17 Days to Repaint a Wooden French Provincial Bed

“17 Days to Repaint a Wooden French Provincial Bed” by Joan Y. Edwards

17 Days to Repaint a Wooden French Provincial Double Bed made by Dixie Furniture Company in late 1970’s – early 1980’s.

Around the year 2007, I asked a furniture restorer if he could repaint my French Provincial bed from the 1970s or 1980s. Since it was a shiny glossy paint, he said the new paint wouldn’t stick. I think he meant, he didn’t want to do it. Perhaps it wouldn’t look as good as he would want it to look. At any rate, I kept thinking I would love to get the furniture painted. It looked bad.

In 2010, I started asking around. My older daughter, Lorrie, said someone painted a similar bed that belonged to a friend of hers. She  didn’t know how it turned out. I planned to ask her how it looked. Life happened and this and that. I finally asked her. Her friend said that it had been painted glossy white and looked good.

My logic was: if her bed looked good painted glossy white, then this bed would look good painted glossy white, too.

Now the question in my mind was, could I paint it? I really wanted to paint it. Could I do a good job? Let me give you the background story on my painting career. I had only painted 3 things in my life: pictures, the back of a radiator, and a little bit of a wall in a house our church was repainting. I must have painted at least three strokes before I fell in a hole where they had taken the heat vent out, and sprained my ankle. My husband had to come and get me. Good grief.

It was my daughter, Lorrie’s bed. My younger daughter, Mollie, had used it, too. I asked Lorrie’s permission to paint the bed. She said. ”Go ahead and paint it, Mom.”

I said, “If I mess up, they can always sand it, can’t they?”

She said, “That’s right. It’s all right with me if you paint the bed.”

I was still a little worried about my ability to paint the bed. However, I brought it in and cleaned it up. I was either going to paint it or give it away. I couldn’t give it away in such a dirty condition. When I looked closely at the gold trim, it wasn’t evenly painted.

I said to myself, “Well, if the gold trim doesn’t have to be even-steven all around, I can do it. I can actually do it.”

Day 1 Get advice from internet on how to repaint a wooden bed. How to repaint metal.
a. Clean
b. Sand.
c. Put two coats of primer.
d. Put two coats of regular paint.

Day 2 Bring bed in from garage and wash. Headboard and foot board and rails were extremely dirty. The rails were dirty and also rusty.






Day 3 Buy primer, paint, sanding material, paint brushes, paint tray, roller.
A lady at Home Depot helped me get the supplies I needed to complete the project. Here’s sort of our conversation:

Me: I want to paint an old wooden bed glossy white. I want to paint the metal rails a beige color.
What do I need to buy?

Home Depot Lady: What size bed?

Me: Double.

Home Depot Lady: You’ll need a quart of primer and a quart of glossy white. You’ll have to choose the shade of beige you want for the rails. Here’s a chart on the wall to choose from. I’ll shake the primer and glossy white for you.

Me: Here’s the color I like.

Home Depot Lady: Okay.

Me (when she’s finished mixing the beige) What should I get to paint with?

Home Depot Lady: Is it mostly flat or curvy?

Me (not remembering it’s curvy in part and flat in part) Mostly flat.

Home Depot Lady: You can use a roller if it’s flat. (She went and got a black tray and a roller. Then picked up a package of two replacement rollers.) You’ll need a brush for parts where you can’t reach with the roller. (She reached for an inexpensive nylon brush.)

Me: There are parts that need to be sanded on the metal. They’re rusty. As I understand it, I need to sand over the old paint.

Home Depot Lady: Just use this (she reached for the grayish black sanding block). If it gets dirty, you can rinse it out. It’ll still sand fine.

Me: I won’t need sand paper?

Home Depot Lady: No. You probably won’t need any real sand paper. This should do fine.

Me: I put on two coats of primer. Then I put on two coats of regular paint. Is that correct?

Home Depot Lady: If it’s covered, you might have to put an extra coat of primer.

Me: I believe I’ve got all that I need. Thank you very much. I appreciate your sharing your knowledge and skills with me.






Day 4. My friend, Linda Andersen suggested that I document and take pictures of the project and share it with you on the internet. But, OOPSY! I’d already begun. You wouldn’t be able to see how dirty it was when I brought it in from the garage. You have a good imagination. Here’s a description. Black with spider webs and dirt. Cobwebs and dirt. Dust and dirt.

I had already cleaned the deep down dirt. There was only a little left. So I said, “Why not?”

I washed the last little bit of dirt off of the wooden headboard, foot board, and metal rails. There are pictures here of what the dirty water looked like and what the rags looked like. b. I sanded all the parts where the paint was flaking off of the wooden part. I sanded the metal rails, especially the areas that were rusty.

