DIY: barn wood headboard {part three: installed}

October 15, 2011

{See PART ONE of our DIY head­board here}
{See PART TWO of our DIY head­board here}

PART THREE: installed in our room!

DIY: Barnwood Headboard

Are we all as excited as I am?
We FINALLY have a headboard!

DIY: Barnwood Headboard

We love how it turned out in the end and feel like it has brought some­thing per­sonal to a much neglected bedroom.

You might notice that we have no end tables– or any­thing, really. I have never really hung a pic­ture or put any effort into our room. Sad, I know. It has been an accu­mu­la­tion of mis-matched, left­over, unfin­ished fur­ni­ture and what­ever else we don’t have a space for. But, NO LONGER. Here is where we start.

DIY: Barnwood Headboard

In the end, we don’t want any­thing fancy– just a sim­ple peace­ful room. Soooo, we fig­ured we would work on one thing at a time. So far, we have a head­board. And we couldn’t be happier.

I hung some pho­tos on a string of Nathan & I that make us happy. That’s about all we have so far.

DIY: Barnwood Headboard

For all those won­der­ing.… AWAKE MY SOUL was a last minute deci­sion to paint.…we just did it by hand before the final spray coat. It is from one of our favs: mum­ford & sons.

I guess it is spe­cial to us, though, for a more per­sonal rea­son. Even while we rest in this lovely new bed, HE is the one who awakes our soul. You can not pos­si­bly rest more sweetly know­ing there is a God that loves you that much.

DIY: Barnwood Headboard

how to attach a head­board to a basic metal frame

Secur­ing the head­board was pretty sim­ple. Our metal bed frame came from Sam’s Club ($27).

The frame (as with most frames) had holes to bolt a head­board– two on each side.  We had already mea­sured how far apart the legs needed to be on our head­board to fit our par­tic­u­lar frame.

We just marked with a pen­cil, drilled the holes, popped in the bolts and tight­ened them down! I think we will put an addi­tional attach­ment to the wall itself at the top of the head board– but it is very secure as it is.

how to attach a headboard to a basic metal frame

All in all, a very sim­ple project. This time it took about 3 days. If we were to do it again, it would prob­a­bly only take a day– if that…but it took a lit­tle fig­ur­ing on the first try!

And HOLY MOLY, you can’t com­plain for only $8.



Side note: We do have a next step in our plan: night stands. Here is what one of them looks like now (I started to take the head­board shots with the unfin­ished night stands, but decided to keep it sim­ple)
DIY: Barnwood Headboard

DIY: barn wood headboard {part three: installed}" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">Pin It
  • Shelly

    Great job! I love it. In the long run it will mean so much more that you did it together instead of rush­ing out to buy some­thing just to fill the space.

  • Loren

    I love it, Sarah.  LOVEIT.…  Great job!

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  • Anony­mous

    I love your head­board.  Such an inspi­ra­tion piece and the pho­tog­ra­phy is beau­ti­fully done!  I didn’t even notice the clothes­pins until you put the arrow :)

    • Thanks so much! We are really enjoy­ing it in our room.

  • So gor­geous, I didn’t even notice your bed­room is lack­ing other ele­ments.  Well done and a fan­tas­tic tutorial!

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  • Use car­riage screws, not bolts.  The round head will dam­age the wall or base­board less than a big hex one.

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  • ErinP

    Love your head­board — was won­der­ing if you would share the paint color you used in your bed­room? Its the per­fect blue grey.

    • fiveoeight

      Thanks! I believe the color on the walls is Celtic Gray by Behr. It was almost 6 years ago and I don’t have the orig­i­nal can of paint any­more! Hope that helps!

      • ErinP

        thank you!

  • Hey guys! I’ve been con­sid­er­ing this design for quite a while and my hus­band and I dis­agreed on one point of the design. The chalk/writing — you men­tioned in the blog that you wrote it with chalk and then painted over it with latex paint. Do you mean you used a paint­brush with a fine tip and just traced your own writ­ing? Or is there some sort of paint pen that I can use to write with??

    • fiveoeight

      That is right– I did it in chalk first to make sure it looked OK, then I traced over the chalk with a small (finer tip) brush & white paint! Not sure about a paint pen…I am sure they do have some­thing like that out there!

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  • Melanie

    What size is yours bed ?

    • Nathan_at_508

      Our bed is a queen sized bed — roughly 60 in × 80 in.

  • Jess­SmithPA

    I LOVE this fin­ish… we are cur­rently mak­ing a din­ing table out of barn­wood and I want to keep the gray color… my ques­tion is: is this ‘wipe-able’ after the seal­ing or is it still rough? obvi­ously for a table, there will be spills and crumbs — but I love the rough look and don’t want it super sleek — do you think this would work or is it too rough of a finish?

    • fiveoeight

      I would not rec­om­mend using this method for a table. We have done tables before and usu­ally have to plane the wood to get a smoother finish…and even then food can get caught in it & its tough to clean. I would be sure you have the boards sent through a planer or sanded thor­oughly first, then you can try a gray or white­wash type style to get this color…experiment with scrap pieces. Then a polyurethane or wax fin­ish to it can be cleaned. Hope this helps!

