I'm trying to build a platform bed using 2x4 lumber from Home Depot.

I'm wondering if I need to treat the surface somehow if I want to put the mattress on top of the platform. Will a 2x4 surface be smooth enough to put the mattress on top? Or do I need to sand it down or put some other kind of finish?

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    I depends on the lumber, doesn't it? Carefully run your hand across the wood in all directions where you expect bedding to go. Does it catch and raise slivers? Is it rough enough to wear unreasonably? Note that many beds from Ikea and so on use marginally planed softwood for slats in their beds. – jdv May 17 at 22:41

The wood used for slats and other surfaces that touch your bedding should be smooth enough not to catch fabric or raise slivers. It does not have to be finished. If you do finish it you must make sure it is fully cured, and not oil-based, before you use it. (Don't bother finishing it.)

A decent planed or scraped surface and rounded or chamfered edges is fine. This is not a time for hours of hand-sanding at the finest grit. Just smooth enough so that you feel safe running your hand across it.

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  • Try and find the dry 2x4s ("premium", sometimes) at the Orange place. (Your mileage may vary: they sometimes don't have dry.) Absolute worst case, grab from the top-back of the stack. Dry wood will be markedly lighter. Be prepared to pre-drill if you're screwing near the ends. – Aloysius Defenestrate May 17 at 23:06
  • You're killing it with the Answers lately jdv :-) – Graphus May 18 at 13:49

Only the framework is 2x4, Slats of bed frame of this style are made with 1x3 boards. Buy better quality 1x3 to make the slats. The surface does not have to be treated, but should be sanded smooth enough to feel smooth.

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  • This is so strange, A close look at the platform bed he is talking about is not made with 2x4s for the slats. I was pointing out that if he looks at the platform bed he is replicating, it does not use 2x4 for the slats. – Programmer66 May 19 at 15:01

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