Day 5 First coat of primer on the top side of the metal rails.







I fixed up a place between two sets of plastic chairs. You’ve heard of workhorses…these were workchairs. I put towels on the floor under them so that I wouldn’t drip paint on the carpet. I did pretty good. I only got 2 spots on the carpet. I can get it off. It dries and flakes partly. Water and soap will get the rest.

Day 6 Second coat of paint of primer paint on the inside part of the metal rails.
First coat of primer on the top of the wooden headboard and foot board.



Some of the primer paint stuck in the brushes. It didn’t seem to be too much. The brush still worked good.




Day 7 First coat of primer paint on the outside part of the metal rails.
First coat of primer paint on the bottom side of the headboard and foot board.



The brush wasn’t doing too well at this point. I decided to go back to Home Depot and buy a couple more brushes. I also bought more rollers and a couple more trays because it was hard to clean the paint out of the tray to use it again. I didn’t end up using the roller again. The paint dripped and made what I called lined puddles. I had to sand them down and repaint them.

Day 8 First coat of primer paint on backside of headboard and foot board.
Put the second primer coat on the outside part of the metal rails.


Day 9 Second coat of primer paint on the backside of the headboard and foot board.
Sanded and put another coat of primer on areas of the metal rails where the paint had made raised up dried puddles of paint.



Day 10 First coat of beige paint on the outside part of the metal rails.
First coat of glossy white paint on the bottom of the headboard and foot board. (February 27, 2010)

Day 11 First coat of beige paint on the outside part and the sides of the metal rails.
First coat of glossy white paint on the backsides, top and sides of the headboard and foot board.

Day 12 Second coat of beige paint on the sides and outside part of the metal rails.
Second coat of glossy white paint on the bottom and sides of the headboard and foot board.


Day 13 First coat of gold paint on the headboard and footboard.
First coat of beige paint on the inside part of the metal rails.
Sanded and repainted the places where the paint and ran and formed raised areas on the headboard, foot board, and rails.


Day 14 Second coat of gold paint on the headboard and foot board.
Painted inside part of the metal rails with second coat of beige paint.


Day 15 Touched up the places where it needed more here and there in places I had missed. One place I smeared the gold paint about an inch in diameter. I don’t know how I did it, but it must have been very easy. It was only a second or so and I looked over and I had a smeared gold spot on the white part of the headboard. I tried wiping it with a paper towel. The gold paint isn’t like the white or beige paint. It won’t hardly rub off. Yikes. I took a piece of sandpaper and sanded it. Then I put one coat of glossy white paint on it today. I decided that I would purchase more expensive brushes that the bristles wouldn’t come off so badly.


Day 16 Put a second coat of paint to touch up that spot where the gold had smeared. Repainted the parts I noticed on the metal and on the wooden part that I had missed. Then I said, “Voila.” I am finished. The pictures of the supplies. Some are listed in the earlier days. I believe I repeated a few to make sure you saw them.
Simply put I used:
For painting – White primer paint for wood and metal, glossy white enamel for the wood (no mixing), glossy beige paint mixed for the shade I chose.
For painting – Very thin brushes to put on gold trim, medium width brush for painting the rest
For painting – roller and roller tray – only used it once – it dripped and left puddles of paint that I had to sand and repaint with a brush. Don’t recommend it. It might be good for a wall, but for my bed project, it didn’t work well at all.
For opening and closing paint cans – a screwdriver to open the can, hammer to close it
For sanding – sandpaper weight 32 and 41 and holder, also a sanding block – like a hard sponge
For cleaning parts – washcloths and cleaner
To protect carpet and tables from paint – towels, plastic tablecloths
To hold parts while I painted – plastic chairs, metal table, pedestal table, transfer seat
For cutting the sandpaper – sharp scissors
For removing gold trim paint – nail polish remover

Day 17 I was so excited to see the bed all dry. All parts not perfect, but as good as I could do them. My heart was dancing and singing. I put the bed together. I was afraid that I had put too much paint on the metal parts that connect with the wooden bed. However, they finally went in. I’m not sure how easy they will be to get out. That’ll be interesting. I may try taking it out before I put the mattress in place. Just to make sure. I decided to purchase a new mattress. After the painting and refinishing. 


Day 18 A month later they delivered my Serta Ravenswood Mattress  and Guardsman mattress cover. I bought a colorful flowered sheets and bedspread set from Target. It looks pretty. Now I consider this project finished. I hope you enjoyed the pictures and the account of how I did it.

New Mattress and Box Springs
New sheets on French Provincial Bed after painting.
Matching Quilt and Pillows on French Provincial Bed after painting.

