How would you age this headboard?

by CK
I have a shiny gold headboard. I'd like it to look like it was old, painted and then some wore off. I was thinking maybe spray painting it first with a brownish color (to resemble rust) then white, then distressing with a little sandpaper. Other ideas? The first photo is the headboard I'd like to change The second photo is the look I'd like.
The headboard "before". Pretty but I'd like it to look "older" and not so shiny.
This is the look I'd like to have my headboard resemble.
  11 answers
  • Z Z on Aug 07, 2015
    Spray paint a base coat of gray. Then using a liquid masking over the areas you want exposed. You could probably use school glue, but I'd test it first on a scrap piece. Then using a brush, paint over it with the desired top coat color. Peel off the mask and using Rub n Buff on your finger, rub the edges of the gray areas to age them. Finish it up with a few coats of satin or mat polyurethane.
    • See 2 previous
    • Z Z on Aug 08, 2015
      @CK another thought, you could also tear pieces of blue painters masking tape instead of using the liquid mask.
  • Tammy Robertson Tammy Robertson on Aug 07, 2015
    You could use the colours that you have already chosen and use kracle paint on the top. It gives that old peeled worn look.
    • CK CK on Aug 08, 2015
      @Tammy Robertson Hubby and I aren't too excited about crackled look..and unless it's sealed (like with poly) it's very hard to dust ;-)
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Aug 08, 2015
    Brass is making a comeback in case you want to reconsider. If not, I go a lazy route. I'd spray it with liquid sandpaper if this is possible to provide some tooth. Then I spray on a grey coat. Then a white coat and rub off some of it off where you want to grey to show..
    • CK CK on Aug 08, 2015
      @Marion Nesbitt This seems pretty easy and might work for me :-)
  • Thy1397022 Thy1397022 on Aug 08, 2015
    I see two wonderful plant trellis.
    • CK CK on Aug 08, 2015
      @Thymetogarden Could be if 1) I had a footboard as well as the headboard---which I don't and 2) if I wanted that sort of farm-y/kitchsy look in my bedroom ;-) I'm actually not looking to repurpose the headboard but looking for a different finish on it.
  • Carolyn Riley Berryhill Carolyn Riley Berryhill on Aug 08, 2015
    I had an old shiny brass headboard and used a spray that gave it a rusty look. It turned out great and I only used two cans. There are all sorts of spray on finishes you could try.
  • Ginger the farm gal Ginger the farm gal on Aug 08, 2015
    How about covering it by wrapping rope around it...a half twist knot or just continue w/ wrapping around and around, depending on how creative you want to get w/a macrame cord or jute.
  • Connie Skoruppa Connie Skoruppa on Aug 08, 2015
    Walmart to Lowe's (and others) carry a Rust-Oleum spray primer called Automotive Primer - it adhere to metals extremely well with very little prep. I'd use either a liquid sandpaper to clean the surface or steel wool - #0000 to very lightly scuff the surface. Don't use sand paper - even the finest grit is going to leave grooves in the brass that will show thru the paint. Brass is a soft metal. There is a very nice color called Heirloom White also in a Rust-Oleuma spray paint that is very similar to the shabby cream color in your photo. This only comes in a Satin finish which is one step above a flat finish so has a little shine but makes it super easy to clean. After cleaning/scuffing surface, I'd use the primer then the spray paint and let dry a good 24 hours. Then to shabby it up a bit there are several methods that are fairly easy - 1) you could take a tool an just lightly ding the surface to chip some paint off or 2) you could sand areas to remove paint or 3) you could use Modern Masters Rust treatment which produces a very realistic rust patina. [Modern Masters has a website where product can be ordered but I understand it is also available in some paint stores - unfortunately none around where I live so I order online. For a one time project it might be a little pricey but worth it for a realistic rust patina.] Or 4) use a combination of a dark wax and clear or citrus wax to achieve a dirtier or older looking patina of the entire surface. Waxes can be purchased at any hardware/paint or supply store. My preference is Howard's brand past in the can. You could use any one of the four options or any combination - it's all about the look YOU want so play with it a bit and see what works for you. I'd guess-timate - based on my local costs and not including the Modern Master Rust Patina products - it'll cost about $20 - $25 for the Rust-Oleum and Howard's products mentioned above to complete your project. Good luck and hope you'll share some pics of your project afterwards.
  • Joan Weissgerber Joan Weissgerber on Aug 10, 2015
    You need to remove the shiny finish off of the surface before putting paint on it. Take steel wool or sandpaper to it. Yes, a lot of work but you want the paint to adhere for years to come. I'd start with a dark green flat paint first, then an off-white. Again, sand down those areas where you want the green to show, usually where you would see normal wear. Be sure to seal it with a matte clear non-shellac finish (shellac yellows).
    • CK CK on Aug 10, 2015
      @Joan weissgerber Actually you do not need to remove the shiny surface first to have the paint adhere. We have another headboard that had the same shiny surface. We used automotive spray primer (easily purchased--think we got ours at Walmart) then painted with the spray paint color of choice. It's held up for over 10 years. (We didn't distress it though....just wanted a new color.)
  • CK CK on Aug 27, 2015
    Hello HT readers: I haven't redone the headboard .... yet ;-) The thing is, we may be moving and if we do, I'm planning a French inspired bedroom. This headboard will be part of that design idea. If we move, I'll be sharing all sorts of updates. But for now....take a peek at one of many of my inspiration rooms....(photo source unknown)
  • Mogie Mogie on Apr 03, 2023

    Brass has never gone out of style. But avoid the shiny gold colored stuff it looks cheap. But I love high contrast so would paint the frame black. Grew up dirt poor and distressing stuff just makes it look second hand I don't care to relive that part of my life. :(