How to Choose the Right Plywood for Various Projects

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 05/09/2019

Plywood is a popular building material because it is relatively affordable, yet very sturdy and durable.

There are however a number of different varieties of plywood, so knowing which type to use for various applications is essential to prevent problems occurring later on.

In this article, we explore the various types of plywood available and how best to use them.

Read on to find out more, or use the jump menu below to skip to your desired chapter:


  1. How is Plywood Made?
  2. Grades of Plywood
  3. Plywood for Furniture
  4. Plywood for Exterior Use
  5. Plywood for Water Exposure
  6. Plywood for Walls
  7. Plywood for Flooring
  8. Cutting Plywood
  9. Key Takeaways
  10. Conclusion

1. How is Plywood Made?

Plywood is made out of thin sheets of wood veneers.

With many of these pieces pressed together using high temperatures, plywood is manufactured.

There are different types of plywood, as well as thicknesses.

Their uses vary depending on this, and a type of plywood may be more suitable for a project rather than another.

It is important to consider the type of project you will be using plywood for, especially in terms of the strength requirements, where the finished product will be placed and used, and more importantly, exposure to the elements.

2. Grades of Plywood

Plywood is classified according to its thickness, appearance and condition.

These factors determine the grade of the plywood, such as:

A Grade

This refers to plywood that is smooth, and with few imperfections. This grade of plywood does not have small knots either. Thus this is high quality plywood. This type of plywood is thus ideal if you intend to paint it.

B Grade

This is plywood that is still of a relatively good quality. Typically such plywood will have small knots and possibly some nicks.

C & D Grade

When plywood is graded C or D, it means that it is of a relatively low quality.

There will be several knotholes and defects in it, as well as void areas.

This type of plywood can still be used if your main objective is to save money, and when it will be used in a project where it will be used in interior parts, or when it will be covered up, and so imperfections will not be visible.

Softwood vs Hardwood Grades

It is important to consider the difference between softwood and hardwood grades of plywood.

Softwood plywood refers to plywood in which the face and back veneers are composed of soft types of wood. These include cedar, pine and Douglas fir.

These are then graded as noted above, from A to D.

Hardwood plywood on the other hand is of a higher quality and it is the most ideal choice if aesthetics are important for your project.

Birch and oak are most commonly used for the hardwood veneer faces.

3. Plywood for Furniture

Plywood is often used for manufacturing furniture, especially furniture fronts like the drawer fronts and the cabinet tops.

The lower grade plywood is used for the interior parts of the furniture, and the higher grade is used for the outer parts where a more attractive veneer is desired.

This helps to save a bit on money, as well as reduce the weight of the furniture.

Plywood is very popular when building shelving units, wall units and cabinets.

4. Plywood for Exterior Use

If you intend to use plywood to build something that will be used outdoors, it is important to choose high grade plywood which is suitable for exterior use.

You need to bear in mind that since plywood is made from several layers of veneer glued together, it is not ideal to have it exposed to moisture.

Exterior plywood will have been manufactured using water-resistant glue, and it is thus more resistant.

This type of plywood is not graded from A to D, but instead a letter X is used to show that it was made with exterior glue.

5. Plywood for Water Exposure

Plywood is graded so as to allow you to make a well-informed choice, depending on how and where it will be used.

Apart from the grading ranging from A to D, plywood is also classified by the following categorisations, which reflect its resistance to water:


This is plywood where fully waterproof bond glue has been utilised to glue the layers to each other, making it the best and most sturdy type of plywood in case of high levels of moisture.

Exposure 1

Still sturdy and able to withstand water exposure but it is not to be used for permanent exposure to weather as it is not as resistant as the former.

Exposure 2

Features an intermediate bond, making it ideal for interior use where the plywood will be protected, and only low levels of water exposure are expected.

6. Plywood for Walls

If you will be using plywood for walls, it is best to go for construction plywood.

This is exterior grade plywood, which is able to withstand weather exposure.

You want peace of mind when you use plywood for walls, and you do not want exposure to weather to affects the integrity and safety of the walls.

7. Plywood for Flooring

Plywood is often used for flooring projects.

You need to ensure that your floors are both durable and safe, and so you should opt for plywood that is of a high quality.

Floors typically consist of a number of layers.

Floor underlayment it typically made from 5/8” plywood sheets, whereas the subfloor which sits below it is made from thicker plywood of at least ¾”.

8. Cutting Plywood

When using plywood it is important to make sure that you cut it correctly. You will need to use the most adequate type of blade.

