A Reclaimed Door Becomes a Farmhouse Headboard

Jim Cox
by Jim Cox
12 Materials
6 Hours

Turning a $25 Marketplace door find into rustic furniture

Here's the $25 door. Someone previously glued a 1x4 to the right hand side, along with some corner trim. I was afraid to damage the door so I left it on. The old doorknob plate/trim really makes this piece. This is the more weathered side so it will be the front.

The owner of this project wants it to bolt to the bedframe, so I created a pair of 'legs' to bolt to the frame. I used four pieces of 1x4. The two pieces flat against the door will bolt to the bedframe. This door was only 64" tall, so the spacing worked out nice to have the flat boards 60.5" for the bed frame. The two outside/right angled pieces will give the legs strength, and box in the legs to the headboard

Legs were cut to desired height, and then clamped together until I could assemble with some no. 6 x 1-5/8 fine thread drywall screws

I marked the legs L and R to save some headache later. The side boards had to be notched for some corner trim from the previous owner/project. I only used two screws for each leg in case I need to adjust something. You can see Karla the new owner holding the leg in place.

Now that it has legs, it's a headboard (or at least beginning to take the shape of one). I checked for level and all was good. Next I pulled off the legs for staining, and once dry I re-attached them. Look at that goob with the crooked hat! ;)

At this point we also marked and drilled the door/headboard for reading lights, I hope to cover them in a separate project

The top shelf was made out of a 1x6 and a 1x4, both cut to length. I planed off the rough edges.

I measured and cut crown molding and stapled to the shelf (note the shelf/molding is upside down in this photo) This door already had a shelf attached I had to deal with.

It would have been easier to extend the side/edge of a plain door and add the crown molding as though I were attaching it to a wall. The joints would have come out cleaner (and it would more secure as well), but you gotta work with what you have...another project hindsight I guess.

Here is the crown molding stapled to the 1x6, the 1x4 is not yet added, but same process. I went a step further and glued the 1x6 to the 1x4 where they met along the back edge of the 1x6 (shown in a later photo). Crown is tough to get your head wrapped around, spend some time on youtube, and don't be afraid to use a Sharpie to mark your cuts BEFORE you make them, trust me on this icon .

I filled the corner joints with latex caulk before painting

1x4s are typically .75" thick as a rule...

Added a couple of 1x4 scraps as spacers to each side to the top of the door to lift the shelf an addition 1.5"

I attached the shelf to the spacers with two No. 6 x1.5" screws. Here you can see the joint prior to sanding and paint where the two boards mentioned earlier were glued together.

brown basecoat below crackle coat and white

The shelf was removed for delivery, and crackle painted by the new owner to match the vintage door

Shelf re-installed, and here's the finished headboard with crackle paint on the shelf and crown molding. We bolted the whole thing to the bedframe with four ea. 1/4-20x1.5" bolts, with 1/4" fender washers, lockwashers, and nuts. It looks great in the new owner's spare bedroom. Your cost will change depending on what you spend for a door. Est below does not include the lamps etc, but we put them on for under $40 with electrical parts included. Comment if you have ideas to make the next one better icon

There wasn't room to include the lights in this project, I hope to post them later

Resources for this project:
Light Brown latex (Crackle base) $8
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  1 question
  • Becky Miller Becky Miller on Apr 08, 2019

    Was the door heavy? I bought an old door several years ago to make a king size headboard, but never did. So, now I'd like to make a queen size of the same door. My door is solid, heavy and tall. Do you think I should add 2x4s to fit inside the 1x4 legs you used?

    Thank you for sharing details of your creation. It's inspired me to get started on mine!!!

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  • TheSeamstress TheSeamstress on Jan 16, 2023

    I have a headboard in my guest room that looks very much like that door and was undecided to keep that for my own room or choose the brass bedframe in my guest cottage when I move to a townhouse in the near future. This helped me decide and besides I have 2 small wall lights above my bed that I can put at either end of the headboard as in your picture.

  • Joseph N DeFranco Joseph N DeFranco on Jan 16, 2023

    Perhaps I'm not seeing this clearly...but, how does one sleep on a pillow and fit under those lights? I just can't imagine sleeping there. I'd hit my head rolling over or even getting out of bed. HOWEVER, love what you did !!!