What to do with this headboard?

i purchased this wooden ugly headboard at a thirft store,I want to put it in my lake cottage. Any suggestions had to make it look fabulous! It is king size, this is what I have in the room currently, a to small headboard.
what to do with this headboard, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
what to do with this headboard, painted furniture, repurposing upcycling
  63 answers
  • Kelli Di Capri Kelli Di Capri on Jan 27, 2014
    It's lovely! What about jewel coloured glass behind the fretwork, paint the whole of it in gilt and add enamel jewel colours to the button details - it'll bring out the Arabic feel to your mirrors :) Think Alhambra!

  • 169756 169756 on Jan 27, 2014
    I love the the design and would probably paint it and leave it at that. The design would make a real statement. It would go with the current mirrors if you painted it white. Just my own idea, but make it your own!

  • Jackie Golladay Jackie Golladay on Jan 27, 2014
    @Penny Hughes White. french country. look at ones on Pinterest.. you can do this.. I think it is kind of short tho, when you put pillows on it you might lose it,, just a thought. I personally like the white one and would remove the mirrors and center the existing headboard and put white shelving around it.. Just a thought.If I lived by you I would buy the white headboard from you if you did not want it.:) Let us know how it turns out. I mean shelving top and sides.. would look fab!

    • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Jan 27, 2014
      @Jackie Golladay hi,I like the idea of painting it white. I am trying to go for a modern- shabby cottage look. I have to have something where the mirror is on the right because of a fuse box that sticks out. I thought I could mount the headboard higher on the wall,maybe? And with the one in there now I want to make a bench for my kitchen,see the picture, looking for a new table.

  • No longer available No longer available on Jan 27, 2014
    Very pretty! Since it is for your lake cottage, I like the idea of painting it white. Maybe some of those pretty details you can highlight in a litle gold like the circles, or even gray if you prefer a weathered look with the cottage style. Someone mentioned that it might be a little short and lose the details behind pillows, good point - maybe it can be mounted on the wall rather than bed frame and then you can mount it a little higher. Great find!

  • Aimee Simon Aimee Simon on Jan 27, 2014
    I would distress it and give a vintage feel....and if you want it white...that would work too

  • Shari Shari on Jan 27, 2014
    Are you keeping the same bedding? When I think beach cottage, I think of watery shades of blue. I can envision using white linens and painting the headboard a pretty shade of aqua, or linens in an aqua print and painting the headboard a slightly darker (or lighter) shade of aqua pulled from the bedding. You could possibly even paint it two-toned... the main body of the headboard aqua and the inset circles white, or visa versa. Of course, solid white would be great too but since you already have the white mirrors, a little color would provide a little variation and visual interest on that wall.

  • Christine Christine on Jan 27, 2014
    I actually found a Henredon king head board similar to that. $10 at H4H! I was lucky to find a bench at another reuse center that is EXACTLY the same length. I'm going to attach the headboard to the bench, probably paint them and have a great bench with a back for my own back porch. So it doesn't actually NEED to remain a head board. :) I'm also thinking sidelight for a door. Hmm.

    • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Jan 27, 2014
      @Christine I paid $20 for this one and I love it ! I just can't decide what color to paint it, white with silver accents or the other way around or something completely different as others have suggested.

  • Judy Jackson Judy Jackson on Jan 27, 2014
    Make a bench out of it for your lake side houses' porch

  • 117135 117135 on Jan 27, 2014
    I would paint it a shabby white! Turn the old headboard into a bench!

  • On HGTV a while back, I saw them add fabric to the back of a similar headboard. It's hard to visualize, but it looked beautiful when it was finished. They painted it first and I think the fabric was padded.

    • Cindy Cindy on Jan 28, 2014
      @Confessions of a Serial DIYer That's exactly what I was thinking. Maybe even use the same fabric as the comforter or pillows!!!

  • Marian taylor Marian taylor on Jan 28, 2014
    This headboard just screams for a wedding ring quilt

  • Haifa Haifa on Jan 28, 2014
    I would paint it a color that really pops. Something blue

  • Janice Phillips (JP) Janice Phillips (JP) on Jan 28, 2014
    I found a headboard exactly like this one at an Estate Sale. I painted mine in Annie Sloan Chalk Paint - Provence. It was gorgeous! It sold the first week to a client for her beach house! Good luck @pennyhughes!

    • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Jan 29, 2014
      @Janice Phillips (JP) I can't wait to do something to the headboard. You don't happen to have a picture of what you did,by chance?

  • MikkiGirl MikkiGirl on Jan 28, 2014
    I'd paint it a white chalk paint and maybe use a soft blue or green for the detail pieces that connect the rings. Sharon@Lilikoi Joy's suggestion of mounting it higher on the wall is great!

  • Laura Tweed Laura Tweed on Jan 28, 2014
    make a fantastic ornamental mantle over a fire if a shelf was added and a long thin mirror behind the ornate bit at the top

  • Joan @ Nicer Than New Joan @ Nicer Than New on Jan 28, 2014
    I assume you will keep it as a headboard. I would paint and distress it if you like that look or paint it and perhaps use a metallic paint on the round medallions to bring them out. Another idea is to use two shades such as tan or grey for the frame and white or cream for the circles. Regardless, I LOVE it! Great find!

  • Anna Ibarra Anna Ibarra on Jan 28, 2014
    Wow, what a lovely pattern, I like it. I'm sure you'll get tons of suggestions. People are very crafty here. But good find and can't wait to find out what you did with it.

  • Yes , Cindy... Perfect ! :)

  • Connie K Connie K on Jan 28, 2014
    What a great find. Geometric designs are really getting hot again and this circle pattern has so much potential. You mentioned painting it in a metallic paint and I think it could be beautiful especially given some of the new metallic mediums and colors. There are some new metallic looks to consider. One that I like looks like both silver and gold. It is sometimes called Champagne but then on some pieces you can tell it is actually a technique using both silver and gold. You aren't limited to one metallic color these days. There are beautiful examples of silver or gold used with bronze. If you can, look at some examples in a furniture store or if that isn't convenient, do a search on "metallic furniture finish" and you find lots of examples, both DIY and furniture manufacturers. Stein World, Pulaski, and Horchow are some of the furniture companies with some beautiful finishes. I'd love to see a photo when its finished.

  • Jim L Jim L on Jan 29, 2014
    This is NOT an ugly headboard! It is very nice looking and 1000% better than what you have in there now! Paint it and use a wash to compliment the other colors in the room. The idea of using the old headboard for the back of a bench is pretty good...can you use it on another bed somewhere. It looks like a nice old headboard. If you want to add fabric behind the rings, that would be an interesting look...I think that you found a great buy at the thrift store.

  • Red Wind Studio Red Wind Studio on Jan 29, 2014
    paint it black and use silver gilding wax on the medallions or do a mutli tone like ASCP coco, graphite and old ochre it would look fabulous and still using some gilding wax

    • Gloria Duy Gloria Duy on Jan 29, 2014
      @Red Wind Studio That is exactly what I thought. Black with silver on the metal would be awesome.

  • Victoria Larsen Stencils Victoria Larsen Stencils on Jan 29, 2014
    I would use metallic paint to give that beautiful design some sheen. Martha Stewart puts out some really pretty colors. I would use a contrasting metallic on the ornamental pieces connecting the circles. What a lovely piece!

  • Debby Boyle Debby Boyle on Jan 29, 2014
    It is an awesome headboard, I would tape off the little metal pieces & paint it. Paint can't do wonders....

  • Sarah Wilcox Davolt Sarah Wilcox Davolt on Jan 29, 2014
    Paint it and add fabric with a lot of batting behind the fabric so it billows (peeks) through the openings.... Easy diy project!

  • Chalk paint is great. It looks wonderful and has afairly easy application. The white gives a very quant cottage feel. If youwere looking for a more advanced DIY, there are a ton of stripping and woodbleaching tutorials online. That would give a weathered and beachy feel, makingthe metal accents a real statement. Good Luck. Jovana Ferra CertaPro Painters of Southern Rhode Island

  • Cheri Dittler Cheri Dittler on Jan 29, 2014
    since it is your lake house, I would paint it with chalkpaint..maybe a dark cream, then wind pliable branches and twigs and grape vines throughout the circles, making it look more rustic. cheri dittler

  • Lori Fay Bugher-Dieter Lori Fay Bugher-Dieter on Jan 29, 2014
    Weirdness! I have this very same headboard, it's an old Drexel piece, very well made. I painted mine a gloss white and it is beautiful. I'd really like to do something else with it though someday. The medallions come off, you can just take them off to paint.

