When we last left off with the Murphy Bed, I had teased with the rough concept drawing for my next plans: adding a design to the front. My plan was inspired off of a door I had seen on Pinterest, with angled wood pieces that had been laid in a “zig-zag” chevron pattern to create this fun, whimsical look and I knew I had to add this element into the Murphy bed. Keep reading to see how I did it!
You can also find this transformation and other real time DIY’s on my Instagram @theroostingplace.
- 2 in. finishing nails
- Approx. 20 8’x1″x2″ Primed MDF boards (chances are you will make a wrong cut or two, buy some extra because they can always be returned)
- Spacers (I used nickels)
- Nail Gun
- Miter Saw
- Speed Square
The seam you see in the middle of the bed front is a result of the 2 plywood sheets that were attatched to hold the mattress inside the box of the Murphy Bed, but for me, this looked very unfinished. This is when I came accross a beautiful chevron style barn door by Distinctive Doors and I knew I had to try my hand at a take on this design. Here’s how I turned the following concept drawing into reality:
First begin by drawing out a reference edge about 1″ in from the edge of the face piece of the bed. This will be where the angled cuts end, and leaves room to later add a boarder piece to give the edges a clean, finished look. Next, measure and drew a line about halfway up, which will be the point where top and bottom boards meet to create the triangle point and “switch directions”.
Next, begin to cut angle pieces. This process took some time, as I found it most full-proof to measure each board one piece at a time. Begin on the longest top edge sloping down to give the point of the center triangle. If using a Miter Saw, cutting pieces at a 45-degree angle is relatively simple-just set your saw to the 45 degree mark on the correct side depending on which cut you are making. If there is not a Miter saw on hand, use a speed square to mark 45-degrees and cut using a circular hand saw.
PAY ATTENTION to which direction the angle cut needs to go, depending on where the board is sitting when it hits the reference marks. I found it best to cut the board close to the needed length, then physically place the board in it’s spot on the face and mark using a speed square the exact location of the angle. I did this for top and bottom edges.
To add the next piece, use a spacer (I used a nickle but you can also buy tile spacers) to ensure even gap placement. This part gets tricky and helps to have another set of hands, because you need to hold the board in place with the spacer, as well as mark the angle cuts at the appropriate locations/lengths.
Once correct cuts are made, realign with the spacers. Then use a nail gun to attach the board in place. Repeat for all boards.
*NOTE: To make the cuts a the corners, first cut your 45-degree angle as you had been, then turn your saw to the other direction 45-degree angle to make the side cut. This will give you a 90-degree corner.*
Once the initial triangle has been attatched, attach the shorter corner pieces next. To do this, line up a 90-degree (straight) edge of a MDF board with the edge of the triangle, then mark your outer edge cut. This was the simplest way I found to do these angles and give the look I wanted.
Once all the diagonal cuts are in place, rip another MDF board into the desired width of the space between the edge of the boards and the bed front edge. Then attach with nails and viola, there you have it!
The End Result (and Lessons Learned)
Personally, I love how I was able to bring my vision to life and I hope y’all love it as much as I do! It did take some time due to the individual cuts required to minimalize wasted wood (trust me, I still made several bad cuts). Take your time, and if you are able, use a second set of hands. I ended up eye-balling my spacing at the end because my nickels kept rolling out, so my angles/spacing aren’t 100% perfect. BUT its very unoticable, especially after paint. I won’t lie, I feel pretty awesome knowing that I DID THIS with my own two hands!
But we aren’t done just yet! What’s up next: paint!