How To Make A Headboard Bench In 1 Day

19 Materials
2 Days

OMG! This headboard bench turned out better that I thought it would. It took a crazy design twist when my paintbrush came out. Read on...

I picked up this vintage headboard full knowing that the plan was to make it into a headboard bench. It was small (twin size) and would make the perfect bench. But with the vintage headboard came issues that needed to be tackle before painting.

It had beautiful detail in the pics before I purchased it, but closer inspection at home showed veneer damage. A lot of it! Because of the age, it was a simple fix. Most of these pieces that have veneer have perfectly good wood underneath. The plan was to paint anyways, so not problem. I used a paint scraper and it popped right off. This is not always the case and usually more aggressive techniques are needed.

After a quick cleaning with White Lightning (follow directions on the product) I sanded the headboard down with 220 grit sandpaper. Another quick wipe down with a damp cloth to remove left over dust. I applied one coat of BOSS to prevent any bleed through due to the age of the piece.

I used the colors Cotton and Caviar to paint the headboard first and then went back with my painters tape and taped off bold lines that were painted with the caviar. BOLD STRIPES! I love the classic look of black and white.

And then there's GOLD! If you don't know me, I'm a huge fan of gold leaf. This is where it takes a twist. I had envisioned a random pattern of gold leaf falling down over the headboard. Actually, I had already completed it and was... just okay with it. So I stopped. To the corner it went with the "meh" projects. It wasn't until a few weeks later that my friend mentioned that it looked like leopard print. LIGHTBULB! I like this catty idea!

So after the gold leafing, I went back and added more Caviar (black) and even added this liquid leaf to give it a slightly different metallic gold. I really liked it! Oh if you want to know how to paint leopard print, search "how to paint leopard print" on Pinterest. Seriously, it's not hard.

And the cattiness continues! Meet Scamp, my newest rescue. I may or may not be turning into the crazy cat lady. This was her first full day in the studio and she just made herself right at home. Like she knew this was her place. After about an hour, she curled up in a chair and slept the rest of the day... right through all the sawing and sanding. Wished I slept that well. I think it's her cattitude!

The 1X10 boards were measured, cut to size and sanded well before the assembly. It's totally a custom project so your measurements will depend on the size of your headboard that you use.

Mr. Honey Do (aka hubby) helped and drilled the pocket holes with a Kreg Jig. This is a must have tool when building benches and connecting wood.

Each board was attached with special screws that came with the Kreg Jig Kit.

This was a bit tricky! I had picked up this large bed spindle thinking it would work well for legs. Not saying this is the best way to do this, but it worked. We took some scrap wood and built a box around the legs and secured them well. It was the easiest way plus I was determined to make it work. Bless Mr Honey Do for putting up with me. I get pretty headstrong when I want what I want. And I wanted this to work! It did.

Two 1X10 boards were cut to fit for the seat. I added wood glue and secured the seat with my pin nailer. The nails were contersinked and filled with wood filler.

I painted the headboard bench seat with BOSS (stain blocker) and Cotton (white mineral chalk paint) and sealed it with top coat in a satin finish.

This was fun and a bit catty! Thanks for hanging out with me during this project.

I enjoyed making this bench and it just feels good to repurpose these beautiful vintage headboards. Want to see more makeover like this? CLICK HERE to see more projects!

Until the next project...

xo, Do

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


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Tracy
    on Nov 14, 2019

    Is the white paint on the back a different white than what the seat is painted with? It looks like cream almost on the headboard part and bright white one the bench. Maybe it’s just lightning. Love the concept.

  • Robyn Garner
    on Nov 17, 2019

    Scamp is the best part of the post and everything is great lol! 😎

    btw - didn't your hubby get in touch with his feminine side redoing a dresser that is similar to the bench?

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