Building a Murphy Bed + Shelves

Hello! Last time we talked, we had loaded up the murphy bed frame and hauled it home until installation day… WELL INTALL DAY HAS ARRIVED Y’ALL (oh yes, I am a Texan through and through). If you’re just now joining us, check out Murphy Bed Pt. I , but if you’re all caught up, let’s just jump right in, shall we? I apologize for some lack of photos, I will try to explain the best I can without them!

Materials Used (shelves):

-3 sheets 3/4″ plywood

Yaaaaay shadows! Here is the painted plywood that be the base for the mattress .

-1 sheet 1/4″ plywood OR 1 sheet 1/8 hard board for backing

-nail gun

-kreg jig

-kreg jig screws

Day 2

. . .

Today we had to start bright and early, because yours truly put off painting all the wood…mainly due to cold weather conditions, but laziness was also responsble. The color of choice: Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore, paint matched at Sherwin Williams (because we personally like the quality of paint more). After rough sanding all our wood, a step I personally should have spent more time on to avoid roughness, we used our handy dandy Graco paint sprayer to prime all our wood pieces. ***IMPORTANT: always prime your wood***. I have a fun finishing touch in mind for the front of the murphy bed, but if you plan to leave this part as is, make sure to SAND SAND SAND to get a smooth finish.

Shelving unit prior to trim piece additions.

Once the primer was done, two coats of my beautiful Chantilly Lace white were sprayed on. I could write a whole post over my love for Chantilly Lace and how I think it is the perfect shade of interior white, but this post is about the murphy bed and not the fifty shades of white. Continuing on…

Using a nail gun to attacht shelving trim.

Now that all the pieces were sprayed and dry, it was time to begin assembling the shelving units. We have 8 ft ceilings, so these 2 units are each 94″ tall and 22″ wide to leave room for manipulation once inside the room. We are adding crown molding pieces later, so the gap between the shelf and ceiling will eventually be covered up. We started by using our trusty friend, the Kreg jig, and made pocket holes in each of the shelves, then attached the shelves one by one to each side, leveling as we went until all the shelves were in place. We also added a front trim piece to the bottom of the shelf to give an even look. The back panel was then attatched using a nail gun.

While the guys worked on building the next shelf unit, as well as the mattress frame (still using the plans purchased from DIY Tyler, I used the nail gun to attatch the front trim pieces. This gives the shelves a more finished look, and hide the rough, ugly plywood edge. Another option would be to edge band the sides, but adding a trim piece made these look a little more “professional”. Once the trim is attached, fill in the holes using a wood filler, sand down to even the surface, and paint.

Once the shelves were assembled, sanded, all trim was attached and painted, it was time to move them inside! I don’t have any photo evidence of these being moved in, but let me warn you: this is a two man job! Your shelving units and frame will be heavy, and a little difficult to manuver alone. Prior to fitting the shelving units and frame into their final resting place, use a stud finder and mark wall studs to secure your bed to, we don’t want this to fall on anyone! Once we found our studs and the shelves are in place, we used a jig saw to cut out holes for our electricity outlets, and reattached the outlet cover on the inner side of the shelf to give a seamless and built-in look. The shelving units were then attached to the frame (from the inside of the frame to avoid seeing screws on the shelving units) and the whole unit was secured to the wall via screws using pre-marked stud locations.

Lastly, the mattress frame needed to be attatched to the wall frame. This step provided some trouble for us, and I will reccomend how to avoid the complication we faced in a little bit, so hang in there! The swivel bracket we used requires various bolts and screws to attach, and we ran into complications trying to attach one side, then not being able to get access to attatch the other side. ***face palm*** We actually ended up having to UNATTATCH our shelves and wall frame (start over) to get better angles to our swivel bracket and to avoid making holes visable through our shelves. Again, I apologize for the lack of photo evidence throughout this last part of the process. We honestly had to do a lot of problem solving, adjusting, and a little bit of rigging. My best advice: watch the DIY Tyler youtube video on tricks to get your bolts in little bitty places where fingers will not go no matter how ahrd you try! (He starts to talk about the swivel bracket around 9:00).

Murphy bed down without mattress
Murphy bed down with mattress

After lots of sweat (maybe a little blood and tears in there too) we got the whole bed put together and secured to the wall! Let me tell you this thing is worth it! Definitely watch all of the youtube before starting, we did not and faced some complications in the process, as you read above. The last step requires putting the mattress frame in its upright (stowed) position, and making holes through the shelfing unit through the mattress frame to insert the pins which will keep the bed safely upright. We used a 1/2″ drill bit, and then used a 2 1/2″ hitch pin to secure the bed in its upright postion.

There you have it! Was I clear as mud? Honestly, this is so worth it and I’m not even finished yet! Next up for our leading lady? Decoupage and a fun wood design that will knock your socks off!

Talk soon.

Xx, Lanna

3 thoughts on “Building a Murphy Bed + Shelves

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