Painted Headboard Panel Project

An easy-paint headboard creates a dynamic decor detail for a casual bedroom.


+ enlarge image The headboard, made of painted closet doors, adds interest to this bedroom.

A trio of painted closet doors provides a behind-the-bed focal point in this otherwise plain bedroom.

This is a perfect way to add a splash of color in an apartment you can't repaint. You may also want to consider this solution if you can't yet commit to painting bold color on an entire wall.

The finished headboard project should cost far less than purchasing a conventional headboard and will give you the satisfaction of making it yourself in custom colors.

See our easy instructions below.

To make the headboard, measure your bed and determine the number of doors you'll need. The headboard for this full-size bed is made from three 20-x-80-inch hollow-core doors. Queen and king beds will require more width and thus more (or wider) door panels.

Choose paint colors based on your room color, accessories, or the mood you wish to convey; for example, our all-blue color scheme is calm and restful.

Tip: For a similar look, hang painted artist's canvases on the wall behind the bed.

Follow these steps to paint the headboard:

+ enlarge image Create many shades of blue using two small cans of paint: white plus another color.
  1. Prime the doors (using two coats if needed) and let dry thoroughly -- at least a few days -- so the painter's tape won't lift the paint from the wood.
  2. Use a T-square or straightedge and a pencil to gently mark stripes on the doors. Vary the widths of the stripes from 2 to 24 inches, and draw a different design on each door.
  3. Mask off all the stripes for one color using blue painter's tape; also mask the door edges. "Zip" the tape edge with the edge of an old credit card to help seal to the door.
  4. Paint the stripes of one color. After the paint has dried, remove the tape. Repeat the process for each color.
  5. To install the headboard, attach the panels together with hinges or brackets on the back. Attach to the wall with L-brackets placed on top of the panels. (For a temporary installation, simply lean the doors against the wall, and brace them with the bed frame.)
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