French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips
DIY,  DIY Painting Projects,  Home Renovations & Makeovers

French Country Bedroom Makeover Ep 5 Cozy Wrought Iron Bed

Welcome back for Episode 5 of my French country bedroom makeover DIY project. In this episode I'll show you how I transformed this wrought iron and wood 4 post bed, headboard and footboard, with chalk paint and all-in-one paint!

bed dark wood before picture wrought iron headboard and footboard before stencil on wall getting ready for new Sleep Number mattress during the closet makeover project
bedroom before stencil on wall before closet build out just after initial paint on closet

After I did the nightstands, I was hooked, so I tackled the bed next. At first I did not think I was going to paint the wrought iron. Can you believe I doubted my mad skills? Well, I did!

I did a lot of research and couldn’t find much help or tips for painting wrought iron, not a good sign. Then I thought, hey, I’ll guinea pig this and share how it went! Here you go!

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French Country Bedroom makeover hardware gilding wax before and after
Episode 2 - Decoupage on the drawer sides
French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips
French Country Bedroom Furniture Makeover Episode 3 Decoupaging the nightstand drawers inside

Since this is my bedroom set, I figured I could experiment, and paint a few spots on the back of the bed (that no one will ever see…). Honestly, this was my best idea! I started with chalk paint too, so I could just “wash it off” – worst case!

Testing the paint on the back of the bed gave me a chance to see how different it would look without truly committing to painting it all! Once I tested a few spots, I realized I would love it, so the wrought iron bed makeover commenced!

As I painted the back of the bed, I became more comfortable with my technique but I still continued with chalk paint at this stage. I started using the Rustoleum chalk paint in Chiffon Cream (lovely color, you can see it on the night stand progress too).

Before
Midpoint

The great thing about this chalk paint, Rustoleum – Chiffon Creme (off-white I used in Episode 1 on the first nightstand experiment) is that it is easy enough to “wash” off.

 You’ll see my trusty sidekick spray bottle floating around in the pictures. That is your secret weapon when it comes to chalk painting! The mister spray bottle! I’ve had this one for a year and it is still working! Best $6 ever!

Painting the wrought iron on the bed made me nervous, I am not going to lie. I didn’t want to cover up all the pretty iron, and stage 1 with chalk paint never makes you feel warm and cozy…my nervousness continued even though deep down I knew it would work out. I keep telling myself that! LOL 

For this project, on the wood (and later on the iron) I used this All-in-one-paint by Heirloom Traditions. This was my first time using this type of paint and I learned a lot along the way. 

On my first coat, I used chalk paint as I experimented. Then I moved on and layered my “All-one-paint”, the Manor House creamy off-white color. Since I wanted this to have some “aging” I allowed some spots to stay revealed as I went over it with the bristle brush. If you don’t want a lot of coverage for a more aged look when doing a wrought iron bed makeover, go for the bristle brush. 

French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips rae dunn cinderella
I was using a regular bristle brush on this stage

Here's a look at the first stage of the process wrought iron bed makeover, you'll see how I'm painting on the footboard of the bed in this French country bedroom makeover project. You can see the towels I have draped behind the bed covering the mattress.

Here is some insider info on how I take “shortcuts” to save time. I can’t say I’m lazy, because God knows I never stop, so really, I’ll call them efficiency shortcuts. 🙂 I decided I was not taking the entire bed apart to paint, as likely one should. I have a Sleep Number bed (yes, it’s amazing and I love, love, love it), however, it basically “sits inside my bed frame and just “floats” there. I did not want to risk messing anything up and I honestly just thought, why even bother?! 

Last year when I stenciled my back wall behind my bed (check out my posts on stenciling), I put those little sliders under the bed posts, and the 4 feet of the sleep number mattress, so this way it slides back and forth quite easily. I recommend putting sliders under your bed, it has been a life and back saver! 