Here are some tips to bear in mind:

  • Always cut plywood with the good side down
  • Cut along the scrap side
  • You may wish to invest in a plywood cutting blade
  • Always set the depth right, and ideally make use of some extruded foam as backing

Key Takeaways

If you want to save money and still have an aesthetically pleasing piece of furniture, or sturdy walls and floors, there is no need to look any further.

Plywood is a very popular choice for these and various other projects too.

It is widely used in woodwork and construction, and it is a favourite among DIY lovers.

The fact that it comes in different thicknesses, and that you can choose from various classifications, allows you to make the right choice as you will be using plywood that is most ideal for your needs, and according to the weather exposure and moisture resistance expected.


Plywood is a versatile and affordable material that can be used for interior, as well as exterior and structural applications.

Thanks to plywood quality grading and classifications, you can choose wisely and increase your chances of having plywood that is ideal for your intended project.

You can thus save money as well as increase the longevity of the project.

How to Prime MDF Boards for a Smoother Paint Finish

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 08/08/2019

Priming and sealing is always recommended before you start painting MDF boards.

If you prime the MDF before painting, you will get a far better and neater finish.

This is because the paint finish will be smoother due to the underlying base coat.

Besides you will be able to prevent any distortions, especially as a result of swelling.

Let's look at what you should do step-by-step in greater detail.

Continue reading to find out how, or use the jump links below to skip to a chapter of your choice:


  1. Sealing MDF Boards Edges
  2. Sealing MDF Boards with Drywall Sealer
  3. Sealing with Glue Based Primer
  4. Sealing MDF Board Surfaces
  5. Sealing with a Paint Primer
  6. Sealing with a Spray-on Lacquer
  7. Sealing with PVA Glue
  8. Sealing with an Enamel Primer
  9. Preparing, Priming & Painting MDF Boards

Sealing MDF Boards Edges

First of all, you should make sure to seal the edges of the boards well.

The surfaces also need to be sealed, especially since MDF is prone to moisture, which in turn causes swelling and splitting.

Sealing will also be critical if you intend to use water based paints.

Pay special attention to the edges as this is where the MDF board will be absorbing the paint most heavily.

And in case there are any routed details apply more sealer.

There are different kinds of sealer that you can use, including acrylic or drywall paint sealer, or oil based primer, or glue based primer.

Sealing MDF Boards with Drywall Sealer

Rub a coating of this primer into the edges of the boards.

Then wipe for a more even result, and sand the areas.

Sealing with Oil Based Primer

Apply onto the edges and leave to dry well. Then sand them down.

Sealing with Glue Based Primer

PVA glue can be spread as a thin layer over the edges of the boards.

A glue spreader can be used to do this more easily, or else you could apply it with an airbrush.

Just try to make sure that the layer is as smooth and as even as possible.

Do not allow any build ups.

Once it has dried well you can sand it lightly, paying attention to avoid sanding through the glue coating.

Sealing MDF Board Surfaces

The surface area of the boards can be sealed with different products, namely:

Sealing with a Paint Primer

Buy a paint primer that is suitable for MDF.

These primers are solvent, not water based.

These could include enamel or lacquer.

Pay attention when applying as these primers are rather thick, and in case you need to retain certain details they may not be ideal.

Sealing with a Spray-on Lacquer

Choose a clear or a coloured spray lacquer that is suitable for exterior finishes for best results.

Always follow the instructions on the product, and work in a well ventilated area.

Sealing with PVA Glue

Applying thin layers of PVA glue is another option.

Dilute with water so as to attain a thinner layer, or else opt for acid neutral PVA glue which is used for bookbinding as this can be easily applied.

In fact you could either use a roller or a spreader to apply it onto the boards, or else a spray bottle that is suitable for thinner glues.

Sealing with an Enamel Primer

The most important thing is to apply thin coatings.

Bear in mind that while applying it will be drying up rather quickly, and so you need to avoid having any build-ups accumulating.

Running and dripping will lead to an untidy result.

Make sure to choose a colour that will work well underneath the final coat.

Preparing, Priming & Painting MDF Boards

Once you choose which product to use for priming, follow these steps:

  1. Lay the MDF boards flat
  2. Wear gloves and start applying the primer on the edges of the boards first.
  3. Allow to dry well.
  4. To sand it is recommended to attach a sanding pad onto an oscillating tool, and fasten a sandpaper over it. Sand the edges you just primed.
  5. Then, sand lightly the surface area of the MDF boards so as to remove any fuzzy fibres which may be on the surface. This is common since MDF is ultimately a wood product composed of wood fibres packed up densely together.
  6. Wipe the surface of the boards with a rag to remove dust residue. Then use a tack cloth to get rid of any remains more effectively.
  7. Now you can start to apply the primer onto the surface area. Depending on the primer product you chose, you could use a spray bottle or a paint roller. Always spread evenly and as smoothly as you can. Wipe away any drops or running immediately.
  8. Allow the primer to dry thoroughly.
  9. Then, you can move on to the painting process.

Painted MDF looks much better, but it is important to prime it and sand it first.

Apart from a more aesthetically pleasing result, it will also increase its lifespan, as it is a type of material which easily absorbs water.

It is not difficult or time consuming to prime MDF boards, and you won’t need to sand it extensively either.

How to Design a Practical Fitted Wardrobe

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 09/07/2019

Wardrobes have a tendency of being always piled up with clothes, and various other items.

For many people it is a problem to fit newly bought items in their wardrobe, and yet, new clothes and accessories need to be bought and stored somewhere!

So, if you are facing this kind of problem, why not try to make the best use of space by opting for a fitted wardrobe.

This will help to gain more storage space and be able to store more items.

Unfortunately it is common for people to have poorly designed wardrobes which do not make proper use of floor space and wall space.

If you would like to start afresh, we hope that the following guidelines on how to design a practical fitted wardrobe or closet will guide you to make good choices.

Read on to learn more, or use the jump links below to hop to a chapter that interests you:


  1. Evaluate Your Needs
  2. Organisation is Key
  3. Ergonomic Design
  4. Drawers or No Drawers?
  5. Add Extra Storage
  6. Smart Shoe Storage
  7. Avoid Unnecessary Spending
  8. Be Flexible & Practical
  9. You Don't Have to Fit Everything!

Evaluate Your Needs

It is important to start by planning carefully.

Consider your needs, the number and types of items you need to store away in the wardrobe, and the space available in that room.

If you have a completely blank wall at your disposal, it might not be really necessary to use it all up.

First of all it will end up being unnecessarily costly, and you might even end up with unused space within the wardrobe.

That space could have been left for other furniture, decorations or simply floor space for more spaciousness.

So, you should try to ascertain the storage space that you really need.

This includes planning the hanging space you require, and the number and types of shelves.

Organisation is Key

You may be amazed at how much space you could end up saving, and making, if only you organised your clothes and any other items properly.

It is highly recommended that you take the time to group clothes according to size, so that you do not waste space when they are tucked away together in the wardrobe.

Also, consider the best height for the top rod.

The higher this rod is the more space you will then have to store underneath it.

Ergonomic Design

How often did you end up on the floor rummaging through items stored at the base of your wardrobe?

How much bending down did you end up doing?

Unfortunately this is a common problem with many who fail to take into account the importance of designing a wardrobe ergonomically.

An ergonomic design will not only prove to be more practical and convenient, but it will also enable you to find things more easily while keeping your wardrobe neat and tidy.

These are some smart tips you should bear in mind:

  1. It is best to place shelves right above hangers to gain more storage space.
  2. Shelves should be positioned about 10 inches apart.
  3. It is also recommended to have shelves which are not more than 14 inches deep as otherwise you will end up having items falling at their back.
  4. When a shelf has a width of 12 inches it is generally the best option as most folded clothes will fit nicely and tidily in that space.

Drawers or No Drawers?

Funnily enough while drawers may give the impression of helping you be more organised, in many cases they end up being a big no no with wardrobes.

First of all drawers take up a considerable amount of space which would have been more spacious if it had been left for a normal wardrobe door.

In fact if you were to think of it you would notice that drawers in reality restrict the wardrobe layout and waste space.

Only small items can be stored in drawers.

These include socks, underwear, and scarves.

All of these could be more easily stored in bedside tables or dressers.

Any folded clothes like sweater and t-shirts will also fit more easily and neatly on an open shelf rather than inside a drawer.

You would also be able to see them more easily.

Also, drawers end up increasing the costs involved to build a wardrobe.

So in reality they might as well be avoided.

Add Extra Storage

If you have a relatively small space you will need to use every storage possibility to the full.

In these cases it is recommended that you avoid folding clothes, but rather stick to hanging them.

A deep space in a wardrobe is best used for hanging clothes, rather than folded clothes which you cannot access easily because they end up falling towards the back.

A practical option is to include deep drawers underneath beds.

These can be used for shoes. Drawers should be left to other furniture such as a dresser, where they can accommodate small items like underwear and socks.

Smart Shoe Storage

For small rooms avoid storing shoes inside your wardrobe.

If however you want to cram them inside your wardrobe make sure to opt for a practical way to do so.

Shelves for shoes should be at mid-height so as to enable you to see them easily.

Shelves which slide out can be very convenient for shoes.

Also shelves used for shoes do not have to exceed 12 inches in depth.

Avoid Unnecessary Spending

While shopping for the material needed to build your practical fitted wardrobe you might be tempted to buy accessory storage devices.

Instead of spending a considerable amount of money on these supposedly innovative storage options you would do better with racks.

These can allow you to make good use of space and they are ideal for ties, belts and scarves.

Be Flexible & Practical

Try to make your wardrobe as adaptable as possible.

Different seasons call for different clothes and accessories.

So, why not do away with shelves for a while so as to use hanging rods.

As long as the holes for the rods can be used for the shelf supports, you can change from one to another easily.

Top shelves will come in handy to store off-season clothes and gear.

You Don't Have to Fit Everything!

While the wardrobe is the biggest furniture piece in your home, avoid being tempted to tuck away everything in it.

There are other rooms and other furniture at home.

So invest in simple shelving systems for other rooms in your home to store certain items there.

10 Top Tips for a Successful Kitchen Design

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 11/06/2019

The kitchen is literally the hub of the home.

Therefore when you start to think of designing your new kitchen, you need to ensure you're going to make the right choices and decisions long term.

No one wants to be changing their kitchen every few years.

If you come to think of it, you and your family will be spending thousands of hours in the kitchen until you remodel or change it sometime in the future.

So it is imperative to choose well in terms of aesthetics as well as functionality.

Read on to discover our Top 10 Tips for a Successful Kitchen Design or jump to a chapter using the links listed below:


  1. Proper Planning
  2. Efficient Layout
  3. The Kitchen Triangle
  4. Appliances & Power Sources
  5. Kitchen Cupboards & Storage
  6. Countertops
  7. Flooring
  8. Lighting
  9. Air
  10. Refuse

1. Proper Planning

The importance of planning ahead is crucial.

You cannot just go and pick the first kitchen that you like and have it installed.

You need to think through key aspects, such as the space available, your needs as a family, and practicality considerations.

A U-shaped kitchen might be the most common option as it offers various advantages, but it may not be the best choice for your room.

An L-shaped kitchen or a linear design might actually prove to be better in some cases.

You should make a list of the most important aspects and factors to consider so as to discuss them with the interior designer or kitchen manufacturer.

2. Efficient Layout

Your kitchen is where the family gathers for meals, but it is also where most family members meet up at other times of the day too.

You thus need to make sure that the kitchen design is kid-friendly, accessible and practical.

Wide walkways are recommended, especially near the cooking zone.

Ideally the cooktop should not be near high traffic areas as this could help in avoiding spills as well as increase safety since there is less chance for a handle to be caught or tipped.

The fridge on the other hand should not well accessible to all, including any passers-by.

3. The Kitchen Triangle

This is an extremely important aspect of kitchen design.

You will need to make sure that there is minimal space between the fridge, the sink and the cooker.

You cannot afford to move around from one to the other while they are located too far away from each other.

They should be placed in close proximity and in the layout of a triangle for maximum efficiency and practicality.

4. Appliances & Power Sources

When planning a kitchen you will need to devote some time thinking about the appliances which you plan to have, and where you will be placing them.

These decisions will allow you to plan the locations where you will need to have power sources to plug them in.

This includes gas and/or electricity lines.

As a general rule of thumb it is best to install multiple outlets along the kitchen backsplash.

Another useful tip with regards to kitchen appliances is to avoid placing appliances in corners as this could prove problematic for accessibility and practicality.

5. Kitchen Cupboards & Storage

Cabinets should be allowed enough door clearance. This also applies to appliance doors.

While corner cupboards may seem to be very spacious, generally they are not that practical as they are too deep and lack ease of accessibility.

Even if you have plenty of storage space you may end up in situations when you still do not have room to store everything.

From utensils and cookware, to kitchen supplies and dinnerware, you shall be storing a lot of items in your kitchen.

So you need to make it a point to plan your kitchen well so as to have plenty of space available.