  • Ellen Collin Ellen Collin on Jan 29, 2014
    If you would like to use it a back to a bench in your house or yard, paint it with Rustolem paint and build a box seat with cushions. I try to think out of the box on things like this

  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jan 29, 2014
    If you are going to use this as a headboard, I would paint it white; but remove the ornaments connecting the circles first. After painting, replace them. You can even paint the ornaments a metallic color so they pop out. Please remove the mirrors on eaither side of the bed, they would crowd the wall with the new headboard. I would love to see what you finally decide to do with it. Good luck.

  • Kim Houston Kim Houston on Jan 29, 2014
    I think it would look great with either a chalk paint/wax finish, or just a good distressing and wax finish. I would also paint the medallions with an antique bronze or other metallic paint. Incorporating a nautical them in the room would look great with that headboard.

  • Ivy Lynne Ivy Lynne on Jan 29, 2014
    It would make a great bench back, don't you think?

  • Linda J S Linda J S on Jan 29, 2014
    with mirrored furniture being so hot, it might be interesting to put mirror tiles behind the cut outs after it is painted if you did not want to use fabric.

    • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Jan 29, 2014
      @Linda J S wow that's a great idea. That would make my small master feel larger! I like it!! Thanks

  • Deb289574 Deb289574 on Jan 29, 2014
    I love it. I would sand it down and paint it white with the metal pieces black. I would then remove the mirrors on either side and put them somewhere else. They take away from the look of the headboard.

  • Anne Anne on Jan 29, 2014
    Yes, paint the headboard but put a double layer of fabric in back of the open areas. Organza, silk, a good quality polyester with some sheen to it might work also. A double layer because it needs to be strong enough to staple onto the back and something with a slight shine would be more formal than a flat look. Looks great and I would have bought it, too!

  • Debra Debra on Jan 29, 2014
    Shabby chic it

  • Melissa Melissa on Jan 29, 2014
    think it would be cool as wall decoration, keeping just the decorative part and painting it

  • KAT KAT on Jan 29, 2014
    Looking at the room, I would take the medallions off the new headboard, paint the headboard with antique white chalk paint, then replace the metal... Then I would use the current smaller headboard as a bench at the end of the bed... Many tutorials on making benches out of headboards on this site, even if you have to cut it down... Paint it also in the white chalk paint... Then I see end tables... One white, one dark... Paint them as well. I would use the mirrors on either side, but put some silk greenery draped around the top to break up the plain mirrors... Lastly, the grey wall color is nice, but I would paint that particular wall a darker grey to set off the white pieces... Maybe use it for a few accents, window frames and door and leave the other walls the lighter grey. Just some ideas!

  • Cynthia E Cynthia E on Jan 29, 2014
    If you don't want to use actual mirrors behind circles (which is a great idea-- along with attaching it higher on wall so don't lose details behind pillows). You could use Krylon's looking glass paint on plexiglass for the antique mirror / mercury glass finish. With an antiqued white finish wood and antiqued silver metal accents would be beautiful. Home improvement stores will cut the plexiglass at minimal to no cost for you.

  • Lex263207 Lex263207 on Jan 29, 2014
    I love the geometric part. Could you saw off the bottom, bulky base? From there, paint & add decorative knobs and hang in a long entry or hallway. There are many uses for the knobs besides coats or towels. You could add photos hung with a ribbon, etc. I did something similar with an old headboard. Mine's still a work in progress. Got the knobs at Hobby Lobby. Can't remember paint color, but it's a soft golden yellow. Used my palm sander to distress & added Valspar Mocha glaze. If there was a nice, clean line to cut it, this could also make a nice vertical piece!

  • Janice Phillips (JP) Janice Phillips (JP) on Jan 29, 2014
    I'll check, Penny. My computer has crashed since that time and I have lost my photo files. If I do, I'll get them to you as soon as possible. JP

  • Mary Anderson Mary Anderson on Jan 29, 2014
    I like it just the way it is!

  • Lisa Lisa on Jan 29, 2014
    Help answer this question...mount headboard to old wooded doors or shutters to make tall use brackets for the bottom and paint white and distress if doors or shutters are to tall chop them off on the bottom to desired height!

