DIY: barn wood headboard {part three: installed}

DIY: barn wood headboard {part three: installed}

{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

  • 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.  LOVE…IT….  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!!!