  • Overhead cabinets going right up to the ceiling could offer a welcome storage space for those kitchens where floor space is somewhat limited.
  • Adding some shelves to combine storage and décor is another good idea. Here you can place certain key utensils, as well as spices, oils, and pots and pans which you tend to use often.
  • At times drawers work out to be better than cupboards for certain items.
  • While storage space is important, you need to make sure that there is enough space for all of the appliances, including small ones, which you might wish to have in your kitchen. These would otherwise end up cluttering the countertops and reducing space for other tasks.

6. Countertops

The surface area of the kitchen will be used as your worktop to prepare food, serve and do everything else!

Regardless of the amount of countertop space you will have, there may be times when it will not suffice.

Examples being when you have guests for dinner, or maybe when you have a party and there are more dishes and stuff lying here and there than there usually are.

You may thus wish to add more counter space by adding a kitchen island, if there is enough floor space.

Another important tip is to make sure that there are proper countertop spaces next to the cooktop, the microwave, and the fridge.

This is generally referred to as landing space that is the area where you will be placing items when using these appliances.

While discussing your kitchen countertops it also needs mentioning that the material you will be choosing is also important.

Make sure that the surface area is not only about aesthetics, but practicality.

Choose a material that is easy to care for and maintain.

Matte finishes do not look as dirty as glossy ones.

Also, avoid grouting or any material that could scratch easily.

7. Flooring

Slip resistant and easy to clean flooring options are recommended.

Remember that kitchens are prone to spills and stains.

So you need to choose wisely when you choose your kitchen flooring.

8. Lighting

The kitchen is a room that needs to be appropriately lit.

You should consider the most energy efficient type of lighting, as well as its positioning.

For instance, you do not want to have the lights placed in a way that they end up casting a shadow on your worktop rather than illuminating it properly.

Under cabinet lights are generally recommended.

9. Air

Bear in mind that your kitchen is a place where there is going to be a lot of moisture as well as odours.

You need to ensure that there is proper ventilation.

Should this be somewhat limited in terms of apertures make sure to invest in a good range hood.

10. Refuse

Easily overlooked, you need to allow space for trash disposal and recycling in your kitchen.

This is the place where most waste is generated.

Built-in bins may be the best option if it is possible to incorporate them.

Otherwise do make sure that there is enough space for garbage containers or bins.

How to Make an Upholstered Headboard using MDF

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 08/05/2019

An upholstered headboard is simply ideal if you want a more aesthetically pleasing bed, which is also more comfortable and useable.

If you like sitting up in bed to read at night, you'd much rather have an upholstered headboard to lean against, instead of a hard frame or a bare wall.

If your bed does not have such a headboard, you can make one yourself quite easily.

In this article, we're going to explain how easy it is to make your own upholstered headboard with just a few materials and basic tools.

Read on to find out more or use the links below to jump to the chapter that interests you:


  1. Materials Required
  2. Tools Required
  3. Cutting the Headboard Shape
  4. Cutting the Padded Foam
  5. Adding Upholstery
  6. Attaching Buttons
  7. Wall Mounting
  8. Finishing Up

1. Materials Required

In order to make a headboard, the most practical option is to use a sheet of plywood or MDF.

It is recommended that the thickness of the MDF or plywood sheet is at least 12.5mm (half an inch).

Either material is sturdy enough for the job, but not too thick to make cutting or shaping too troublesome.

Naturally, the width and height of the headboard will depend on the size of your bed.

A good quality foam will be needed, and it is important to have enough to cover all the surface are of the headboard with some wastage.

Padded foam that is 50mm (2 inches) thick is the best option.

This type of foam generally comes in sheets that are 600mm (24 inches) wide, so you'd typically need two sheets to cover an entire headboard.

Next, suitable fabric plus two or three layers of quilt batting will be needed to cover the headboard, as well as have some overlaps on each side so as to wrap it comfortably to the back of the panel.

When it comes to the fabric you use, make sure it's a material that's not susceptible to creasing.

It's always best to iron it well before attaching it to the headboard.

Many people like to use buttons to decorate an upholstered headboard to give it a classic finish.

In this instance, prong buttons are ideal.

2. Tools Required

There is no need to have a lot of tools to complete this project, so even a basic DIYer should be able to do a good job of making a headboard.

The most important tools and equipment to have available are:

  • a jigsaw to cut more easily and effortlessly
  • a sharpie or a marking instrument
  • a large ruler or a yardstick
  • drapery cord
  • buttons (optional)
  • wood glue
  • adhesive spray
  • a staple gun and staples
  • a flexible ruler or a template (to outline the headboard shape)
  • cleat hanger
  • screws
  • electric drill

Also, if the headboard is going to be mounted to the wall wall, cleats will be required.

3. Cutting the Headboard Shape

If the shape of the headboard is going to be rectangular, then all that's required is a pencil and a long ruler to draw a guiding line around the MDF sheet.

To ensure your lines are exactly 90º to the board, use a square to mark your edge lines.

Then with the jigsaw fitted with a fine toothed blade, it's fairly easy to cut along the marked line to create the final headboard shape.

If you have a more elaborate design in mind, it's best to prepare this on a template first using some firm cardboard or a sheet of hardboard.

This will make it much easier to create the shape and cut more precisely.

If you want to create an arch style headboard for example, it's best to use a compass to accurately draw the top circular edge.

Then trace the templated shape onto the board with a pencil and cut as necessary.

4. Cutting the Padded Foam

The next step is to cut the padded foam.

Roll out the foam onto a clean floor or a solid flat worktop, and then place the cut-out headboard on top of it.

Trace along the edges of the template using your marker pen or sharpie so that you have an exact shape drawn out.

Once you have a completed shape marked out, start cutting the foam along the line.

Once the foam shape it cut, spray adhesive onto both one surface of the foam and onto one surface of the solid MDF or plywood headboard sheet.

Then carefully stick and press down the foam directly onto the headboard sheet, making sure all edges line up accurately and neatly.

5. Adding Upholstery

The next step is to add the quilted batting layers over the foam.

Cover the foam side up with a couple of layers of stretched quilt batting, making sure to smooth out any wrinkles as you go.

If any persistent wrinkles appear, trying steaming them out with a steamer or an iron but do not let the iron touch the surface or burn the material.

Once in place using the staple gun, attach to the headboard along the edge at the back with staples, all the time making sure that it is pulled taut as much as possible.

After you've completed stapling the quilt batting, it's time to attach the finishing fabric.

The process is pretty much the same as attaching the quilted batting.

Simply cover up the headboards front facing panel with your fabric, and then flip it over to allow you to staple the fabric securely to the back.

If possible, have someone help out at this stage of the upholstering process.

Where there's areas where the quilting or fabric needs pulling tight, the staples can be removed quite easily and reset, although it's best to avoid this and hold everything firmly in the first place.

It will also ensure you end up with a neater finish.

6. Attaching Buttons

A popular design with headboards is to incorporate buttons for that classic, elegant look.

It's best to mark the headboard where the buttons are going to be attached to make sure they are positioned accurately and most importantly, spaced apart equally.

For best results, use a drill with a small sized drill bit to make the pilot holes.

Try to make the drill hole depths as consistent as possible.

Drilling may cause some foam to be left. This can easily be plucked out before continuing.

Then finally, the buttons can be attached tightly with drapery cord to the back or alternatively, attached with a strong glue.

7. Wall Mounting

There's various ways to mount a headboard, but with a cleat hanger things are a lot easier.

Simply attach one part to the wall and the other to the headboard.

If your walls are solid concrete, use suitable wall anchors and if your wall is a stud wall, locate the studs and attach using wood screws.

Then attach the other part of the cleat hanger to a suitable place at the back of the headboard, ensuring it will sit at the right height.

Screw the hanger to the back of the headboard using suitable wood screws and then hang your headboard into place!

8. Finishing Up

After you've mounted the headboard to the wall, sit back and marcel at your newly elegant bed arrangement.

And of course, try it out and make sure it's comfortable to lean against and practical to use.

You will be amazed at the huge difference a DIY upholstered headboard will make to a bedroom.

It's a relatively simple and cheap project to complete, and it's not going to take too long either.

The best news is, if you were to check how much it would cost to purchase an upholstered headboard and compare it with what you end up spending to make one yourself, the difference is huge.

So why not give it a go?

Order some plywood or MDF sheets, and make your own stunningly beautiful padded headboard.

What is a Wall Bed and Why Get One?

Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

Date 09/04/2019

What is a Wall Bed or Murphy Bed?

A Murphy bed, also known as a wall bed or pull down bed is a practical sleeping option for bedrooms.

One end of the bed is hinged so as to enable it to prop up vertically either against the wall, or into a closet space.

This kind of bed was named after William Lawrence Murphy, who patented this kind of bed in the early 1900's.

