How to Decorate a Metal Bed Headboard

What You'll Need
Various decorative items, like paint, gold leafing, rusting solution, etc.
Sand paper (sometimes)
Paint brush (sometimes)

If you have a metal bed headboard with no decorations, you may be in the mood for some pizzazz. There are a variety of options out there for decorations that you can experiment with in your home. Consider some of the following for inspiration.

Step 1 - Make a Plan

Start off your project by determining how you want to decorate your metal headboard. Do you want it to be old and industrial, or do you want it to have a nice clean look? Make a design plan in your head before you proceed.

Step 2 - Purchase Materials

When you know what you want to do with the headboard (some inspirations listed below), you need to go out and buy the necessary application materials. You will likely have to sand the metal down to get anything to adhere to it, so getting some fine grit sandpaper would be wise. Other than that, the materials are case specific.

Step 3 - Decorate the Headboard

Below are a few different decoration techniques to consider.

Make the Headboard Look Rustic

You may love that old patina that metal gets after years of rusting and general wear. Rather than waiting for years to get that look, you can actually do it yourself. Get a bunch or random tools and beat up the metal so it looks aged. Then buy rusting solution that will actually force the metal to oxidize. Sand down areas if you want to or just keep it dingy and rusty. Combine with some beaten and aged furniture for maximum cohesion.

Make the Headboard Look Modern

If you sand down most metals, you will get a set of shiny scratch marks. These are quite easy to design with if you want to. Simply get a sander and go over the metal in a way that the sanding looks patterned, not sloppy. V formations or circles usually look the best as opposed to the option of just straight lines. There is beauty in randomness. Try to use a fine sandpaper so that you just get a nice finish, rather than a lot of scratches in the metal.

Add Gold Leafing

If you already have metal on the headboard, you might just want to go all out and add more metal. Leafing should to the trick. Sand the metal down so the leafing has something to grab onto. Then once you have applied the leafing, put a sealant on the metal so that it doesn't flake off. You can use leafing because it is the most popular, but there are others out there to choose from.

Paint the Metal Headboard

Your headboard does not have to be that natural gray color. To paint it, you may have to sand down the metal so the paint will grip onto the surface. After this step, simply apply rust resistant primer and paint to the metal. You can choose whatever color you want and design it any way. You may consider only panting a rectangle of space in the center so you have a metal frame, or you may paint the whole thing. It's up to you.

Weave Fabric in the Headboard

If you have a headboard with bars running across it, you weave thin sheets of fabric in and out. In theory, the same could be done with hemp, yarn or even flexible wood. This would be one of those ideas that would require your creative know-how above everything else.