How to Make a Headboard From Old Doors

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Headboards are a dramatic focal point in a bedroom, especially when you create a one-of-a-kind headboard from vintage or architecturally unique doors. Browse flea markets and salvage yards for doors made of solid wood such as walnut, oak or mahogany. If the door looks shabby, a little paint stripper and elbow grease can restore its beauty. Keep in mind, however, that the "shabby chic" decorative style puts a high value on a weathered appearance with faded paint. If you prefer a cleaner, contemporary style, paint the doors a bright color or stencil them with a decorative pattern.

Things You'll Need

  • Sealant
  • Medium-grit sandpaper
  • Stud-finder (optional)
  • 4 mounting brackets
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Screwdriver
  • Remove any unwanted hardware from the door. Sand damaged wood on the door using a medium-grit sandpaper. For a rustic design, keep the wood natural and apply one coat of sealant. This protects the wood from scratches while allowing the natural grain to shine through.

  • Depending on the chosen design, mount the headboard vertically for a dramatic height effect or horizontally to span a wider bed. Make sure the headboard is wide enough to cover the back of the bed. Vertical placement may require two doors mounted side by side.

  • To mount the headboard, mark a spot on the wall where you want to place the headboard. Measure the height of the headboard and place the mounting mark 10 to 12 inches down from where the top of the board will rest.

  • Make a starter hole by tapping a nail into the wall at the chosen location. Mount the brackets on the marked spots using screws and a drill. For extra stability, mount the brackets to a stud. Use a stud finder to locate the best position if necessary.

  • Mount the other two brackets to the back of the headboard. Use a screwdriver to gently screw the brackets into the headboard, taking care not to split the wood. Fit the headboard brackets into the wall-mounted brackets. They are properly mounted when they lock together.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add some functional or ornamental features such as built-in light sconces cup holders or bookshelves.
  • Wear a respirator when sanding old paint that could contain lead. Consider using a stripper product for lead-based paint. Protect your hand and eyes when using chemical strippers, and work in a well-ventilated room.

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