  • Carmen Carmen on Jan 29, 2014
    Make it shabby chic, white distressed paint job.:-)

  • Sandy Sandy on Jan 29, 2014
    I think fabric behind the geometric shapes would be a good idea. Paint of your choice and as suggested above, remove the mirrors and use elsewhere. Would love to see a photo when you finish with this project.

  • Beverly Hullender Beverly Hullender on Jan 30, 2014
    I love this! Such a unique style and so many ideas! You can easily go a brilliant white with this and give it more of that "cottage feel" with the option of creating a shabby-chic look by using a fine sandpaper to make it appear worn. The medallions can be white (giving it that older, vintage feel) or paint them gold. If you're more dramatic, use black, or a black-gray combination (paint the inside of the circles gray then spray paint the front allowing a slight over-spray to edge the gray) That would work only for people who don't demand "perfection" but would give it some great depth. Obviously, painting the medallions (gray, gold, silver, etc) will give it another dimension as well. Looking forward to see what you do with this. Having mirrored glass cut for the back will give it an entirely different effect as well. If you do this, don't forget to paint the back as well (as the mirror DOES show part of the backside!)

  • Shirley Shirley on Jan 30, 2014
    I would make a bench out of it.

  • Rebecca Rebecca on Jan 31, 2014
    Penny, I love the bedding! Is it still available and if so where did it come from? Some great ideas here. Have you decided yet?

    • See 4 previous
    • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Jan 31, 2015
      This is what it looks like now :)

  • Rebecca Rebecca on Jan 31, 2014
    I think raising it up is a very good idea. What about putting antiqued mirrors behind the holes and painting it the deep plum of the velvet bedding. The swirls would play off of each other nicely. The room needs a little pizazz!

  • Pam Moore Pam Moore on Jan 31, 2014
    Hi I would keep the decorative part of the headboard and saw off the rest. I would sand it and use a your favorite paint color watered down so it it goes on like a color stain and then poly urethane. In between the circles you could display pictures of your memories at the cabin.

  • Melody M Melody M on Jan 31, 2014
    i agree with Shirley ... make a nice bench out of it..it would be really cute on front pouch with nice huge cushons ...

  • It would make an awesome bench back.

  • Rebecca Rebecca on Feb 05, 2014
    You need to make the mirror old, or buy an old mirror that's all pitted and flakinking on the back. That would give you the cottage-y feel you are going for. I'll have to keep an eye open for embossed velvet and make a duvet cover like that. I was just hoping I could buy it ready-made. Thanks anyway.

  • Perla Perla on Feb 05, 2014

  • Kelly Boettcher Kelly Boettcher on Feb 06, 2014
    I would paint it a bright accent color with a high gloss paint.

  • Sandy Bonson Riley Sandy Bonson Riley on Feb 28, 2014
    Cut in half and make a bench with flat boards for seat.

  • Barbara Barbara on Feb 28, 2014
    I like the white shabby chic idea. It looks like you have a white and dark dresser on each side. Keep the medallions dark to match other metals but hang a beautiful colorful picture that speaks the style of the room and pulls in that gorgeous eggplant color. It seems to be missing an accent color in the room which the picture can bring in and maybe then a pillow or lampshade to match

  • Renata Renata on Jan 31, 2015
    Give it to me is the best idea...lol

  • Linda Linda on Apr 13, 2015
    Can easily increase height by adding 2 x 4 legs that will be hidden then paint a color of your dreams. Then I would pad and do button tuft on the sections with the circles. Will be fabulous

  • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Apr 13, 2015
    This is what I did!

  • Heather Bussey Heather Bussey on Feb 25, 2016
    Paint the inset (circle section to look like metal -I would go with rustoleum matte black or oiled bronze but you might want it lighter). Paint and slightly distress the frame.

  • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Feb 25, 2016
    Painted it white,kept it simple.

  • Penny Hughes Penny Hughes on Feb 25, 2016
    Painted it white,kept it simple.

  • Linda Sherman Linda Sherman on Oct 22, 2016
    Such a great find Penny. I've never seen this style before. My hubby is a bicycle enthusiast and immediately saw wheels - but you probably want to continue with a LAKE theme. I would paint it a weathered white wood and pad over the circles and cover that with canvas. Then I would attach to the wall off the floor and give it some height.