let any repaired sections dry overnight or up to 24 hours, depending on the type of repairs you made.

When the wood putty, filler or glue is dry, sand the entire frame with high grit sandpaper to smooth out the surface and remove any excess putty, filler or glue. For best results, and to help your hands from cramping, use an electric sander or sanding block.

Wipe off the entire frame with a damp rag to remove any loose sanding dust.

Paint or Stain

Paint or stain your bed frame, depending on the look you want for your bed frame.

  • If you want to paint your bed frame, apply multiple thin coats of primer. For best results, use a paint sprayer to apply the primer and paint. This will also allow you to finish the job quicker than using a roller and/or brush. After the primer dries, apply multiple thin coats of paint.
  • If you want to stain your bed frame, apply a pre-stain conditioner to the entire frame based on the instructions. Then, apply the stain and follow up with polyurethane to lock in and protect the stain. Be sure to follow the label instructions since pre-stain conditioner, stain and polyurethane can differ based on brands and types.

    After you paint or stain your bed frame, let it dry overnight or until it is no longer sticky or tacky feeling. Then, bring the frame back into the bedroom and put back together. Your bed is now ready to re-assemble and sleep on again.