How to Replace the Padding in an Upholstered Headboard

What You'll Need
Foam padding (in desired thickness)
Cotton batting (1/2 inch thick)
Electric knife
Fabric scissors
Flat-headed screwdriver
Spray adhesive
Staple gun and staples
Measuring tape

An old and worn out upholstered headboard could give your bedroom an unattractive appearance. This is a focal point in your room, full of texture and color that personalizes your style. It is a comfortable luxury to have when relaxing in bed while reading or watching television but if it is not kept in good condition, it could turn into a decor nightmare.

Buying a new padded headboard can cost a lot of money. If parts of the headboard are still in good shape, all you need to do is to replace the old ones. Changing the foam under the headboard yourself is easier, faster and cheaper than you might expect. Follow these steps:

Step 1 – Remove Old Padding

Take off your headboard and place it facing down on your working area. With a flat-headed screwdriver, slowly remove the staples from the back. Take your time in order not to damage your upholstery material. Remove the fabric and put it to one side to re-attach it later. Pull out the worn out padding and throw it away.

Step 2 – Cut Your New Foam

To measure the required size of your new foam, place the wood on top of it. With a marker trace around the headboard onto the padding. Using an electric knife, cut outside that line and trim the edges with a pair of scissors, for a neater finish.

Step 3 – Attach the Padding

For a more secure fit, glue the foam with the adhesive spray. Apply a thin layer on the surface of the wood. Center the padding on the headboard and press down firmly. Let it dry to attach properly. Foam with 2 inches of thickness is the most commonly used for this type of upholstery.

Step 4 – Cotton Batting

For a better appearance and greater durability, you need to place a layer of cotton batting on the foam before re-attaching your fabric. Measure the headboard and cut the batting 8 inches longer and wider than your wood. Facing down, center the board and foam on the batting and staple to the back. Wrap extra material around the headboard neatly to avoid folds.

Step 5 – Reupholstering the Headboard

Once the foam is replaced and the batting in place, you can re-staple your upholstery fabric. Starting from the center, pull the fabric tightly over the edge and secure it with a staple. Continue working in this way, stretching your fabric and stapling all around the perimeter of your headboard. At the corners, carefully make neat folds before stapling. Place the staples ¼ to ½ inch apart.

Step 5 – Finishing Touches

Cut off any excess batting and fabric for a better finish. If you have extra upholstery material, you can cover the back of your headboard to complete it. This is not a must, since the back of the headboard does not show when fitted to the bed. Finally re-attach the headboard to the bed on your mounting brackets.

Thanks to this home project, a bit of initiative and a small investment, you can enjoy a comfortable, soft headboard once again.