Thanks for reading my blog!!!!!!!!!  I’d be honored to hear from you in the comment section.

I updated this September 28, 2022. I hope you’ll subscribe to my blog. Read new articles of inspiration, information, and humor. Receive free gifts. Join over 263 other subscribers and over 1,730,000 visitors. You’ll be sent an email to confirm your subscription. Thank you.


Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards, Author
Copyright © 2010-2019 Joan Y. Edwards
All rights reserved.

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Submit Your Manuscript. No Excuse.

submit your manuscript to make your book
Thank you to Manuel Torres Garcia and Pixaby for allowing me to use this image.

“Submit Your Manuscript. No Excuse”  by Joan Y. Edwards

If you want your manuscript to be a book, submit your manuscript. When? This month is a great month to submit your manuscript. Knock out your excuses. Put your best foot forward. Publishers can’t publish your work if they don’t know about it. That’s where you have to do the work to introduce your work to the right publisher.

Submit your manuscript in honor of God. God put it on your heart to write or create. If you want it published, ask him to help you. God has faith in you. I have faith in you. Display faith in yourself. Submit your work this month.

So you say, your manuscript is not ready. What will it take to get it ready?

Here are excuses.

Excuse 1 – I haven’t finished it yet.

My Advice: Finish it.

Excuse 2. My critique group read it and gave me errors they found. I’ve corrected all the errors.

My Advice:  Conquer your fear. Submit it.

Here are five books that helped me with my writing skills. Checking out a book from your local library is free.
If you want your own copy, usually you can buy used ones from a local used book store or on Amazon for $5.00 or less plus $3.99 shipping.

Noah Lukeman: The First Five Pages.
Margaret Lucke: Schaum’s Quick Guide to Writing Great Short Stories
Blake Snyder: Save the Cat
Jessica Brody: Save the Cat Writes a Novel

Excuse 3. I’ve had 50 rejections on this manuscript. It’s no use to send it out again. It’s hopeless.

My Advice: Never Give Up. Read it over again. Add a twist to help you feel this time is different.

Change the title.

Add a twist of both points of view going through your main character’s mind.

Write your response for the following what if statements. Write 5 of your own.

What if your story took place in another setting. Would make it more difficult for the main character to reach her goal?

What if your main character had a flaw that frightened other characters so much that they gasped for air? Would it help or hinder the main character from reaching his goal?

What if things got three times worse than your main character ever believed it would. Would he die or would he find some unknown way to wiggle out of the bad situation?

What if authority figures doubt that your main character can achieve his goals. Will this stop him temporarily? What three trial and error experiences does he have that leaves him victorious at the end?

Excuse 4. I can’t find a publisher who will accept unsolicited manuscripts.

My Advice: Never Give Up. Say: “I can find a publisher who accepts unsolicited manuscripts.”

50 Publishers Who Accept Unsolicited Manuscripts

You have to check to see whether they publish books like what you’ve written. But here are publishers who accept unsolicited manuscripts. Check their websites for the latest guidelines to make certain they have not changed.

I hope I have encouraged you and given you a little more hope to fill your day. Accept yourself where you are. Be proud of who you are and all that you’ve done in your life.

Get yourself ready to submit a manuscript to a publisher on the third Friday of this month or a day of your choice within 30 days. Submit your article, poem, puzzle, devotion, illustration, short story, chapter book, middle grade novel, young adult novel, adult novel, play, song, or movie. Be like the little duck in my book, Flip Flap Floodle. Say, “I won’t give up.”

Get your creative work ready to send off. Go For It.

Automotive and assembly line industrialist Henry Ford said “Whether You Think You Can or think you can’t, You are Right.”

Start today to say you can. Let me hear you shout, “Yes, yes. I CAN DO IT. I CAN REALLY DO IT.”

You Have the Essentials for Submitting: Go for it. 

Step 1 Get work critiqued, revised, printed, and proofed.

Step 2 Choose the publisher, editor, agent, or contest for this writing project.

Step 3 Write the pitch, query letter, cover letter, resume, bio, and/or proposal as required by the guidelines of the editor, agent, or contest you chose for submission this time.

Step 4 Proof and Send your pitch, query letter, cover letter, resume, bio, and/or proposal as required by the guidelines of the editor, agent, or contest you chose for submission this time.

Have I knocked out a few of your excuses. Have I motivated you to submit? I hope so.

I enjoyed your visit to my blog. You can subscribe in the left hand column for an email subscription. Ask a question. Leave a comment.

Do something fun before midnight!
Never Give Up

Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2010-2019 Joan Y. Edwards. All rights reserved.
Updated September 19, 2019.

Writing, Inspiration