A painted KURA bed becomes the centerpiece of this toddler room

how to paint IKEA KURA bed

After IKEA hacking our two nurseries (plywood drawer front for the HEMNES chest, EXPEDIT plywood doors and a multi-tasking HEMNES nursery chest) it was time for a bit of a change!

Our toddler is growing up (and his little brother too) so it was time to give his toddler bed to his little brother. And sleep in a bigger bed.

I did like the warm grey colour of the toddler bed, so I decided to paint the KURA bed in the same colour. I decided to leave two of the headboards, so we could still see the wall painting, and also it would be fun to put some stuffed animals and the lights there. As an extra storage shelf, I also added a BEKVÄM spice rack.

paint kura bed in warm grey. Toddler's room with KURA bed.

IKEA items used:

Other materials and tools:

  • Primer
  • Silk gloss paint (0,75 liter, a warm grey colour “Cloudy State” from Sigma)
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint rollers
  • Paint roller tray
  • 2 screws

Painting the IKEA KURA bed

After taking out all the parts from the packaging, I must say I wasn’t sure it would be wise to start this project. There were a lot (a lot!) of beams that have to be treated, besides the white panels.

painting the IKEA kura bed with latex paint
IKEA KURA bed pieces in the middle of the paint process

1. First I sanded everything with light sandpaper.

2. Then I had to take every part upstairs to start the painting process.

3. Next, I primed every piece. They were primed two times, because of the four sides.

4. And then painted (also with a minimum of two coats). Even then, the result was not as perfect.

I had some paint left, so I touched up a couple of sides that weren’t perfect in the painting process.

I also painted the two extra headboards, because if we would ever use it as a loft bed, we would probably be using those. By then, I was totally out of paint at the end, it was just enough. Be sure to also paint the inside slots of the beams, because they will be visible (especially when not using all the headboards).

Adding the BEKVÄM bookshelf

Besides the bed, I also painted two BEKVÄM spice racks but ended up using just one. We attached screws to the ladder which became a nice bracket at just the right width for the BEKVÄM bookshelf.

BEKVAM spice rack as kids bookshelf

It took me one weekend to do the whole painting proces, and one day to assemble the bed (including all the mess that it made and cleaning that up, with two kids in a household). Assembling the bed was a bit of a tough job, best to be done by two persons. 

painting process for IKEA KURA bed hack
1. Slots in the beams that needs painting 2 + 3. Not all holes are needed and can be painted over. Check and mark before painting.

I’m really happy with the result of the colour of the paint job. And the styling in total. The process however was tougher than I thought it would be. I’m also not extremely happy with the paint job, but it would do.

Because you can use the bed in different ways, you do not need all the holes, and I did forgot to check exactly, so a couple of them still show wood. Not a big deal. You can still touch them up after assembly. On the other hand it may be a good idea to leave them untouched as you may use the reversible bed in the loft position later on.

paint kura bed in warm grey. Toddler's room with KURA bed.

To be honest looking back, it was a lot of work for, maybe not a really useful end result. But it is, at least, a pretty one. And I love hacking IKEA stuff, especially for my kids just to make it a bit more personal. But let’s be honest, my toddler probably doesn’t really mind if the bed was in the original wood finish.

Fine tuning our IKEA KURA bed hack

After our toddler has slept a couple of nights in his new bed, we made some adjustments to the bed. We ended up removing the longer beam that is not against the wall. Because it got mostly in our way when putting our toddler to bed. Also we added one headboard, because we thought he might be bumping his head to the beam that’s near his pillow. Or the one above that when he is getting up. 

paint kura bed in warm grey. Toddler's room with KURA bed.
IKEA KURA bed with beam removed

Also to point out a small IKEA hack inside the right top DRÖNA box inside the EXPEDIT cubby. What you don’t see is behind the EXPEDIT are a lot of cables and an extension cord. At first, what I did was to place all of the cables behind the DRÖNA box, but then the box would protrude out of the EXPEDIT a bit.

DRONA box for cable management

Then it struck me that I can place them all inside the bin which was otherwise empty. I use the zipper at the bottom of the DRÖNA to allow the cables and extension cord to pass through. So now they are neatly (and safely) stored away.

Other than the painted KURA bed, we did a toddler closet hack to complete the room.

~ by Marleen K.

More tips on painting the IKEA KURA bed

Can you paint the IKEA KURA bed?

You can paint the IKEA KURA bed. First, lightly sand the furniture pieces. Use a damp cloth to remove sawdust and let dry. Then coat every piece of the bunk bed with wood primer. You may need one or two coats, depending on your primer. Lastly, finish with 2 to 3 coats of water-based latex paint. Pick a color that suits your color scheme and paint away.

What are the best tools to paint the IKEA KURA bed?

For the flat pieces and long boards use a small foam roller and a roller tray to quickly do the job. After assembling the bed frame you may notice spots you have missed out, then use a small angled brush to touch up these areas.

Find more IKEA hacks for your kids room: