How To Make A Bunkie Board

Home » Outdoor DIY Projects » How To Make A Bunkie Board

How to make a bunkie board – Embark on the rewarding journey of building your own bunkie board with this comprehensive guide. From selecting the right materials to adding the finishing touches, we’ll walk you through every step to create a sturdy and stylish addition to your outdoor space.

Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or a novice eager to learn, this guide will empower you with the knowledge and confidence to tackle this project with ease.

Materials and Tools

To construct a sturdy and functional bunkie board, you’ll need a combination of materials and tools. Here’s a comprehensive list of what you’ll require:


  • Lumber:Select strong and durable lumber, such as pressure-treated pine or cedar, for the frame and decking.
  • Hardware:Gather galvanized screws, bolts, nuts, and washers to secure the components together.
  • Outdoor Adhesive:Use a waterproof adhesive specifically designed for outdoor use to enhance the stability of the joints.
  • Stain or Paint (Optional):If desired, you can apply a protective stain or paint to enhance the appearance and durability of the bunkie board.


  • Saw:A circular saw or miter saw for cutting the lumber.
  • Drill:For creating pilot holes and driving screws.
  • Level:To ensure the frame and decking are level and aligned.
  • Measuring Tape:For precise measurements and marking cuts.
  • Safety Gear:Always prioritize safety by wearing gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask during construction.

Design and Planning

The design and planning phase is crucial for creating a bunkie board that meets your specific needs and preferences. Consider the following factors:

Size and Shape

  • Determine the dimensions of the sleeping area. Standard bunk beds typically have mattresses that are 36 inches wide and 75 inches long. However, you can customize the size to accommodate larger or smaller mattresses.
  • Decide on the overall shape of the bunkie board. A rectangular shape is common, but you can also opt for a more unique design, such as an L-shape or a U-shape.

Weight Capacity

  • Estimate the maximum weight that the bunkie board will need to support. This includes the weight of the mattresses, occupants, and any additional items that may be stored on the board.
  • Choose lumber species and dimensions that can withstand the anticipated weight capacity.

Lumber Species and Dimensions

  • Select a lumber species that is strong, durable, and resistant to rot and insects. Common choices include pine, spruce, and fir.
  • Determine the appropriate lumber dimensions based on the size, shape, and weight capacity of the bunkie board. For example, for a standard bunkie board supporting a weight capacity of up to 500 pounds, you might use 2×6 or 2×8 lumber for the frame and 1×6 or 1×8 lumber for the slats.

Construction Methods

How to make a bunkie board

Building a bunkie board is a relatively simple process that can be completed in a few hours. However, it is important to follow the steps carefully to ensure a sturdy and durable construction.

The first step is to cut the lumber to the desired length. The frame of the bunkie board will be made from 2x4s, and the decking will be made from 2x6s. The length of the lumber will depend on the size of the bunkie board you want to build.

Assembling the Frame

Once the lumber is cut, you can begin assembling the frame. The frame will be made up of two side rails and two end rails. The side rails should be attached to the end rails using 3-inch screws. Make sure that the frame is square before you attach the decking.

Attaching the Decking, How to make a bunkie board

The final step is to attach the decking to the frame. The decking should be attached using 2-inch screws. Start by attaching the decking to the center of the frame, and then work your way out to the edges. Make sure that the decking is flush with the edges of the frame.

Once the decking is attached, your bunkie board is complete. You can now enjoy your new bunkie board for years to come.

Finishing and Customization: How To Make A Bunkie Board

How to make a bunkie board

Finishing and customizing your bunkie board will enhance its appearance and functionality. There are several options available to protect and decorate the board.

To protect the board from the elements and wear and tear, you can apply a sealant or finish. Sealants like polyurethane or spar varnish create a protective layer that resists moisture, UV rays, and scratches. You can choose a clear sealant to preserve the natural look of the wood or a tinted sealant to add color.


Staining the bunkie board is a great way to change its color and enhance the wood grain. Oil-based stains penetrate deeply into the wood, providing a rich and durable finish. Water-based stains are easier to apply and clean up, but they don’t penetrate as deeply as oil-based stains.


Painting the bunkie board is a versatile option that allows you to match it to any décor. Use a high-quality exterior paint that is resistant to fading and peeling. You can apply multiple coats of paint to achieve the desired opacity and finish.

Decorative Elements

You can add decorative elements to the bunkie board to make it more visually appealing. Stencils or wood carvings can create intricate designs on the surface. You can also attach hooks or handles to the board for added functionality.

Maintenance and Care

Regular maintenance and care are crucial to extend the lifespan of your bunkie board. Here are some tips:


Regular cleaning removes dirt, debris, and moisture, preventing damage and extending the board’s life. Use a mild detergent and warm water, then wipe dry with a soft cloth.


Periodically inspect the board for any signs of damage, such as cracks, splits, or loose screws. If you find any issues, address them promptly to prevent further deterioration.


If you notice any damage, it’s important to repair it as soon as possible. This could involve tightening loose screws, filling in cracks, or replacing damaged sections.

Additional Tips

  • Store the board in a dry, well-ventilated area when not in use.
  • Avoid exposing the board to extreme heat or cold, as this can cause warping or cracking.
  • If the board becomes wet, dry it thoroughly before storing to prevent mold or mildew growth.