How to Remove Paint from a Metal Bed Headboard

What You'll Need
Plastic baggie
Drop cloth
Paint remover (made for metal)
Metal bowl
Safety glasses
Rubber gloves
Ventilator mask
Paint scraper
Fine steel wool
Old rags

A metal bed headboard makes a grand statement in your bedroom. They are so durable, they last for years, even generations. If you have been lucky enough to find a nice used one, or fortunate to have inherited one, chances are it is need or a face lift. There are probably layers of paint on it, but it is not hard to remove for refinishing.

Step 1 - Preparation For Paint Removal

Remove the headboard from the bed frame. Place the nuts and bolts in a plastic baggie so they don't get lost. Take your headboard to an area where you have plenty of room to work, like the garage or patio. You'll want to do this process in a well ventilated area as well. The fumes from the remover are very strong. Lay the metal headboard down on a drop cloth. You're ready to start applying the paint remover.

Step 2 - Applying the Paint Remover

Put your rubber gloves, safety glasses, and ventilator mask on, and open the windows and doors if you are working inside. Wear old clothes. If you spill on your clothes, it will ruin them. Open the paint remover and pour into a metal bowl. Be sure it is metal and not plastic. The paint remover will melt the plastic. Using the paintbrush, apply a layer of the paint remover on the entire side. Pay attention to corners and nooks in your headboard. Allow it to sit per manufacturer's instructions, normally 20 - 30 minutes. This will allow the paint remover to melt and loosen the paint for easy removal. When the time is up, take a paint scraper and peel the paint off in long strokes. If you have many layers of paint on the headboard, you may have to repeat this process. After you have the layers of paint off, turn it over and repeat this process on the other side. After you have removed the layers, you will finish up by removing any small areas that didn't come up in stripping the layers.

Step 3 - Get The Nooks and Edges

Most likely, you have some small spots left behind on your metal headboard that are too small to need an entire application. This will be in the corners, or in any ornamentation in the metal. The corners sometimes need extra attention too. Still wearing your protective gear, dip fine steel wool in the paint stripper and gently scrub these areas to remove the small spots of paint. Do both sides just as you did before. Give it one last inspection to be sure it is all removed, and you are finished except for disposing of, or storing, the leftover paint stripper.

Step 4 - Dispose of Stripper or Store

The leftover paint stripper in the pan is easiest to dispose of by allowing it to evaporate. Be sure that you do not leave it where children or pets can get to it. It would be best to place it outside somewhere up high where it cannot be accessed. Do not place it in direct sunlight. For storage of the can of paint remover, store it only in its original container in a cool, dry area, preferably on a high shelf.