  • Lasso The Moon

    Finally a tuto­r­ial for a diy head­board that doesn’t sug­gest attach­ing it to the wall! Thanks for the tips! Love the look.


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  • Jas­mine

    He does awake our soul. Beau­ti­ful. Thanks for the tuto­r­ial. My hus­band and I are doing a drift­wood head­board. Not sure how we’ll secure such ran­dom and oddly shaped pieces, but we’ll fig­ure it out :) your tuto­r­ial def­i­nitely helped.
    God bless you

  • cyn­thia

    How much for a queen head­board (barnyard)?

  • Robb

    Great idea for the few pieces of board we were gifted. And the inspi­ra­tional thought will weather all elements

  • Leah

    I real­ize this was a long time ago and hope that you don’t mind my com­ing to the dis­cus­sion late in the day. My par­ents tore down an old barn a few years ago and have brought us some scraps to make head­boards for our boys’ room. So far, so good. We have done almost exactly what you’ve done (ours had some fun­gus so we also used a pres­sure washer a few weeks ago and let it dry out before start­ing the sur­face clean­ing process you fol­lowed). Every­thing is look­ing beau­ti­ful.…. I am just hav­ing a last minute hes­i­ta­tion about bring­ing the wood into the house, and I thought I would ask if you have had any prob­lems with unwanted guests since installing this in your home? We inher­ited some beau­ti­ful, sen­ti­men­tally valu­able antique fur­ni­ture from my husband’s fam­ily and mainly, I am wor­ried that I might bring in ter­mites or wood bee­tles that would destroy it… I have used 3 coats of flat poly, painted on gen­er­ously. I thought that would be enough but have just read some­where that that is mis­in­for­ma­tion and that it won’t stop bee­tles or ter­mites from hatch­ing and bur­row­ing out. Any expe­ri­ence you can share will be appre­ci­ated. Thanks and have a great day! Leah

    • Nathan_at_508

      Hi Leah! No wor­ries on com­ing here late! I know a lot peo­ple have been con­cerned about this. In addi­tion to the head­board we’ve done numer­ous barn­wood projects and have never had ANY prob­lems with bugs of any kind. We are still using the head­board to this day. Of course I’m not guar­an­tee­ing any­thing but sim­ply shar­ing our expe­ri­ence. We didn’t do any­thing to treat or pre­vent bugs of any kind when doing this, or any of the other projects. The types of ter­mites and bugs vary by region (we are in VA) so you may want to take that in to con­sid­er­a­tion.
      ps — we’d love to see pic­tures of the fin­ished headboards!

      • Leah

        Thankyou! We are hop­ing to have it all assem­bled and ready in the next week or so. I am still work­ing out the stain for the base — we are mak­ing plat­form beds for our lit­tle sleep­walk­ers. :) I will send photos.

      • Leah

        They are com­ing indoors this week. Yay! The vine­gar stain was worth the wait. :) Pics to fol­low.. Thanks again, Leah

        • Kathy Clark

          Leah, now I am pop­ping in on an old post. You men­tion a vine­gar stain. Did you do vine­gar and steel wool and then stsin before seal­ing it? Did it main­tain the grey color then? Our boards turned brown with the stain. They are still beau­ti­ful, but I am a bit disappointed

  • Jen

    Hi Leah,

    Apol­o­gises its so late but I have just come across this, its gor­geous and I would like to do some­thing sim­i­lar. My prob­lem is that I would have to wall mount it for lack of space in the room — 3cm either end of the bed, Lon­don, UK house prices :(

    How heavy is the fin­ished head­board? Do you think it would be too heavy for a brick wall?

    Thanks in advance,


    • Jen

      Sorry, my mis­take that was to Nathan_at_508

    • Nathan_at_508

      Hi Jen,

      I would gues­ti­mate around 18 kilos (prob­a­bly less but don’t want to under­es­ti­mate it). As long as it was mounted to the wall prop­erly with some type of masonry wall anchors (like this: ) it should work fine!

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  • Ronda Smith Petrasek

    Hi Sarah! I am mak­ing a sign as a wed­ding gift and have been try­ing to find out how to seal the barn­wood (so any mildew or such is safe for the indoors) with­out caus­ing my white paint to turn yel­low. Can you tell me if the white let­ter­ing on your head­board is still white? And if so, did you use house paint or acrylic craft paint? Thank you in advance for your time! Bless­ings!! Ronda :)

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  • Kristie Giles

    what paint color is your wall? love the head­board, and that is pretty much the exact paint color i’ve been look­ing for…

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  • Dana Vail­lan­court

    Love the head­board!!!
    The night stand caught my eye! I have one that is VERY sim­i­lar..
    I restored it and thought I would share a photo with you! :)

  • Dana Vail­lan­court

    Here is the photo!!!


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