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Platform bed question

How would you make this? I don't mean measurements, instead, I mean materials. I don't want the headboard or drawers. Any help would be appreciated! Also, I don't want to paint it like they have. I want to stain it. So, wood grain is a factor.

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Posted 2011-08-17T02:51:31+0000  by chan90 chan90

Hello chan90,


Welcome to the community.


This looks like a really fun project.


Since you want to stain it I would suggest using hardwood plywood like oak or birch and framing the edges with solid wood. I’ve built quit a few pieces of furniture this way and it not only saves a lot of money but most people can’t tell the difference. It appears as all solid wood.


I normally use biscuits, glue and a nail gun to join all of my pieces but you can get away with glue and nails if you don’t have access to a biscuit jointer.


For the Base I would glue/nail the solid wood to the end pieces and then attach them to the sides with screws. You can counter sink the screws and then cover them with a wood plug. You will use the same process for the center support. 


That way if you ever have to move the bed it will be able to be taken apart.


*Make sure all of the holes are predrilled prior to screwing them together. This will keep the wood from splitting.* 

                                        platform base.JPG


To make the cross supports measure the openings in the base diagonally and cut 2 pieces for each side a couple of inches smaller than your opening. Then you will need to cut notches out of each piece. The notches will need to be slightly wider than the thickness of the plywood and also only half way up each piece. Once they are cut turn them so you have a notch facing down and one facing up. This will allow you to inter lock them to make an X. Place then in the middle of each opening in the base and you’re ready for the next step.

                                              platform cross supports.JPG


Now for the platform. Once you have the measurements that you want the platform to be cut the plywood 1 1/2” smaller than the overall width and length. This will allow for thickness of the solid wood. (1” solid wood is actually ¾” thick.) Then cut the solid wood to the correct length and glue/nail it to the plywood. Keep in mind that you can make the solid wood as wide as you want it to be. The width can really change the appearance of the platform bed. If you make the solid wood wider than the entire platform appears to be thicker. You would still attach it flush with the top of the plywood it would just hang down further.

                                        platform bed top.JPG


Then place it on top of the base and center it. At this point you will have to choose how you want to attach it to the base. I would either pre-drill and screw it right to the base or mark where the base is from the underside and nail on a few retainer blocks on all sides that would go just inside the base to keep the platform from sliding off the base. Either way will work just fine.

                                          platform top view.JPG


Now that it’s all built all you have to do is run some sandpaper over it to make it nice and smooth. Keep in mind since you’re going to be staining it make sure and sand with the grain so you won’t see any cross grain scratches when you stain it. Once your happy with it choose your color and stain away.


I will get with one of our other experts that is a little more familiar with lighting to do an aditional post for the side walk-on platform.


I hope this has given you all of the information that you were looking for. Let me know if you have any other questions.


I would love to see pictures of your platform bed once you’re done. Or better yet if you could take pictures of each step and post them that would be even better.


Thanks for your question and I hope to see some pictures of your bed.

Posted 2011-08-17T17:26:55+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Hey Chan90, I’m Blake! Christine asked me to talk about how to make the sweet under-lit accent light box. Essentially, construction of the light box is the same as the rest of the bed. The base is 3/4” wood paneling, with 1” solid wood corners however you may want to cut the base for the light box 1/4” shorter than the base of the bed frame so that the glass can sit flush. The top will differ slightly because of the addition of glass. Instead of 3/4” hardwood ply, you may want to use ½”. You will need to purchase the glass from a glass fabricator. Show them your plans and ask them what they would recommend. I would assume a ½” or ¾” architectural glass would be fine for this project.


Light box.JPG


Now that the framing is out of the way, let me shed some light on the accent lighting portion (bu dum tiss). I would highly suggest using linkable under cabinet lights from GE. We carry these in the store and they would make easy work of the lighting portion of your project. Buy four lights of whatever size is needed. Use the included linking wire to daisy-chain the fixtures together and you are left with a single, clean wire coming out of the back of the frame. Clean and professional! But we aren’t quite done with lighting yet. The fluorescent lights will throw a nice wide beam that will not be focused, that is a good thing. However, the light should be made even softer for the effect you are looking at in these pictures. I would suggest lining the openings in your platform with rice paper, or other light diffusing cloth or gel. This cloth can be stapled into the opening from the bottom for a clean finished look. Dispersing the light will give a much more ambient feel to the light produced by this light box.


