Double Bed to Queen Headboard

I was headed to work early one morning when I saw a double bed headboard and footboard in a neighbor's trash. Real wood, not pressboard and contact paper "grain"! I was certain it would be gone when I returned that night, but it was still on the curb, waiting for me to rescue it and make it pretty and useful again.
This is the double bed headboard and footboard I picked up from a neighbor's trash. The veneer on both pieces was cracked and/or had some damage, but the pieces were otherwise sound. I planned to combine the two pieces to make a queen size headboard for my bed.
I had the double bed several years before I was brave enough to take my saw to the footboard and cut off the fancy turned ends, then figure out how to attach them to the headboard to make it about 8 inches wider. They are attached on the back (glued and screwed) with pieces of 1x1 from my scrap pile, and a narrow piece of trim on the front to hide the seam. The cracked/damaged veneer was far more difficult to remove than I expected - I thought it would rip right off as all the veneer on the back of the piece did. I wasn't able to find new veneer with grain anywhere close to that already on the piece, so I knew I'd have to resort to some faux painting.
The new veneer doesn't quite match, but I'm satisfied with "close". Working over several weekends (I can only access my storage unit on a limited basis, given my work schedule and the hours it's open) I used 4 different shades of stain and a variety of application methods to reach this result. I used a low-gloss polyurethane to seal it, 0000 steel wool to smooth out all the rough spots, and a final cleaning/rubbing with wax-based finishing product (sorry, I don't recall the brand - it's something I've had for years, and a Google search didn't pull up a picture of the container). It's still at the storage unit as I write this, as it's a couple inches too tall to squeeze into my Kia Soul, but I'm hoping to have it home for Christmas!

The remaining piece of footboard will be combined with an over-the-refrigerator type cabinet from a local Habitat ReStore to become a hall bench (thanks to Hometalker Gail at MyRepurposedLife for the idea and tutorial!). I hope to start that project after the holidays.
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2 of 10 comments
  • Cheryl Cheryl on Jun 23, 2020

    Good job. Now I know what to do with those double antique beds in my basement.

  • Margaret E Margaret E on Jun 23, 2020

    Good luck, Cheryl! For me the hardest part was starting - that first cut into the footboard took a lot of deep breaths before I started the saw!