Determining Gender by Refinishing
December 18th, 2011

The popular opinion about an iron beds adaptability and gender usually is thought to be determined by the beautiful curves or feminine design. Although that can certainly catch the eye and help you feel a bed will look better in a feminine room as oppose to a bachelors pad. It’s certainly not the only thing that can sway the determination of gender in one direction.

Consider color………… Take a look at these two beds in the photo. It’s the same bed, just refinished differently.  The soft turquoise and white interior is a finish we did for a teenage girls room. When we originally got this bed, it was from a mans apartment back in the Pittsburgh area. That’s when it was black.

Many times over the years we’ve refinished   beds that given their particular style and design would be thought of as a definite gender. Yet more often than not the new owner wanted their “feminine”  bed to have a darker more masculine finish. Surprisingly here is an area of compromise in a bed being shared by a couple. One selects the style of the bed, while the other picks the antique finish it will have. That makes for happy households ……… and good relationships.

Surprisingly I’ve also had top notch designers, that I’ve dealt with over the years, get extremely ornate scrolled beds, that are going into a woman’s room, and then have me refinish them in a Black. They then appoint them in black with beautiful white “punch-board” eyelet dust ruffle, coverlets and large European pillow shams. The fluffier and more pillows the better. What the designer has achieve is the ultimate contrast between black and white.

So the gender of a bed can be determined by the finish……..the style…….and the way you dress it. All of those combination’s can give you a endless number of possibilities.

Here’s another element in determining gender……..color. Try deep barn red, or light shy blue, or dusty rose, or rusty brown. They all carry a certain gender along with them. I have many mothers do their little boys beds  in either “fire engine red” or “royal blue”. The for their daughters room they choose pastels for their bed.

Never buy a bed because of the color or finish it has on it. That’s easily changed. It’s the design that you’re going to have to live with and that should be of utmost concern.

I’ve definitely have bought beds over the years because of a beautiful old vintage finish it may have had. But I’d have bought the same ones even without the great finish.

One of the more fun things about this kind of bed is being able to refinish it in an entirely different manner, over and over again. It never gets dull. That’s why I’ve gotten beds in that have had as many as a dozen different colors and finishes on them. When you take into account the 150 to 200 years some of these beds have been around and how difficult it was back then to get paint off something. It made total sense that they’d simply paint over an existing finish with a new fresh coat of paint.

I hope you’ve found this blog informative . I invite you to revisit my website


to answer any and all questions you might have about antique iron beds.

I also invite you to take a look at our company  Face Book page for multiple photo albums on Custom Finishes, Canopy Conversions and a comprehensive “Before & After” King Conversions album.

Cathouse Antique Iron Be#B1BE56

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