Murphy Bed: Chasing the Rainbow

Choosing a paint color

If you’ve been following along on our Instagram, you’ve already seen what we picked for our Murphy Bed color, but for those of you joining us here, I cannot wait to reveal this BEAUTIFUL color to you! I was deciding between 20 different colors (I know, I had no clue what direction I wanted to head.) But this beautiful blue is the perfect compliment to this space!

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When I first started out with this project, I planned on leaving the bed and shelving units white. However, after living with them, I felt that the space needed something more! Break out the paint swatches! After collecting 20 swatches, I narrowed it down to the ones below.

My rug is from and I absouletly love it! The colors are beautiful and the texture is so soft! I would reccomend adding a rug pad if you like thick rugs.

I finally I bought sample sizes of 6 colors to test on the bed. I highly suggest testing any paint contenders in the space they will go. Colors can look different in all lighting, as well as the time of day so by physically placing the color where you want it, this garuntees you love the choice you make! I opted out of the pink mainly because I wanted this room to flow with the other greens and blues of the house scheme…but you better believe I will be using Pressed Flower in the future because WOW. Every single one of these colors would have complimented this rug beautifully…so let the testing begin…

Once I decided on a color, we taped off the front of the murphy bed so that we could spray using our WagnerFlexio 590 paint sprayer. I love this sprayer because it is lightweight, has 2 different spraying direction options and multiple spray settings. Great for beginner projects! By using a sprayer, I was able to get into all those small seams of the murphy bed front design, and get an even coating. Had I not decoupaged the shelves, I would have sprayed everywhere, however we had to roll and cut in by hand our shelving units to make sure we were precise.

I forgot to mention that we also added crown molding to our shelving units, and painted after we had caulked all the seams to give a uniform “built in” finish to the whole piece. But for the moment you all have read to find out: my final color choice was Smoky Blue by Sherwin Williams. We used a satin finish in their Duration paint to ensure a tough coat since this piece will get a lot of wear and tear over the years.

Overall, I love that I decided to add color into this room. It typically is difficult for me to go bold in color when it comes to large, permanent pieces, but in this little house, I am learning to trust color! This room calms me down and allows me to escape from the hectic chaos that fills these walls, the blue just makes me happy! Next week, I’m going to fill you in on how to make a super easy “upholstered” headboard like the one I added inside the Murphy Bed!

Tell me, what do you think of using bold colors? What holds you back from trying out new things? For me it’s the fear of the unknown…but we are getting braver every day!

Talk soon,

xx, Lanna

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

Building a Murphy Bed (pt. I)

Our disaster second bedroom

Our second bedroom is a nightmare! Ever since move in day, this back bedroom has become a homeless shelter for all the junk that doesn’t have a “spot”, or where all the “I’ll deal with it later” items go to die zone. And in 750 sq ft, we are not really allowed the luxury of having valuable space go to waste.

The end goal for this room was a functional office/workspace, that could easily accomodate for any guests that needed a place to sleep (without having to clear a floor space for an air mattress, because honestly, who like sleeping on those anyways?)

Cue Mr. Murphy bed.

We actually came up with the idea of putting in a Murphy bed back when we were renovating this house, but between construction of making the house “livable” and moving in, there wasn’t much time to make this idea come to life-until now! The plan was to make a queen sized bed with shelving on both sides, and to finish it out with crown molding to give a “built-in effect”. So we recruited my magic woodworking step-dad Todd (who graciously volunteered his Thanksgiving break) to help with some of the logistics, and got to work using plans purchased from DIY Tyler (

Materials used (bed):

My super hero guys cutting our plywood down to provided measurments.

5) Sheets of 3/4″ Plywood for the bed.

1) 2x6x8

2) $10 Swivel Brackets

Various screws, nuts and bolts.

. . .

DAY 1:

We spent day one cutting out all of our wood pieces down to size using a table saw, and applied edge banding to any exposed edges.

During this step, its really important to use a hot iron, and really press the edge banding on the plywood to reduce any seperation and give that clean finish (we had some issues with this step, so when I say use a hot iron, use a HOT iron). Clean up your edges with an edge band trimmer, and sand down any rough places to give a smooth, seamless finish. I honestly LOVED the effect that using edge banding has, this simple (and relatively cheap) addition was a great alternative to using solid, expensive sheets of wood.

Next, using a Kreg jig (hahah moment, didn’t realize it wasn’t spelled CRAIG…who knew…) to drill pocket holes into our pre-cut pieces to make the frame. I’ve linked a big boy Kreg jig set, but you could also use a more basic Kreg jig, it just may take a little longer to get the job done. After you have your holes drilled, use Kreg screws and wood glue to attach the pieces together as instructed. The set of plans we purchased were very useful, however, I will admit I was glad Todd was experienced in reading them. Having a set of expeirienced eyes really made the process much smoother when it came to deciphering the plan drawings.

As day one drew to a close (sunset is around 4pm, thanks winter) we had an assembled frame! YAY! We sanded this baby down, and since we were at my parents house using the big boy tools, we loaded the frame up and brought it home with us until install day…to be covered soon! My husband did have to spend an extra afternoon with Todd cutting out the shelving pieces, as we had to wait and remeasure to make sure it would all fit, but we got mostly all the cuts, banding, and frame assembly done in about 4 hours, which is a win in my book!

That’s all for now, talk soon!

xx, Lanna