DIY: barn wood headboard {part two: sealing}

October 13, 2011

{See PART ONE of our DIY head­board here}

PART TWO: Finishing/Sealing

Ok, so here was the BIG dilemma: We really REALLY loved the gray weath­ered look of the barn wood. Prob­lem is, as soon as you start any sig­nif­i­cant sand­ing, you loose the gray. Also, it seemed like every fin­ish we tried dark­ened the gray. We love the vari­a­tions in the orig­i­nal of dark and light gray and wanted to keep that as much as pos­si­ble. So after much hem­ming and hawwing…here is how we did it:

First, we sanded it LIGHTLY with a fine grit sand­ing sponge– just dirt and get­ting any major splin­ters:
DIY: Barnwood Headboard

Next, we used a clean­ing brush over the entire thing.…no water, just dry:
DIY: Barnwood Headboard

I could pretty much scrub as hard as I wanted with out mess­ing it up. So I scrubbed. Because I don’t want a dirty head­board. Dang it.

DIY: Barnwood Headboard

Next, we used the air com­pres­sor to blow away all the fine dust and dirt. We did this a lot too.
DIY: Barnwood Headboard

After this step, the boards were pretty smooth and it elim­i­nated all of the dirt. Like I said, we tried MANY a fin­ish and finally used Vas­par FLAT Clear Fin­ish Spray {2 cans– $8 total at Lowes). It dark­ened it a lit­tle bit, but not too bad. We did sev­eral coats until I felt like I could cozy up against it (maybe 3–4 coats). I am a freak about such things.

DIY: Barnwood Headboard

When it was dry, it was lighter than that last pic.

And before we did the sealer, I painted a cou­ple words on it. I for­got to take pics– but you will see it on PART THREE.
Next, Nathan will attach it to the bed frame — I will show you how we secure it and take the final shots.


DIY: barn wood headboard {part two: sealing}" class="pin-it-button" count-layout="horizontal">Pin It
  • Antoni­ette Galante

    I’m mak­ing a barn­wood head­board but I know there are lit­tle bugs liv­ing in some of the boards. Of course some (spi­ders!) came out when I had them in the car. How do you get rid of them?

    • fiveoeight

      Well, there are sev­eral things you can do: First, make sure the barn wood is totally dried out. Leave it out in the sun! You might even use a pres­sure washer to get any dirt, dust, bugs out first.
      You can also use bleach if you are wor­ried about any more bugs, mildew…ect…scrub with that and again, let the boards totally dry out.

      I am sure there are other ways too, but these are pretty easy and a good place to start to get the boards how you want them! Hope this helps!

      • Antoni­ette Galante

         I’m almost fin­ished with the head­board. Just got back from vaca­tion so all I need to do now is seal it. I’d love to send you a pic­ture of the fin­ished prod­uct if you’d like! Thanks for the advance on the sealer by the way.

        • fiveoeight

           I described how I sealed it in this part towards the end– using Vas­par FLAT Clear Fin­ish Spray {2 cans– $8 total at Lowes). The rea­son I chose the spray is because our boards were fairly clean and
          free of bugs…I just needed some­thing that would seal it but not
          really change the color.

          How­ever, if you would like a thicker coat, you can use a polyurethane (flat or satin) or I am sure poly­crylic would work ok too. Those will pro­duce a dif­fer­ent final prod­uct ( I am guess­ing it will darken the wood from that light gray look).

          Hope this helps! Send pics when you finish…would love to see how it turned out for you!

      • Patti Hert­zog

        We were afraid of ter­mites, so we put the boards in a large plas­tic bag, sprayed like crazy with ter­mite killer, sealed the bag, and left them to sit for two days. So far, so good.

  • –Ryan

    My wife and I just built a barn board head board. We are hav­ing issues with it stain­ing our white sheets. Did the light sand­ing and 3–4 coats of seal solve this prob­lem with you?

  • Krit

    Love your head­board! I am in the process of fin­ish­ing barn boards to sur­round my fire­place. I was hav­ing dif­fi­culty as well find­ing a clear sealer that wouldn’t take away the woods char­ac­ter. Thanks for the sug­ges­tions! I was curi­ous– did you ever have issues with the barn boards hav­ing an odor? The back­side of my barn boards seem to have a hay smell to them…I cleaned the boards with Borax after using a scrub brush. I’m hop­ing the sealer will take care of the hay smell.…?

    • fiveoeight

      Ours never had an odor. But I would assume sev­eral coats of the sealer will do the trick!
      Sorry for the slow response– thanks for visiting!

  • nicole

    How is the sealant on your head­board hold­ing up now that it’s been a cou­ple of years? I’m think­ing of using it on a barn wood door I’m making.

    • Nathan_at_508

      Actu­ally great! We’ve been using that head­board for our bed from day 1 and it looks the same as the day we made it!

  • mhh.…good wwork

  • What is this for?

    • Nathan_at_508

      Hi Christina,
      Not sure what you’re ask­ing about here but the project over­all is a head­board for our bed.


It’s about renovation, furniture, inspiration, lots of paint and our ever-present taste for things renewed. read more...

Recent Pins

Slow Cooker Thai Chi...
This floral swimwear...
Cooked this baby up...
These are THE BEST s...
Slow Cooker Coconut...
Over the summer as I...
Easy travel packing...
Make a quick and eas...
Lots of traveling wi...
How to Use an Ice Bo...
More Pins »

ALL categories