How to Paint the Mexican Serape Painted Headboard

5 Materials
8 Hours

It looks difficult, but I'm going to show you step by step how to paint this colorful headboard. You'll end up with a beautiful hand-painted piece of furniture, that people won't believe you did yourself! The painted design is inspired by Mexican woven blankets. If you head over to the full blog post at you'll get extra tips and information - like the exact list of paint colors I used.
The hardest part about this project is taping straight lines! I'm pretty good at making it all straight and even by eye, but if you are concerned, then you can always measure it out. You probably don't need to measure every single tape line. But you could measure out some guidelines every so often to make sure you stay on track keeping those lines perfectly straight!
This is a serape blanket, my inspiration for the painted design on the headboard. Isn't it pretty? I love all the colors.
I started by taping stripes onto the headboard. I used little bits of tape as spacers so the bare wood stripes are the same width as the tape itself. Then I painted in the bare spots of wood.
After filling in all the bare spots with paint, I removed the tape to see colorful stripes...
I left a few areas totally blank because they will be large areas of black paint. Then I taped over the colored stripes and painted the new bare spots. I always try to remove the tape before it's dry. This will help keep the tape from taking paint with it when you rip it off.

After the second round of taping and painting you'll get this...
Starting to look pretty! Oops, there's a little bare spot that still needs black paint. These are what I call the base stripes. Once you have the base stripes painted, then you'll add some tiny, high contrast stripes to help define the sections.
Tape off the tiny stripes. In between the tape lines I painted some bright white paint and removed the tape.
The black areas are now defined a little better with those tiny white stripes and are starting to draw your eye in! These black areas, between the white stripes is where I put some stenciled designs later on. For now I continued working on the base stripes...

The next step is to add small stripes of paint over the base stripes. Once again, I use the tape as my guideline, aligning it to the edge of the base stripe. Then I add a border piece of tape and paint between the lines! Does this make sense? If you need more detailed instructions, they are on the blog post at
I kept taping and painting small stripes until I had one small stripe done for every base color. Now you'll go back and add a second small stripe on the other side of the base stripe.
When I finished all the stripes I added some stencil elements in the black areas. These become a place for your eye to rest, a focal point. If you don't add the focal point you can sit there staring at the stripes, back and forth, back and forth, forever! It's quite hypnotic! :)
I distressed the stripes lightly with some 120 grit sandpaper, and the added a clear coat to protect it and keep the paint stable. Some clear coats aren't recommended to put over paint. But polyurethane is usually safe for paint. Just remember that oil-based paint has a golden hue and will make any white paint like a tad bit yellow-ish. You can use water-based poly if this is a concern.

Remember to PIN THIS for later! For more photos, check out the full tutorial on the blog. I'd love to see photos of your version of this project. Thanks for looking!
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. More info

Top Hometalk Projects

31 Amazing Furniture Flips You Have to See to Believe
15 Genius Curtain Ideas To Instantly Upgrade Your Space
13 Essential Repair Tricks That Everyone Needs To Know
15 Fabulous Fire Pits For Your Backyard
29 Of The Best DIY Mirror Projects Ever Made
31 Coastal Decor Ideas Perfect For Your Home
15 Things To Do With Scrap Material
15 Kitchen Updates Under $20
17 DIY Projects You Can Start And Finish Tonight
11 Unexpected Ways to Use Spices in Your Home
15 Things To Do With Scrap Material
These Upcycling Ideas Will Blow You Away!
15 Affordable DIY Projects You Can Do Right Now!
20 Easy Concrete Projects You Absolutely CAN Do!
18 Fun Ways To Add Glitter To Your Home Decor
Girls Build Club

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


Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Jen7888115
    on Jun 5, 2018

    Really, really pretty. Does the rest of your bedroom match the headboard? I can imagine how pretty it is.

    • Girls Build Club
      on Jun 5, 2018

      That's really sweet of you! My bedroom is really eclectic. I did make a matching bench, but it's not in my bedroom. Thanks for the comment! :)

  • Susan
    on Jun 5, 2018

    where did you go to find southwest stencils?

    • Girls Build Club
      on Jun 5, 2018

      I bought my stencil at Hobby Lobby. It's by Delta Creative brand. Also, if you go to the blog post on my website you'll see the exact stencil I got in my "Supplies" list. You can probably find it at Michael's, Joann's and I found it on, too. Hope that helps!

  • Jamie Duncan Brock
    on Jul 5, 2018

    About what doed it cost

Join the conversation

4 of 23 comments
  • Diana McAlister
    on Jun 7, 2018

    Old Lady Who Loves Hometalk

    Thanks for your interpretation of a Mexican Serape on your headboard. This is the 1st time I've written a comment. The Serape stripes are much narrower, but I like how you

    used your own creativity with stripe color and Mexican design stencils to im-

    bellish your headboard. A very pretty rainbow that kept me interested to the last

    picture. Variegated stripeing is quite intricate.

    • Girls Build Club
      on Jun 7, 2018

      Diana, I really appreciate your compliment. It makes me feel like the effort was worth the final result, so thank you!! Thanks for leaving such a nice comment. Take care! ❤️

  • Patsy Price
    on Jun 8, 2018

    You did a great well thought about job. Wonderful and very patience job.

Your comment...