DIY – Painted Headboard


There’s something really inspiring to me about DIY projects.  And it’s most inspiring to me when other people do them.  I’ve seen my sister make over furniture in her home, friends redo kitchens, others who are crafty beyond compare.  I, on the other hand, am a DIY beginner who has read way too many blog posts and seen episodes on HGTV that make me think, Oh yeah – that’ll be easy.  For years one of my favorite blogs was Young House Love, and I have both their books and listen to their podcasts.  There are other blogs I read but am not quite as excited about when I see an update.  There are some that I honestly straight-up hate read at this point because they’ve turned into money-grubbing nearly all-sponsored-post blogs that feel more desperate for recognition than in writing well or seeming realistic in “this is totally my own opinion!”

In any case, this summer I finally had to confront a piece of decor that has been sitting in my storage unit or various family member’s homes for a few years now.  It’s a headboard that used to belong to my grandmother that she gave to me when she moved to a retirement community.  I thought the shape was cool, but was not super interested in the color.  I described it to the boy as “Granny Gold” – a style that was probably popular in the 1980s, and the only people who still had things that style at this point were Grannies who hadn’t updated their furnishings in decades.


So the plan was to paint it.  I wandered over to our local hardware store (because I was not interested in driving out to Home Depot or wherever), and found a paint+primer spray paint in a color I liked, and bought two cans thinking it would be enough to cover the whole thing.  That was smart in theory, but underestimated how much would be needed to cover the headboard.


At this point, if I were a really diligent DIYer, I would have sanded down the headboard.  Because it turns out that it’s not metal – it’s wood painted shiny gold.  Which worked in my favor that I wasn’t covering a metal headboard (in my mind, that seems vaguely wrong?) but it meant that someone else had painted this in the past.  It was all ok.  But as you can see, there are a lot of nooks and crannies.  It would take a long long time to diligently get all the nooks and crannies.  So in this case, because the paint seemed to be in pretty good condition, and because I was (and am!) super lazy…I said screw it.  And just got to painting.  If you were painting something less detailed, that wasn’t in good condition, I would definitely say go ahead and give it a good sanding.  Because I think that may have been a reason why the gold showed through on the first coat.


Here’s that progress shot.  And perhaps you can see the glints of gold shining through the navy blue?  Or maybe not – it wasn’t the kind of thing I saw until I had “finished” painting, and let it dry.  Thank goodness I had sent the boy out for another can of paint the previous day, because I barely had enough in two cans to do the two sides.  If I’d had to stop there with shiny gold bits coming through, I might have cried.  Instead, I took it back onto the driveway, put the drop cloth back down, and inspected closely to find places the paint hadn’t completely covered.  And I got it all – or at least I hope I did!


And here’s the (sort of) final result!  Apologies for not making the bed here – just imagine a big fluffy white comforter.  I love how it looks so crisp and modern compared to the granny gold.  It’s not perfect – there’s not really a way to connect it to my bed frame, and I need to get some bumpers to put on the back since it leans against the wall, and I don’t really want to have to repaint in there for a while if I don’t have to.

But it’s progress.  A thing that had long lived on my “to-do” list got checked off.  My guest room now looks vaguely more grown-up.  Now if only I could figure out what to do with all the framed art that I have leaning against the walls in that room…

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