How to Upcycle an Old Door Into a Headboard

3 Materials
1 Hour

I have a fun and easy DIY project that will add a ton of character to a bedroom space. Having a beautiful headboard helps polish & finish off the space. You can easily do this project for under $100. You can also customize it for any size bed. Let's get started!

Step 1: Find a Door. I headed to my local home building salvage store where they have a TON of doors to choose from. There are usually stores just like this one in most cities. They collect used home supplies and re-sell the for a discounted price. I picked a solid wood door with a few inset panels for detail, to do this project. 

Step 2: Measure and cut.

Measure the door and cut off the edges to get the desired width. Go to my blog post to get all the measurements for each bed size.

Headboards are usually sized with an additional 2-4" on each side of the mattress. Cut the door to size using a circular or jigsaw.

Step 3: Cut and apply your trim. Adding trim to the top of the headboard really gives it a nice finished appearance. I used a piece of crown molding and a 1x4 for the cap. Cut these to size and attach using glue and a nail gun. 

Step 4: Sand and prep for paint.

Sand the edges of the wood trim, scrape any peeling or cracking paint from the door and clear the whole thing (I use a 50/50 solution of denatured alcohol and water for cleaning).

Step 5: Paint!

I used my go-to paint, General Finishes Milk Paint. I used a custom mixed gray color (you can get my mix in my blog post). Apply with a nice brush and let dry.

Step 6: Add 2x4s to attach to the bed frame. Or just hang the door on the wall using a Hangman Hanging System. However, if you'd like to attach the headboard to your bed frame, add 2x4s to the door. I just attached using 2 screws. Use bolts and nuts and bolt this directly to the metal bed frame

Step 7: Step back and admire your work! You now have a beautiful, unique headboard for your room!

Watch the full tutorial!

Here's another example.

For more ideas and tips, follow me on Facebook @rootsandwingsfurniture or my YouTube channel RootsandWingsFurniture.

Suggested materials:

  • Door
  • 2x4
  • Milk paint

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Jenni Ingram

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Denahensley
    on Sep 3, 2017

    how would u make a headboard out of a metal door
    • Jenni Ingram
      on Sep 5, 2017

      I'm not sure, I think you could use the same methods with a metal glue or hardware.
  • Mezzy
    on Feb 24, 2019

    Where is this place where you can get these second hand doors please

    • JoAnn
      on Feb 25, 2019

      Habitat for humanity has them. In our town we have home salvage yards that have great finds.

  • Anita Moore
    on Feb 24, 2019

    What did you do with the ends where you attached molding?

Join the conversation

3 of 60 comments
  • Cheryl
    on Jan 30, 2019

    Great idea but I have been looking for couple years and every paneled door has different size panels at bottom than top. These evenly spaced 5 panel doors just don't seem to be available anywhere near me.

  • Eileen
    on Feb 24, 2019

    I removed an oak swinging door from my first house and I set it in corner and hand my wedding picture on it. I have a piece of that house with me as it was a 1913 build. I can’t bear to paint it as it’s so beautiful to me. Antiques and architecture would have one.

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