How to Build a Rustic Headboard How to Build a Rustic Headboard

What You'll Need
Wood headboard
Damp cloth
Sandpaper
Oil-based paint
Clear lacquer

Many homeowners wishing for more informal and relaxing decor in their bedrooms are looking to rustic headboards for this change. Some of these homeowners are replacing their more formal style furniture with something new. Others are making less costly changes by creating older furniture into the rustic look by refinishing an existing piece. If you'd like to try your hand at making changes like this, just follow the 5 steps below.

Step 1 – Find the Right Headboard

In creating an old headboard with a new look, you will first need to find one with the right size and shape. A headboard that fits a double bed, for example, will not work for you if you plan to use it with a king size bed. Shape is another important consideration. A rustic headboard should have a softer look, more curves and rounded pieces, and less sharp edges. To find an inexpensive headboard that you can transform into one with a more rustic look, try visiting garage sales and secondhand stores. And don't forget classified ads. You'll find good buys there, and you won't need to spend as much time driving around.

Step 2 – Prepare for a New Finish

If you want to remove old varnish or paint, try using paint remover. If the old finish is just stain with a very light coat of clear lacquer, you can get by with just sanding it with a find grain sandpaper. But remember, your will be painting this piece, not staining it. You won't need to remove the old finish unless you wish to. But you will need to sand it to smooth its surface.

Step 3 – Painting Your Headboard

Paint color will be an important key, here. You will need to use an oil based paint whose color that will complement dominant colors in the bedroom where you plan to put your new headboard. Plan to apply two coats of paint, particularly if you are adding a light paint color to a darker surface color. Allow the first coat to dry until it is no longer tacky to the touch—probably 24 hours or more, depending on humidity. Then, apply your second coat.

Step 4 – Creating a Worn Look

The effect you are trying to create is one of age. To accomplish this, try to remove the new paint on corners and edges of the headboard, just as the wearing of age would normally have done. You can accomplish this by sanding with a heavier grade of sandpaper until the headboard's wood grain appears. Then, use a finer sandpaper grade to smooth the finish. Use a damp cloth to remove all dust and debris from sanding.

Step 5 – Apply the Finish Coat

When your final finish is dry from cleaning off residual dust, apply a clear lacquer as a sealer. For a more rustic look, use a flat finish. Then, allow it to dry, and you're ready to move the headboard into your bedroom.

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