I made a bed to a clients specifications about a month ago. They wanted a simple design, inexpensive materials, and 18 inches of floor clearance for storage underneath.
I made this bed nearly entirely from big box store construction lumber with the exception of the head board. That is made from vertical grain douglas fir from the lumber yard. Instead of staining the bed and dealing with blotchiness, I burned the surfaces with a torch, rubbed in beeswax, and buffed it out with a Scotch Brite pad. The result was a very smooth surface that is easy to repair. Just use a hair drier or a heat gun to reactivate the wax or add a bit more and buff it out.
A list of the materials I used to finish can be found here:
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