Painted Headboard DIY-a Guest Post with Our Lady of Second Helpings

Remember the other day how I mentioned that I was meeting new blogger’s in the Seattle area??? Well, I’ve also met Rose from Our Lady of the Second Helpings, a wonderful food blog! She has tons of great recipes! I really, really want to try the Tomatillo-Apple Guacamole! But low and behold, I find out she’s crafty too! And a great photographer! I’m so happy to welcome her here today to share a DIY headboard with us!
Welcome Rose!
This headboard uses a painting technique that could be applied to many other DIY projects. I have also thought about painting a park bench, table top, or making an indoor/outdoor wall hanging using the same method. The tape stencil and headboard were inspired by various images of repurposed pallet wood. We happened to have a supply of weathered cedar from a portion of fence we took down. The old fence boards have proven to be a valuable material. In addition to this project they have become planter boxes, table tops, garden edges, and a sandbox!
The headboard project was a joint effort between myself and my husband and our son. He is a more precise worker and I am more free form. It was a good match for our individual approaches to being crafty – I designed, he constructed, I decorated, and he installed. We made this for our Queen size bed. The width is similar to the mattress and the height puts the top of the board a little above our pillows when the bed is made. It could be made really tall and have little shelves or wiring built in – we aren’t quite there in our fancy skillz development.
Materials Used:
Fence boards (or pallet boards or other recycled wood material)
Sandpaper (medium and fine grain)
Electric Sander – Recommended
Electric Drill
Wood Screws
Latex Paint
1 & 2 inch paint brushes
Painters Tape
Silver Sharpie
craft knife
1-1/4 inch screws with ribbed plastic anchors (for hollow walls)
To make your headboard:
Measure, cut, smooth: Cut your boards to fit your project. Our headboard is modestly sized at 5 ft x 21-1/2 in or 4 boards high. We added legs so it would rest on the floor rather than putting all the weight on our wall. The legs extend from the top of the boards to the floor. If you aren’t using legs cut short cross pieces to go behind the boards vertically. Use a medium to fine grain sandpaper to smooth the boards, blend in the fresh cuts and bevel (round) the edges if you like that effect.
Assemble: Arrange the boards the way you want them to look when finished with the vertical pieces behind the horizontal boards. Choose wood screws that will go through the horizontal boards and about halfway into the vertical cross piece. Use an electric drill. Begin by making small pilot, or guide, holes with a thin drill bit, everywhere you intend to put a screw. This step should prevent any splitting of the wood when you install the screws. Swap your drill bit for the appropriate screw driver and drive the screws straight into the wood until they are even with the surface.
Base Coat: I created the base coat using a couple of sample pots of various white wall paint. The samples had both yellow and grey undertones providing a more aged appearance. Use any color or colors you choose for your base coat. Make sure your boards are dry and dust free. Grab a dry 1 or 2 inch brush, dab it lightly into one color of paint and begin lightly brushing the paint on the boards. Don’t try and get a uniform coat of paint. Allow the paint to go on heavier in some places and feather light in others. Give the heavier spots a good stiff brushing to blend the edges into the surrounding area. Apply the paint as lightly or heavily as you desire. Between coats buff the boards with fine grain sandpaper. Sand the paint unevenly to maintain a weathered look. Brush or wipe the dust away after sanding.
Create your stencil: Make sure the painted surface is dry and dust-free. Cover the entire board with overlapping strips of painters tape. Use a silver Sharpie or other easy to see, smudge-proof, marker to draw on your design. Shapes that are a little larger in scale will be easier to cut and you will have less chance of paint bleed than a delicate design. If you are a less confident crafter/painter I recommend sticking to large scale images. Google images has a lot of stencil designs you can use for inspiration. Use a craft knife to cut away the area you want to paint your background color. You can remove the stencil and create a relief effect or leave the stencil and paint around it as pictured.
Paint the background: Once the area you want to be your background color have been revealed apply the background paint. Use the same light coating and sanding technique as the base color application. This layer can be minimal or heavy depending on your preference. Once the paint has completely dried remove the remaining tape. Tip – Brush away from the tape edges to prevent paint from collecting under the tape. Add as much or little detail to your image as you desire. I filled in the stencil with a bit more latex wall paint and then sanded the heck out of it to give the finished piece a well worn appearance.
Finish Coat: To give the headboard a uniform sheen and added protection I sprayed the finished project with two coats of a satin finish polyurethane clear coat.
Be sure to check the wall for any electrical wires, plumbing, or other stuff that could be damaged by drilling!
When mounting something heavy, you will want to locate the studs so that you can bolt right into it, but for something reasonably lightweight, you can use plastic ribbed anchors. Drill small holes through the legs of the headboard and into the drywall behind. Re-drill the holes in the drywall to fit the anchors, and press one into each hole. Then screw the legs in place.
We completed this project over about three days. Day 1: sanding and assembling, Day 2: Painting, Day 3: Installing. It can be done faster but we just laid everything out on our patio during a stretch of nice weather and worked on it between other activities.
Thank you Rose! I really appreciate you sharing this with us!
Be sure to check out Rose’s blog, Our Lady of the Second Helpings,  and all her fantastic recipes!