French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips rae dunn cinderella
After 2 coats...it is starting to come to life! And it is most definitely MUCH brighter!
French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips rae dunn cinderella
Since I have a sleepnumber bed, I decided not to take it apart. I just pulled it out from the wall. Here's how it looked After the first coat.

There is a decent gap between the mattress and the bed frame, so what I did was cover the mattress with old towels, and I used a short stubby bristle brush (at first – later I realized I can use the sponge and mini roller and “reach around and through” rather easily also). 

The brush worked well, but it still got a bit tight near the bottom (sticking my arm all the way down the end of the mattress between that gap. It’s about a 5″ gap, so not tons of room. But I figured if I could just get enough of what you’ll see (since it always has blankets, etc…so you never even see that part, except the very top), then that would be fine with me!

I experimented with a few different types of brushes along the way. I also used the sponge (from the all in one paint set) at one point. Although it can get a bit messy, the sponge is actually really quite awesome for going over the iron. As you can see, my wrought iron bed is very detailed and its basically the entire headboard and footboard! 

I started out wanting to lighten and brighten my bedroom but what I got was all of that and so much more! Every time I walk into my room I smile! If that isn’t good for you, then I don’t know what is! 

This room makes me just want to sit and look at it all the time. I am really glad I decided to paint the wrought iron white. It really made such a difference! If you are thinking of doing a wrought iron bed makeover, I would say, do it!

Even better than it being a work of art now, it is so, SO cozy and comfy, it’s like sleeping on a squish-mallow! Everyone with kids and this addiction can tell you, there would be nothing better than a bed made of those, but my bed is about as close as you can get I think! 

Check out the links below on all the French bedding finds I am currently using on my bed to create this amazing cloud-like feeling! 

French country bedroom furniture makeover dark walnut wrought iron home improvement wax before and after Provincial white gilding wax
The wrought iron bed makeover was an amazing arm workout! My arms and shoulders were on fire! This is yet another way I stay in shape, LOL!

The bed as already undergone several transformations. I can't leave anything alone for too long before I change it! I think since I am constantly changing myself, everything around me needs to change and grow along with it.

  1. Wear disposable gloves!
  2. Layer paint colors for added dimension
    1. start with chalk paint (you can always use water to remove easier)
    2. for more coverage, use the all-in-one paint here as a 2nd coat
  3. Use the sponge if you want more coverage, and a smooth finish
  4. Use a bristle brush for a more “aged” look
  5. allow some areas to remain a bit exposed for an aged dimensional look
  6. Use gilding wax for added dimension
  7. Painting tools to try:
    • chip brush
    • sponge
    • mini roller

TIP: Get Disposable Gloves - save your nails and skin

me French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips
The wrought iron bed makeover was a mission, my arms were burning, but the progress is so charming!
French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips HARDWARE

Tip: Paint iron in a dry-brush fashion - very little paint

Tip: Add some highlights on the details with gilding wax

I hope you enjoyed Episode 5 of the French Country Bedroom Makeover Series, the wrought iron bed makeover, painting the headboard and footboard.

French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips
There is Froggy, snuggled up in my bed! Isn't he just the cutest thing!
Check out the other Episodes in this Series
French country bedroom furniture makeover dark antique walnut wrought iron accents home décor improvement chalk paint all in one wax glaze antique restoration before and after Provincial white cream gilding wax gold techniques tips
As you can see I make my bed different every day, and I am constantly moving things around! These mirrors on either side are now on either side of the dresser! Can you count how many different ways my bed is made?! Hint - I do it everyday, so a lot!

Have a question? Drop me an email here and I'll do my best to get back to you to be of help if I can! Subscribe to the blog for updates!

This set of white linen sheets I bought are quite lovely! Yes, they need ironed, unless you have some miracle I haven’t found with linen. But even without ironing them, they have the natural “wrinkled linen” look and it is still lovely. They are very soft! Feels like your favorite pair of linen pants!

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you found something helpful and inspiring.

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January Ember

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