Often on our junk shopping adventures we find items to refinish. During the kid's summer break we happened upon this little doll bed. It was in ok condition considering it was part of a bunk bed set, I think, and for $2 I thought it to be a steal.
When doing projects like this, I want the kids to help as much as possible as well as having all the patience in the world at the same time. It can become challenging, but well worth the way they light up when the job is finished. To keep Darius involved without "messing up" his big sisters project, I managed to find him a paint your own car kit for cheap. He was just as busy at his project. I turned her loose with some medium grit sand paper and let her prep it (I was actually refinishing a little bookshelf while we did this project as well, so I was not hovering over her). When she put in a bunch of effort I do a "Mommy Check", and scuff up some places she missed (which is actually my OCD way of keeping control of the project to make sure it still comes out right, but Shhh! They haven't caught on to that yet). After the sand prep, she wiped it down with a dry rag, and I taped it off for her.
I happened to have paint left over from one of my other projects that she loved (win/win). To give her a lesson on how this kind of painting works I started the bottom for her. After that I turned her loose with it. (The husbands old uniform shirts make great painting smocks.)
After a while though she was asking for help, so I jumped in and helped where I could touching up the hard to reach places. We ended up doing 2 coats. After the bed dried for 3 days, I sat down with it and decided to embellish it (to give it my personal touch, that little extra, I love you). I let her know in advance that I was going to do something special, but she had no idea what. I did lock her outside to play (keeping her in suspense) until I was done with the designs. When she came in the look was priceless, she was very happy with the outcome. I was going to rub some wood stain over it to give it that vintage look, but we both decided we liked the boldness of the color as is.
With the painting part done we went to the sewing studio, and whipped up a mattress pad from some left over foam and a pillow. A quilt and other bedding will fallow in the coming weeks, once she figure out what print she wants.
Now if you look closely you see the holes at the tops of the posts (this is the part that makes me think it was a bunk bed), we are not going to leave them open for long. We are discussing whether she likes it as a simple day bed, or if we should make it a canopy day bed. Either way the colors and the vintage inspired tole painting remind me so much of the little doll beds I have seen as a child, and I hope she cherishes it for always. You can not put a price on doing this project with your child, because you get so much more out of it than just a doll bed.