Murphy beds are still very popular nowadays, especially since many properties are particularly small in this day and age.

Thus Murphy beds are ideal when it comes to freeing up space, and making the most of the floor space.

Wall beds will have the mattress attached to the frame of the bed to ensure that it is held in place even when the bed is pushed up vertically.

Nowadays wall beds are far easier to push up thanks to torsion springs or piston lifts that take the bulk of the weight.

Find out more about uses, advantages and disadvantages of wall beds and Murphy beds below in the following chapters.


  1. Why Install a Wall Bed?
  2. Advantages
  3. Disadvantages
  4. Horizontal Single Wall Bed
  5. Horizontal Single Shelf Down Wall Bed
  6. Horizontal Single Shelf Up Wall Bed
  7. Vertical Double Sofa Wall Bed
  8. Study Single or Double Wall Bed
  9. Bunk Beds
  10. Conclusions

Why Install a Wall Bed?

When it comes to choosing the type of bed you will have in your bedroom, it is important to take into account space considerations.

In most bedrooms the bed takes up most of the floor space, leaving little room for other furniture and to move around.

That is why in such cases it is highly recommended to consider opting for a Murphy bed. Murphy beds are widely used in studio apartments and flats.

When the bed is not in use, it can be pushed up against the wall freeing up floor space to be used during the day.

These beds are also ideal in children’s’ rooms as during the day the floor space which would otherwise have been occupied by the bed, can be used for playtime.


Some of the main advantages of Murphy beds include:

  • Murphy beds are very practical, thanks to the fact they can pull up against the wall, leaving the floor space for other uses when not folded down.
  • ideal for cases where space saving is a must.
  • some Murphy beds serve a dual purpose nowadays. This is because some styles include other furniture, such as shelving, drawers or a table.
  • the bed can be tucked away into a closet too.
  • the mattress is attached and so it is safe.
  • there’s no box springs.


Some drawbacks of Murphy beds include:

  • unless properly installed, these beds could become unsafe.
  • since there’s no box springs, wire mesh is generally used in the mattresses, which reduces the bed’s comfort and may not be as supportive as a normal bed.
  • simple styling as there’s no headboard, footboard or bed rail, so there is practically nothing aesthetically unique about a basic wall bed.
  • some people will not like the job of having to pull down and fold up the bed on a daily basis.
  • not suitable for older people who may find it hard or strenuous to pull the bed up and down every day.
  • Common Wall Bed Styles

    Horizontal Single Wall Bed

    One of the most popular styles of wall beds is the Horizontal Single.

    This type of bed, takes up little floor space and it folds up horizontally. Thanks to a side piston lift system the bed can be opened easily and effortlessly.

    Horizontal Single Shelf Down Wall Bed

    In this style the bed will also fold horizontally, but beneath it there is a desk.

    So when the bed is in use the desk will basically become a shelf that slides down, since it will be on the upper side of the bed base.

    A very practical bed, which serves dual purposes and is perfect for teenagers’ bedrooms and study rooms.

    Horizontal Single Shelf Up Wall Bed

    In this case the wall bed will fold horizontally, but the shelf on its base will protrude upwards.

    A very practical design ideal for study rooms, which also looks very stylish.

    Vertical Double Sofa Wall Bed

    This is a very popular design for wall beds.

    The vertical double sofa wall bed is installed in bedrooms as well as living rooms, because the bed converts into a sofa during the day.

    Since this is a double bed, the sofa is of a decent size generally because it is a comfortable two-seater.

    This bed solves the problem for households where one cannot afford to place a sofa permanently due to limited floor space.

    Study Single or Double Wall Bed

    This bed converts into a worktop or desk during the day when the bed is not required.

    A very convenient solution for small bedrooms and study areas, this style can be either with a single or a double bed.

    Needless to say, the bigger the bed, the more spacious the desk can be.

    Bunk Beds

    Bunk beds are very popular in kids’ rooms, so this style is convenient and practical since the two bedding system will often be integrated with a wardrobe or shelving system.

    The beds can be folded up when not in use and so during the day the floor space can be put to good use, such as for playtime.


    Even though Murphy beds were invented over a century ago, they have evolved into modern, contemporary furniture pieces as many manufacturers revamp and rethink the whole concept of wall beds by incorporating the bed with modular cabinets.

    Nowadays you can find wall bed systems in different styles, materials and colours.

    Many can be custom made according to your specific room measurements or preferences.

