Over time, bed frames can develop problems, due to natural wear and tear. But, to replace them will be highly expensive. If you need to purchase a new bed frame, it can cost thousands of dollars. Thankfully, there is a way to avoid paying these high costs, repair them yourself. But, how to fix a broken bed frame?

The way that you fix the bed frame will depend on the way that the frame has been damaged. In some cases, it might be as simple as using some wood filler to fix a crack. In others, you might need a more intensive solution, like replacing the broken elements.

As we’ve seen, there are a few different approaches that you might need to take. To make it easier to find the right solution, let’s look at the most common problems, why they occur, and how you can solve them.

Fixing Cracks And Splits

One of the most common issues is with splits and cracks developing in the foundation of the bed. This can be very alarming. But, if solved properly, you should be able to continue using the bed safely.

Why They Occur

Typically, these will happen because the bed frame isn’t getting the support it needs. Once the crack is solved, you’ll be able to work on adding more support later. This can often mean putting in a few new beams, to strengthen the existing structure.

 How to Fix Cracks in a Bed Frame

First, you have to get a clear view of the crack. This can mean removing the mattress.

Next, you will need to get inside the split with a screwdriver and carefully remove any debris, like wood pieces that have become stuck inside the crack.

Once you’ve done this, you should have a better idea about the size of the crack. This will determine the approach that you should take.

Fixing Smaller Cracks

If the crack isn’t too serious, you will be able to patch it up with some putty. To do this, you’ll need to use the following steps:

  1. Using sandpaper, try to make the sides of the crack as smooth as possible. This will ensure that the wood filler binds effectively.
  2. Place wood filler into the split, until the crack is full. 
  3. Use a putty knife to scrape off the excess filler.
  4. Leave to dry.
  5. In some cases, you might want to paint over the putty, making the crack less visible.

Fixing Bigger Cracks

In some cases, you might be unable to patch-up the crack using wood filler. In this case, you will need to use a more intensive process, following these steps:

  1. Use sandpaper to smooth the sides of the crack.
  2. Wipe the area with a damp cloth. This will make it easier for the glue to bind the two sides together.
  3.  Using a clamp, measure up the two sides. You will need to be able to hold them together tightly.
  4. Once the clamp is ready, apply the wood glue liberally to each side of the crack. Because this can be a messy stage of the process, you might want to use an old blanket to catch any glue, protecting your furniture.
  5. Clamp down on the area.
  6. Use a putty knife to scrape off any excess glue. 
  7. Leave the glue to dry.
  8. Sandpaper off the excess glue, creating a smooth surface.
  9. The crack should now be fixed. To avoid having to re-do the process, you might want to consider adding some additional support to the frame.

Broken Bed Slats

In some cases, you might notice that the bed slats have cracked or broken off. Thankfully, it’s fairly simple to replace the broken slats.

Why Does This Occur?

Often, the constant pressure of the mattress can cause the slats to bend and, eventually, break. This can be accelerated if the pressure isn’t evenly distributed, putting more force onto some slats.

How To Fix Broken Bed Slats

This is a fairly simple problem to fix. All you need to do is replace the broken slat. Let’s look at the steps required to do this:

  1. Remove the broken slat. Depending on your bed, they might be screwed in. Once it’s out, you can throw it away.
  2. Measure up the other slats. You’ll need to know how wide, long, and thick each slat is. Once you have the dimensions, go to the hardware store and purchase a replacement. If you can’t find an exact replacement, focus on getting the thickness and width right. You can cut it to length later.
  3. Line up the new slat with the others.
  4. Place it into position. You might want to screw it in. For added security, you can add some wood glue.

Bad Bed Joints

You might also find that the joints of the bed have started to loosen. This can make the bed more unstable. If not fixed, this can cause serious future problems. If it gets too loose, the joint might come out entirely, this can cause a lot of damage to the bed frame.

Why Does This Occur?

Many older beds were made with mortise joints. This is where the two pieces are connected by a slot in the wood. Though these are strong, these will slowly weaken over time, as the wood expands.

Because of this, you might notice that a metal bracket has been added. This is designed to provide more support to the joint.

How To Fix A Bad Joint

In most cases, the joinery will still be strong, the wood has just expanded over time. So, you will need to tighten it up. Let’s look at some of the steps required to do this:

  1. Remove the metal bracket (if necessary). These will be re-attached later, so keep them in a safe place.
  2. Remove the joints carefully. In some cases, you might need to use a rubber mallet to do this.
  3. Once out, inspect the joint. If there is dried glue on them, you’ll need to remove it using a chisel.
  4. Apply wood tape to the tendon. This is the part of the joint that slots into the bed frame. In most cases, this is the part of the joint that’s loose. It can be solved by using wood tape.
  5. Put wood glue into the slot. Try to apply it liberally to all four sides of the slot. You might want to use a putty knife to help you do this, spreading it to all corners of the slot.  
  6. Re-attach the joint. You might need to use a rubber mallet to do this, hammering the two pieces together.
  7. Put the metal brackets back on. If they have been damaged, you might want to use new ones.
  8. Wait for the glue to dry. Then, you should be able to start putting weight back onto the joint.

In Conclusion

Bed frames can be expensive, so you don’t want to purchase a new one unless you have to. As we’ve seen a few simple DIY tasks could be all that’s required to fix the most common bed problems. So, now you will be able to extend the lifespan of your bed.

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