More than a year ago I found this bed for our little girl at a garage sale for $15. I bought it so quickly that I didn't notice the burn mark on one of the spindles. My intention was to paint it anyway for Sister's room so I wasn't too disappointed when I discovered that flaw once I got it home. So the bed has been sitting in the basement waiting for the day when I would magically know the right process for refinishing such a piece of furniture. That day never came, but I got tired of having that unfinished project hanging over my head so we headed to the local home improvement store and I picked up a quart of Zinsser 1-2-3 primer and a gallon of the cheapest white semi-gloss they had. I cleaned it and sanded it just a bit, then applied a coat of primer. It was then that I noticed the stamps on the back of the headboard that said "Solid Maple" and "Ethan Allen". I almost felt guilty for painting over a quality piece of furniture like this, but then realized I bought it with painting in mind and the burn mark needed attention in one form or another. Three coats of paint later and here is the finished product. I had been aiming for a bed with this look at a fraction of the price.
Now Sister is finally able to use the comforter I finished making for her more than a year ago, too.
Cost: under $35 for everything, with paint and primer to spare for other projects.
Seeing my girl's excitement in having a big-girl bed that isn't sitting on the floor: Priceless.