DIY Farmhouse Headboard

16 Materials
1 Week

Typically the things I make stay in my own house but every once in awhile I like to make a project a friend. This project is one of those times. My friends were looking for a headboard that had a certain type of look and had a hard time finding what they were looking for. They asked if I could build something and I accepted the challenge. This was a very fun project that anyone can make. Let me show you what I did to make it.

The first thing I had to do for this project was to cut the lumber to size. There were a lot of different pieces affiliated with this project. I would recommend cutting as you go instead of cutting everything all at once. When making things, it doesn’t always go as planned, so when you cut as you go, you are leaving room for error and you can more custom cut each board to fit perfectly down to the 1/16” of an inch. I will list a rough cut list so you can see about where everything will land though.

2 - 2x6 @ 75-½”

8 - 1x6 @ 30”

1 - 1x3 @ 30”

2 - 1x2 @ 68-1/2”

2 - 1x2 @ 27”

2 - 2x4 @ 30”

1 - 1x3 @ 79- ½”

** These are rough estimates of the sizes I used. You will need to adjust for your preference of size.

***The trim pieces will have to be cut to size once the main part is assembled.

After cutting everything to size, I sanded sanded all of the different pieces up to 220 grit. I did this now, because I thought It may be a little challenging once assembled. I added a chamfer on the corner of all of the slats. A chamfer is where you cut away the  right-angled edge or corner to make a symmetrical sloping edge. I did this so the panels would look more intentionally like panels and not just like I put random pieces of wood up there.

The next thing I had to do was assemble the headboard. I did this in three phases. Inside, outside, and trim.

INSIDE- First I assembled the inside part of the headboard. I layed out all of the slat panels the way they would go and then using the finish nailer I nailed a frame around the outside of the slats of 1x2. This created the inside of the headboard.

OUTSIDE - Next I basically built around the inside part. The top and bottom out of 2x6 and the sides with 2x4. I flipped the entire thing over and used pocket holes to all of the pieces to the inside frame. I used 1-¼” pocket hole screws when I was going into 1x6 and 2-½” pocket hole screws when I was going into 2x6.

Next is adding the trim.

TRIM - After the inside and outside, I could add the decorative trim parts of the headboard. This included the top cap of the headboard, the cove molding for under the top cap, the shoe molding around the inside of the headboard, and the wall trim moulding that I added. To attach them I used a finish nailer. Some of the pieces I used the miter saw to get the 45 degree angle as it would curve around the headboard. These pieces are not completely necessary, but it does make the headboard look nice.

Next I could prep everything for finish. To do this, I went around to all of the finish nail holes and put a small amount of wood filler in them. I let it dry, and then sanded it all down until smooth. I also sanded some other areas that needed a small touch up.

After prepping everything, it is time to apply finish. You can do whatever you want for finish. You can paint or stain whatever color you are wanting. I tried something that I haven't tried before and it worked ok. I wanted a white weathered look.

To do that I first applied a thick coat of a stain called weathered oak. I let it dry for a few days and then I applied several coats of a white stain waiting a few days between each coat of stain. When you apply the white stain, it wants to streak so be sure to apply it all the same direction and apply evenly. I applied several coats until I got the look on was going for. If I were to do this again, I would probably paint it all white and the use steel wool or high grit sandpaper to distress it.

After I got the color right I put a coat of water based polyurethane on it. This wasn't supposed to yellow the white at all, but it did a little bit. Check out the video to see all the details about the polyurethane I used. After this the headboard was complete. All I had to do was hang it.

I decided to use french cleats to hang the headboard. This is the best way to hang a large item on a wall in my opinion. If you don't know want a french cleat is, click here to see a video of me explaining them a little more on depth. First I attached the cleats to the back of the headboard part using 2” screws. I added a board at the bottom of the back of the headboard so it would all be level.

Next I attached the other side of the cleats to the wall. I made sure to fasten them in the studs using 2-½” screws of the wall to hold all of the weight of the headboard. After the clears were hung on the wall, I could hang the headboard.

Once the headboard was hung, the project was complete. Make sure to check out the video for the full how to experience and if you have any questions on the steps leave me a comment or send me a message. You can also find me around the web.

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Made by Mitch
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3 of 4 questions
  • Donna Donna on Jan 30, 2019

    This is beautiful and your video was exceptionally well done. You are certainly very talented! I have one question. When you used the finish nailer to attach the trim pieces it looks like the trim split a couple of times. I'm not a wood worker but I have had this happen, how do you prevent the wood from splitting?

  • Rebecca Rebecca on Apr 13, 2019

    You mentioned that you would finish it differently next time - what would you do? By the way - I love your talent and your video! Definitely going to ask my husband to do this headboard!

  • Debby Durband Burns Debby Durband Burns on Sep 21, 2020

    Hi Mitch--I love this headboard! I also love how easy to understand your video was, really well done. My question is, with the French Cleat, after you've hung the headboard on the wall, did you put any screws along the very bottom to keep it from banging or is it heavy enough by it's own weight ?

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2 of 31 comments
  • KC KC on Apr 05, 2019

    Beautiful. I'll try this! Thank you

  • Joanie Joanie on Jan 20, 2020

    I've looked at the headboards from the beginning and so far yours is the finest lookin' one. Good job!