I will echo Christine by saying that I would love to see some pictures of your project!



Posted 2011-08-17T20:09:05+0000  by BlakeTheDiyGuy

Hi Christine and Blake! Thank you so much for the quick reply and great information. I understand everything y'all said and love the way you both explained to make the bed. However, and this was completely my fault, their bed was recessed. I'm providing another picture which may help show it more. I actually like the ideas y'all have given though (and may still use it!), but I was just wondering how would the recessed bed, like in the new provided picture below, be made? Also, if I were to make the platform the way you suggested Christine, would the edge of the one inch solid wood seam on the top platform break the illusion of a solid piece of wood? Any way to fix that?

Posted 2011-08-18T07:10:56+0000  by chan90

Hello again chan90,


Oh wow I didn’t notice that in the original picture. Now that you bring it to my attention I can see that it is recessed. Sorry about that. Well let’s try this again.


In that case I would make everything out of solid wood. You could get away with the base being a little thinner than the top but it might be just as easy to make it out of all of the same material.


I would use 2” stock for everything. The only issue is that all of the pieces are going to be wider than one

solid piece should be. If you use a solid piece of wood wider than 4” it will start to warp over time. You will have to rip the width down to 4” or under and then laminate (glue) them together to make the width that you need. This will keep them from warping.


Make sure that you alternate the end wood grain to prevent cupping. See the diagram below.

                         gluing wood boards.JPG

I use biscuits in all of the joints to keep all of the pieces inline and to strengthen the joint. It’s not a must but it is a big help.  


Ok now that that’s out of the way here is how I would build it.


The base would be as tall as your box spring is high. The sides and ends would be approximately 5” bigger than the box springs. This will allow for the brackets that are going to attach the platform.


It looks like the platform is around 10” wide. So make 2 pieces 21” longer than the box spring for the ends and 2 pieces 1” longer than it for the sides. This will give you ½” clearance on all 4 sides.


The easiest way to attach the platform to the base would be with some heavy duty L brackets. I would make notches in the top of the base for the brackets. That way the platform will set flush with the top of the base. Attach the brackets around 12”– 16” apart with screws. This will give it plenty of support for you to step on it. You might want to add a flat mending bracket at the joints of the platform if you don’t join then together with dowels or nails. This will keep them flush on the top.

                              platform bed receased.JPG


Ok so I hope this is what you were looking for.


Please let me know if you have any other questions.


PS: Yes you will see the seam at the joint between the solid wood and the plywood but you can soften the look by using a router and putting a very small v-groove right at the joint. It won’t make it disappear but it does help.

Posted 2011-08-19T21:59:03+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

Thank you so much for that explanation! I think I will go with the first option, though; far less complicated and time consuming. Helps to know as to be more knowledgeable, however. Hopefully this will be my last question... Instead of making two boxes, from the first example, would it be okay to just combine it into one "square?" Just add some strategically placed brace boards and it should work, right?

Posted 2011-08-20T21:31:29+0000  by chan90

Hey again Chan90! Great to hear from you again. This is such a cool project and I’m glad to hear that you are going to go through with it! I don’t see any structural problems with putting the whole thing in one box. The only issues I would see are in regards to moving the bed if you ever needed too. Separating the light box, and bed frame would leave you two light weight pieces to move instead of one really heavy one (“light” being a relative term here, it is still going to be heavy). You may also have trouble moving the completed frame and box through doorways; it is definitely something that you want to consider when making the bed.


I do agree though, that a one piece design would really look nice. It would make for cleaner lines around the frame. So I can see the appeal.


As the bed will not be recessed I would also like to give you a suggestion. If you put your mattress on the platform with nothing under it, you may find that it slides around like crazy. If you put a rug gripper under the bed It should keep the mattress solidly held in place. 




Christine and I would love to see the finished project when you have it completed! 


Good luck Chan90, we are here if you need us!



Posted 2011-08-23T18:16:14+0000  by BlakeTheDiyGuy
Posted 2018-10-14T07:44:15+0000  by ChristinaDixon
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