Painting an old Jenny Lind.

I thought it’d be fun to share the story of Alex’s new bed. I had my heart set on a Jenny Lind style bed, like one I’d seen at Land of Nod. But at $600 for the bed plus $200 shipping, it wasn’t going to happen. So I started scouring several Facebook furniture exchanges I belong to. Jenny Lind twin beds do pop up from time to time, but when they do they are gone in a blink. My trigger finger was never quite fast enough and I always lost out to someone else. So, I turned to Craigslist. After much searching for Jenny Lind, I came up empty. Then it dawned on me that someone might not know the term Jenny Lind. I simplified my search to twin bed and guess what happened …


Y’all, I was sooo excited. The bed was listed as an antique hardwood twin bed. It was $200. I called the seller and screamed, “I’LL TAKE IT!” Then the panic set in. Tripper had given me a budget of $0 to do Alex’s new room. You may recall that Alex moved out of the boys’ shared room once before—and that lasted all of three months before he decided to move back. So, Tripper didn’t want me spending any money in case this move was also temporary. BUT, I had my heart set on this bed for Alex. And I had a few hours before I had to pick it up. Somehow I needed to come up with $200. 

So, I did what anyone would do. I sold stuff.


I loved these headboards. I got them when the boys were first moving into big boy beds at 3 years old. Somehow they seemed adorable for twin 3-year-old little boys—like little princes. But they didn’t seem quite right for a 5-about-to-turn-6-year-old boy. And since we were no longer going to have a guest room, we really just needed them out. I listed them on a FB furniture exchange and within a few hours they were sold. I had enough money for my—I mean Alex’s—new bed plus a little extra for some primer, paint and a new lamp. Happy dance!


Before I started priming, I snapped this picture. I’ve yet to Google what it means. I know the bed I bought was old. Maybe this will give a clue as to how old?


I used one coat of shellac-based primer for the job. Then one, two, three and four thin coats of Symphony blue by Benjamin Moore. I waited several hours in between coats and let the bed cure up for 48 hours before making up the bed again.


Ta-da! Alex’s cheerful new bed. The Jenny Lind was lovely before with it’s perfect patina, and I almost hated to paint it. But this finish matches his personality so much and it’s not like that was the last vintage Jenny Lind bed in the world. Besides, Alex loves it this way. I love it, too. And speaking of love …


… I added a few love notes to the slats under his bed. It’s my little secret and makes the bed all the sweeter.

And there you have it. Would you put a paintbrush to vintage wood?


3 thoughts on “Painting an old Jenny Lind.

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