How to Paint a Metal Bed Headboard

What You'll Need
Drop cloths
Paint remover (for metal)
Paint scraper
Ventilator mask
Safety glasses
Rubber gloves
Fine steel wool
Spray paint (for metal)
Clear coat spray

A metal bed headboard is a timeless classic. Whether you bought yours, or inherited it from a family member, chances are it needs freshened up. Then again, maybe you are just redecorating and want to change the color. In a weekend's time, you can give your metal headboard a fresh new look.

Step 1 - Prepare Your Headboard

First, remove your headboard from your bed and take it to an area that will allow you plenty of room to work, like your yard or garage. Lay the headboard on the drop cloth. Be sure to stow away any screws or bolts you'll need for later reassembly. Get out your paint remover, ventilator mask, and safety glasses.

Step 2 - Remove Debris and Old Dirt

Wearing your safety glasses, rubber gloves, and ventilator mask, open the paint remover and use the applicator to get a good coat all over one side. After you have covered the entire side, allow it to sit on the headboard for 20 to 30 minutes. The remover will melt the paint allowing it to scrape off easily. When time is up, use the paint scraper to gently scrape the melted paint off. Take it off in long strips, not pressing to hard so you do don't scratch the metal beneath. To get into any hard to reach areas, use fine steel wool to gently loosen the finish, then wipe. If you still have some paint left on the headboard, repeat the process in those areas. Next, turn your headboard over and repeat this process on that side. After you have both sides done, you are ready to apply primer.

Step 3 - Prime For Painting

Primer will fill in any scratches and small dings on your headboard, and give the paint a smooth surface to adhere to. Apply the primer to each side, allowing it to dry before turning it over to do the other side. Catch any drips or runs with a rag and watch out for puddling in an ornamentation you may have one your metal headboard. Dab the area if you do get any puddling. After both sides have primer applied, and it completely dry, you will apply the paint.

Step 4 - Applying the paint

Apply the spray paint in sweeping motions approximately 8 to 10 inches from the headboard. Again, keep an eye out for drips and runs and dab off immediately with a rag. Allow the side to completely dry before turning it over. After painting the other side and it is dry, you can protect your new finish with a clear coat spray.

Step 5 - Applying Clear Coat Spray

Clear coat spray will give your paint a finished look, and also protect it from chips and peeling. Using the same method as applying the paint, apply to one side at a time allowing it to dry before applying to the other side. When this step is done, you can take your metal headboard back to your bedroom and reassemble your bed.