Campana Woodworking
Established 1978
Providing the Fox Valley with Furniture Repair and Custom Furniture for your Home or Office 

Renovation and Alteration 

of a 

One Hundred and Seventy Year Old Walnut Bed

From time-to-time a truly unique project passes my way. This was one of them. The owners of this beautiful, walnut bed wanted it to be converted from a full size to a king size. Thus, this over 170 year-old piece was to undergo an extreme face lift.


Over the many years of existence this bed claimed, there had been a great deal of work performed on it- some needed updating some not. The challenge was set. Widen the frame by approximately 19 inches and lengthen it by about 10 inches. Make repairs to problems that were completed years if not decades ago or longer. Oh, and by the way, make it all look original to the piece. 

Antique bed repair renovation
The full size bed is shown before removal from the home for alteration- to make it a king size and some repair.
Antique headboard repair renovation
The main headboard was completely disassembled for repair. Much of the previous work needed updating or total rework. 

After the headboard was repaired and re-assembled, new side panels were constructed to mimic the style and shape of the old headboard. Here they are placed upon the the main headboard for comparison. Overlay trim pieces are cut to size and shape.
Notice that the new walnut material has a much different color from the old at this point. Pretty difficult to make new wood look generations old. It is all just part of the job.

The side panels have been 
trimmed to final size and 
 shape. The overlay 
trim pieces are attached and 
sanded. The side panels 
are now attached to the pilasters. 
The pilasters themselves 
have also undergone 
repairs to the crown and toe.
The footboard required "stretching" also. All overlays and detail was proportioned to fit the feel of the piece. Items were cut to a scale of 88% of original to give a harmonious look. (Camera gives angled appearance.)

Prefinishing assembly is complete. Everybody fits and was sanded for stain. Joinery includes: mortise & tenon, doweling and tongue-in-groove. 
Notice the full platform to rest the king size mattress on. It is also height adjustable.
Now to pull it apart for stain and final coats of finish.
By the way, "no, the footboard is not crooked." The floor is sloped to the drain. 
Close-up view of the finished pilaster, minor side-panel 
and main headboard. All the detail is in 
harmony allowing for a full, new look supporting the old.

Ready for delivery. Final assembly and check in shop. Time to smother each piece in moving blankets and get it home.
Finally, home. Now, it is a king size bed. 
The pillows are removed for affect. 
Quite a different picture than the first.

Thanks for reading. I hope this 
was interesting and informative.

Jim Campana