    Common options include having a sofa, shelving system or desk to use when the bed itself is pushed up against the wall or into a dedicated cabinet space.

    Murphy beds or wall beds are widely used and their popularity will not fail because they are extremely practical and convenient.

    With practical furnishings becoming increasingly popular due to home becoming smaller, wall beds make for one of the best space-saving options around.

    Many apartments have small rooms, with very limited floor space.

    But thanks to a wall bed, you can free up otherwise disused space and make your home more adaptable and practical to your needs.

    Whether the wall bed is temporary for guests to stay on or to make your rooms feel bigger and more useable, a wall bed is a great space saving solution.

    8 Tips to Designing the Perfect Galley Kitchen Layout

    Author Chigwell Building & Joinery

    Date 07/03/2019

    If your kitchen area is narrow or limited for space, sometimes the design and layout choices you have are extremely limited.

    Long narrow kitchens are a prime example and in this instance, a galley wall kitchen is most likely the one and only solution.

    You may feel as though this limits your ability to be creative and integrate a number of features that a larger room allows. But with some ingenuity and creative thinking, a galley kitchen can in fact be a great success.

    If you're yet to design your galley kitchen, this article explores 8 key considerations to making it work perfectly, whether you're a budding chef, a parent with a growing family or someone that likes to entertain friends and family.

    Find out more about galley kitchen layouts below in the following chapters


    1. Maximising Space
    2. Single Wall vs Facing Walls
    3. Positioning Appliances
    4. Choosing Suitable Cabinets
    5. Tall Cabinets & Storage
    6. Appropriate Lighting
    7. Door Styles & Colours
    8. Eating & Socialising
    9. Conclusions

    1. Maximising Space

    The very first and integral part of designing the perfect galley kitchen is to maximise your available space.

    You should favour using tall units, wall units and shelving to capitalise on the space you have.

    Use as much ceiling height as you can, as this is less likely to impact on the usable floor area and give you that all important storage every kitchen needs.

    Stacking integrated appliances such as ovens and microwaves on top of one another is a great space saver too.

    Coupled with the use of pale colours and minimalist cabinets styles, you can create a more spacious look, and remove the corridor feel galley kitchens invariably have.

    Make sure you have ample lighting too, whether natural or artificial.

    This is essential to help enhance the kitchen layout and soften the look, giving a greater sense of openness.

    2. Single Wall vs Facing Walls

    If you only have a single wall to work with, you will really have to think wisely about placement of cabinet, appliances and preparations areas.

    It may seem like the impossible, but there are numerous examples of single wall kitchens that look stunning and really work.

    In this situation, try to place bulky items at the extreme ends of each wall.

    The refrigerator can be tucked away at one end whilst the oven and microwave can be placed at the other.

    This approach ten leave the maximum amount of worktop space available to create a suitable preparation area, and to integrate a sink and drying area.

    If however, you have the option to build your kitchen on two opposing walls, you thankfully have a little more flexibility to play with.

    One wall can be designed as the cooking area whilst the other can be the cleaning and prepping area.

    The key is to make your kitchen easy to move around, whilst being practical and useable.

    Try to visualise how you'd like to use the room and the placement of appliances, cabinets, sinks and refrigerators will become more obvious to you.

    3. Positioning Appliances

    When choosing your appliance positions, a smart tip is to avoid placing them close to windows or even worse, in front of them!

    Appliances are bulky, so they'll easily block a ton of natural light. This will make the room feel gloomy and small.

    Another tip is to install your oven near or next to the sink on the exact same wall as each other.

    Ensure that your refrigerator and high hanging wall cupboards are parallel to each other for easier manoeuvrability. Leave at least a meter between the sink and the oven.

    Having the fridge within reach of the oven and sink is ideal to maximise space and the food preparation triangle.

    4. Choosing Suitable Cabinets

    The type of cabinets you choose will make your kitchen more visually appealing.

    Many people are now choosing contemporary style slab cabinets that typically have inset handles.

    These types of doors help to give the kitchen a sleeker look and of course, limit snagging handles on clothing as you walk past them.

    Many cabinets come in a smooth gloss finish which helps to bounce light around the room, as well as give a cohesive finish that spreads across the length of the room.

    Cabinets without handles will make the room feel longer and larger, whilst handles can become a nuisance if you brush into them when moving from cabinet to cabinet.

    Cabinets with handles are now considered a little old fashioned. So if you want your kitchen to be modern and sleek, handleless is the way to go.