Saving the antique iron bed…

Hi everyone! I shared on my facebook page a few weeks ago a photo of the antique iron bed I had found here on the property. I have been wanting to restore it forever it seems, but didn’t get to it until last week.

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Here is what it looked like. There were several iron beds here that my grandmother had painted white, however, everyone thought this was a 3/4 bed, so it escaped the white paint, thankfully. My plan was to just use it as a headboard, then when I measured it, I found it was indeed a full size.

I scrubbed with a mixture of vinegar/water and steel wool. It was a really messy job, but worth it. It had never been painted and looked like it was originally black with the top scrolls brass. I then sprayed the whole thing with Rustoleum metal primer, and this is what it looked like. 

I finished it with Rustoleum “Oil Rubbed Bronze” after several coats of .97 flat black paint. I don’t recommend the cheap spray paint. Just go ahead and buy the Rustoleum, because it will go much farther and is so much easier to spray. I used one can of primer and one can of oil rubbed bronze, where I used 7 cans of the cheap paint to cover the primer. That was all I had here, though, or I would never have used the cheap paint. 

After the bronze, I dry-brushed gold over the medallions, then lightly here and there. 

I was so excited to set it up! 

I tried a couple different combinations with linens and pillows…

Then fell in love with the vintage chenille spread with the down comforter at the foot. The antique heirloom wool rug brings all the colors I am loving so much into this room and ties in the the pink and blue of the spread with the green on the walls. 

I used two layers of eyelet lace dust ruffles my mother had given me. 

This morning I made two denim ticking pillow shams with mismatched eyelet trim and that really tied it all together. I added the outdoor pillows I had gotten on clearance last summer at Kmart and a pink pillow I borrowed from the living room. 

I love the white eyelet against the cream background of the ticking. My grandmother would have done this, I just know:-)

I love, love, love my new bed. I cannot tell you the satisfaction I have by rescuing this from a more than likely resting place at the dump or recycling center. 

It really is gorgeous and my poor attempt at photos can certainly not do it justice. 

Changing the bed necessitated a few more changes in here I will share later…all involving vintage family heirlooms. I did not spend one cent on my little makeover. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! I appreciate each and every one of you who follow along so much. I hope I can inspire you to take something ordinary around you and make it special. 

Please join me on facebook for more interaction and sharing ideas. 


I’ll be joining:

Wow Us Wednesdays

Feathered Nest Friday

Furniture Feature Friday


  1. Deanna
    April 16, 2013 / 7:26 pm

    Looks lovely!
    You did an awesome job and the room is so pleasant as well.
    God bless!

  2. shannon i olson
    April 16, 2013 / 7:26 pm

    Just beautiful!! Fantastically romantic room.

  3. Emelia DiCarlo
    April 16, 2013 / 7:33 pm

    Anita, just a stunning labour of Love!! You have the vision and patience to make over your scroll iron work bed. The linens are so dreamy and gorgeous. The green wall color, do you remember name??? I love the contrast of all your choices. The bedspread is my favorite. I have my grandmothers, pink, blue with yellow ruffle trim. The photos are perfect. Thanks for your time into keeping your beautiful blog…. hugs.

    • Anita Diaz
      April 16, 2013 / 7:41 pm

      Thank you Emelia! It is "Wetlands" by Kilz.

  4. Carlene @ Organized Clutter
    April 16, 2013 / 7:41 pm

    It's a beautiful bed. Great restoration.

  5. Unknown
    April 16, 2013 / 7:44 pm

    The bed is more beautiful than I imagined. Luv the deep bronze colour with the brushed gold medallions. The dust ruffle is beautiful.
    Luv your continued use of family heirlooms. Such history.
    Hugs, Gee

  6. Pamela Gordon
    April 16, 2013 / 7:45 pm

    The old bed frame is so beautiful Anita. I think you did a great job in 'restoring' it. I love the curly design and flowers and think that painting it black made the design stand out more. It looks gorgeous! Love the chenille spread too. Pamela

  7. Sweet Melanie
    April 16, 2013 / 7:47 pm

    Anita!!! It is absolutely stunning! From the ticking and eyelet lace down to the eyelett dustruffles adorning it and making it shine as it should…especially infront of the window! It's just absolutley beautiful!

  8. Shenita @ Embellishments by SLR
    April 16, 2013 / 8:25 pm

    Anita, this is beautiful! I just love seeing how you incorporate your family treasures into you decor! The bedding is just dreamy!

  9. Mari
    April 16, 2013 / 8:45 pm

    Oh dear Anita, what a magnificent job you have done, and a true labor of love…
    That is one stunning bed, love the bedding you have used as well, and the pillow shams you so lovingly have made…
    Great job my friend

  10. Pam - @diy Design Fanatic
    April 16, 2013 / 10:17 pm

    Fabulous job Anita! What a treasure! I love the finish and the the gold accents. Your bedding is gorgeous, as well!

  11. dgmills
    April 16, 2013 / 11:04 pm

    The bed is absolutely gorgeous and how wonderful to save a family piece.
    It is amazing and how well it matches the chandelier above the bed.

  12. Norma
    April 16, 2013 / 11:46 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!! You did a great job Anita (as usual)

  13. Norma
    April 16, 2013 / 11:47 pm

    Absolutely beautiful!! You did a great job Anita (as usual)

  14. Sherry @ No Minimalist Here
    April 17, 2013 / 12:01 am

    Gorgeous, Anita! I love your linens and the pretty bedroom.

  15. Yvonne @ StoneGable
    April 17, 2013 / 12:20 am

    This is such a stunner. It makes me want to jump right into bed and snuggle down. I have a bed very similar… but I bought it at an antique shop about 20 years ago. It lives in one of our guest rooms and everyone who visits wants to sleep in it.
    Here is the link…
    Your bed is perfect for your home… it really looks like you!

