James Bed Restoration


My client had an antique headboard, but was missing the rest of the bed frame. She wanted a simple footboard and rails that would match theheadboard, without going to all the trouble (and expense) of matching the headboard carvings.

The footboard and rails are red oak. The mattress support slats are poplar. We originally thought the headboard was made of oak, but later decided that it was most likely french walnut. The finish is a gel stain, followed by a stain/polyurethane mix, to approximate the color of the headboard.


Here you see the footboard parts before assembly, and the footboard and rails dry-fit and attached to the headboard. The footboard is constructed using mortise and integral tenon joinery. The rails are attached to the footboard and headboard using antique-style cast-iron bed rail fasteners.


I also cleaned the headboard. This was not a complete restoration/refinishing, just a cleaning. I rubbed it with a solution of mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, vinegar and raw linseed oil. This solution simultaneously helped remove dirt and hide scratches. Here you see the before and after pictures.

Projects of this sort can vary widely in cost, depending mostly on the amount of detail work required. This project was approximately $800. Please contact me for more information.