It is finished. Special thanks to Ed Hart for his adaptation of Ana White's original farmhouse bed design. I had to do some adaptations of my own. I used non-mortise bed rail fasteners. If the screw holes are the right size and your lumber is straight they work great, I also used the Kreg Jig for making slanted pocket screw holes, rather than the lag bolts in Ed's design. The Kreg Jig is an incredible and inexpensive tool.
Another adaptation I made was to use 2x2s for the bed rails rather than the 2x4s recommended. I didn't want to have to cut 3 1/2" openings down the length of the 2x4 for the slats to drop into the side rails. At the recommendation of a woodworker friend I used the 2x2s with one of them cut into strips that allowed the slats to drop into place.
One thing I was not happy about was the paint. Being a novice I was going to follow what TheBumperCrop did and use Kilz, then paint, distress, and glaze. At one of the big box stores (Not Lowe's) I asked about some guaranteed one coat paint and primer. The sales person guaranteed it would work, even though I told her what I was using it for. (I've since learned it was naive of me to think that a one coat paint and primer would ever work on unfinished wood.)
After painting, sanding, painting again, sanding some more here is a glimpse of the distressing.
I also used some caulk after I brought it into the house, because I didn't like seeing sunlight through the cracks in front of the windows :)
The final touch was a celebratory purchase, at the recommendation of another woodworker.
Overall, I am absolutely thrilled with the final result.
The takeaway? A novice woodworker can build this farmhouse king bed, alone, with a lot of planning, and having someone experienced on hand to answer questions. It took me about 35 hours given that I had several issues to work through, and had to work with the tools I had available (no table saw, no jig saw, no skill saw, just a miter saw). But it can be done - I have the bumps and bruises as proof, a small price to pay for the satisfaction of building our own king size bed.