  16. Kim @ Savvy Southern Style
    April 17, 2013 / 12:54 am

    Anita, that is stunning and I love the layers of bedding.

  17. Olive
    April 17, 2013 / 1:49 am

    What a delightful save Anita. It is the star of your room now. I love that you went with black paint. Pinning.

  18. Patty @ That's So Pretty
    April 17, 2013 / 2:16 am

    Anita, this is my first visit and I seen this bed on WOW and I had to see what it was before….absolutely gorgeous!

  19. Cindy @ Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home
    April 17, 2013 / 2:26 am

    Gorgeous, the bed and bedding…lovely!

  20. Unknown
    April 17, 2013 / 3:06 am

    Perfectly done!!

  21. giorno26 ¸¸.•*¨*•.
    April 17, 2013 / 8:07 am

    questo tuo lavoro lo hai fatto alla perfezione.
    Magari riuscissi io a restaurare oggetti vintage.
    Se soltanto avessi la tecnica mi piacerebbe passare il tempo a restaurare oggetti per la mia casa !
    By Myriam :))

  22. Madonna/aka/Ms Lemon of Make Mine Lemon
    April 17, 2013 / 9:09 am

    This is the most romantic bed I have ever seen. You did an fabulous job.

  23. Shine
    April 17, 2013 / 2:35 pm

    Oh my goodness! What a fabulous inspiration!!!!! This is exactly the look I have in my mind of what I want my house to look like. As I have followed you the past few years I can certainly tell that God has blessed you in so many ways, and indeed values you….FAR above rubies:)
    Blessings friend…Shine

  24. Maria
    April 17, 2013 / 2:38 pm

    Oh wow how absolutely beautiful!!!! It looks lovely, I love that romantic look! Beautiful!

  25. Unknown
    April 17, 2013 / 3:27 pm

    There aren't any other words I can offer-only stunning piece.

  26. Sibel-ish
    April 17, 2013 / 5:07 pm

    There isn't much to say really, after all these nice comments. You are such a talented hard-worker. Everything's so beautiful:)

  27. Cynthia
    April 17, 2013 / 6:50 pm

    Oh my, it is gorgeous! I love the bed itself, and admire how you brought it "back to life". The bedding is perfect, and it is all meant to be in front of that window with the light coming through the curtains. Just gorgeous.

  28. At The Picket Fence
    April 18, 2013 / 12:37 am

    Oh Anita! That is sooooo gorgeous!! It looks beautiful and I can't get over how many treasures you are able to breath new life into. You have a gift my friend and your entire bedroom is just lovely! 🙂

  29. Debbie
    April 18, 2013 / 2:11 am

    I am completely crazy about this! Iron beds are my favorite of all. We have two here, but neither is a true antique like this one. What a treasure!

  30. Helen
    April 18, 2013 / 3:58 am

    I want your bed….it looks AMAZING!!!!! You are so right about the cheap spray paint…what a waste. Your room and your bed are stunning!

  31. Barbara
    April 18, 2013 / 9:09 pm

    Anita! What a treasure! The love that you took in restoring it and dressing it are so evident. Lovely in every way. Think of all the wonderful dreams past and present…

  32. Michele
    April 18, 2013 / 10:32 pm

    It's absolutely gorgeous and you really had to work hard on that beauty!

    I liked it all rusted too : – )

    Your bedroom is beautiful.

    Well done, ma'am!!

  33. Michele
    April 18, 2013 / 10:33 pm


    I am your newest follower!

  34. Pinky at Designs by Pinky
    April 19, 2013 / 2:53 am

    Oh, Anita, the bed is exquisite and you have restred it to it's SHINING beauty!!! I would love to sleep in that bed, you lucky girl! I bet your Grandmother is smiling. You did such a beautiful job. XO, Pinky

  35. Cathy
    April 19, 2013 / 6:19 am

    Absolutely gorgeous! I love all the fabulous layers of bedding and those ticking pillows! Love those!

    Cathy ♥

  36. Unknown
    April 19, 2013 / 2:39 pm

    I am ready to jump into that bed, it is so lovely! Great job on the frame! The gold touches are perfect.

  37. Cindy~
    April 19, 2013 / 5:19 pm

    What a treasure you have! So worth all the effort! Turned out beautiful and the matching chandy, just sets the space perfect! Will be sharing your fabulous efforts!!

  38. Eclectic Red Barn
    April 19, 2013 / 7:29 pm

    What a gorgeous iron bed. I have one, but not that intricate. You did a lovely job on it.
    The room looks so beautiful. I am your newest GFC and linky follower.
    Have a wonderful weekend,
    @ Eclectic Red Barn

  39. Unknown
    April 19, 2013 / 9:47 pm

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE irons beds and yours is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  40. Sylvia
    April 20, 2013 / 12:11 am

    Beautiful bed and room. You did a great job. I have an iron bed that my great grandmother gave to my grandmother as a wedding gift. It is very special to me and I have used it in a guest room for over 30 years.

  41. Irene
    April 21, 2013 / 7:10 pm

    you did a great job. and you are right cheap paint is just that cheap, not worth my time. Love your combo of pillows, especially the ticking.

  42. Shannon
    March 3, 2014 / 2:18 am

    Loving that bed and dust ruffle! Stupid question though; How did you layer the 2 eyelet dust ruffles? Were they different length/sizes?

  43. historypak
    September 17, 2015 / 10:34 am

    I was reading your article and wondered if you had considered creating an ebook on this subject. Your writing would sell it fast. You have a lot of writing talent.