Yay or nay on this vintage 1970s headboard?

Fiona Janine
by Fiona Janine
For some reason, I'm drawn to this ugly 1970s veneer headboard because of its unique shape. It's only $10 on Craigslist! I'm thinking it would look great with a glossy coat of bright white or maybe with a bold coral to match the sun in the artwork above the bed. Our bedroom is small and rectangular, so we keep the aesthetic on the minimalistic side. Opinions please!
$10 headboard I'm considering. I have a vision of this painted glossy bright white or Behr's Fire Island (dark coral).
Our bed had no headboard. There's chipped paint right above the propped up pillows. We live in a rental house so no painting. Can you imagine the revamped funky 70s headboard working?
We have minimal furniture and decor due to the long, rectangular shape of the room. This ornate vintage mirror is one of my favorite accents.
A colorful agate mobile made from a branch is another decoration. We have delicate lace curtains that reflect dancing shadows on the wall.
Another view of the bedroom to give you an idea of style and space.
  48 answers
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Nov 04, 2015
    In my opinion the piece is quite large for your bedroom. Why not think of other ways to repurpose it since you like it so much.Maybe split the piece up and make a unique piece of art work and then paint it the color you choose.
  • Katrina Warren Katrina Warren on Nov 04, 2015
    @Fiona Janine For 10 bucks, I say go for it! (don't expect it to be actual wood though, it's most likely the hard formed plastic from the time period, not that it matters once it's painted etc...) I think it would be great either solid white, white with colorful accents on the molding, or an all over pastel bright. Have fun with it!
  • Ino1738714 Ino1738714 on Nov 04, 2015
    I actually quite like this headboard , I always like to have things that are always different . It goes great with the style of your mirror. I would not paint it solid white as it would get lost against your light wall Have fun and please post your end result.
  • Z Z on Nov 04, 2015
    Though it doesn't fit the style of the rest of the cleaner lines you have in your room, since if you like, I'd still go for it. Sometimes using something that's unexpected, makes the whole room. Katrina, is probably correct in that the "carved" parts are more than likely plastic, which makes it all the more reason to paint it.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Nov 05, 2015
    Agree with inodessey - goes great with your fav. mirror. Don't paint unless you do the mirror, too. You may not be in this rental forever so I wouldn't paint at all. Just my opinion, but your artwork is too small for over the bed. Can you re-orient your bed on the longer wall. Pic would be more in scale hanging over your nightstand - make sure you don't hang it too high. .
    • See 4 previous
    • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 06, 2015
      I love plants, but my toddler would joyfully knock it over and rub dirt everywhere. 😱
  • Maud du Plooy Maud du Plooy on Nov 05, 2015
    Definite thumbs up. It is very nice - i too agree with inodessy and Marion Nesbitt.
  • Maggie Connor Maggie Connor on Nov 05, 2015
    Get it…and in white or coral will be smashing!
  • Connie Sawada Connie Sawada on Nov 05, 2015
    Yes, I love that its unique. Paint it coral or maybe turquoise. You can make your pic bigger by getting a bigger frame and a mat sized to fit.
  • Connie Sawada Connie Sawada on Nov 05, 2015
    and get a printed bedspread to add variety.
  • Patricia P Patricia P on Nov 05, 2015
    I like the turquoise idea, but I would change the color of the bedspread if you do paint the headboard. Maybe a subtle print with red in it?
    • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 05, 2015
      Bedspreads are expensive. I'm interested in a $10 headboard for a reason. Ha. Ha.
  • MARY MARY on Nov 05, 2015
    I think I'd paint it multi-colors by painting out the details. You can have an all over base color then use the coral and teal for example for the grooves and medallion. Have fun!
  • Kim Eley Judd Kim Eley Judd on Nov 05, 2015
    Yes, it is a wonderful purchase. If or when you wish to replace it one day, this headboard would make a fantastic bench for an entry way, mudd room or hallway.
  • Z Z on Nov 05, 2015
    I wouldn't change the bedspread to a print. You want the headboard to the "IT" object in the room.
  • Rhondalea Rhondalea on Nov 05, 2015
    I agree with Becky...leave the bedspread. A print will fight for attention. The headboard can be a beautiful focal point for you, as you walk into the room. Mary's idea is perfect...use a nice base coat of your choice (maybe a color to match the dresser) then work in all the pretty colors you desire. Bring in different shades to match the bedspread and the sun. Add a few more colors. Have you ever seen or heard of Unicorn Spit? Do a search for Unicorn Spit and look at some of those projects and think about that technique. The ideas are endless and you have a beautiful piece sitting in front of you! Be sure to post pictures when you are finished AND throughout the project! They are always wonderful for all the Hometalk people to marvel at and to learn and be inspired. Good luck!
    • See 1 previous
    • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 05, 2015
      Is unicorn spit a specific kind of gel stain? The pictures are pretty cool. Will it work on veneer?
  • Lance irwin Lance irwin on Nov 05, 2015
    YES! I think any color you make it it'll look cool. If you decided you didn't want to use it for a headboard you could make it into a bench. However seeing the pictures of the wall behind your bed this certainly would add character and fill the space w/something unique and cool looking.
  • Shari Veater Shari Veater on Nov 05, 2015
    I vision it in a chalk turquoise, distressed :)
  • Fay Fay on Nov 05, 2015
    Always purchase and add to your home what you love. I think I would try a chalk turquoise ( or any flat finish paint) on the headboard. Or if you like the dresser, use that color as inspiration. How about a coral throw on the bed to bring out the color of the picture or perhaps a rug with the colors of coral and turquoise ? I also think I would replace the lamp on the dresser for a bigger vintage find and paint it the same color.
    • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 05, 2015
      @Fay I like your suggestion. That little night light lamp was used when I was nursing my newborn. We had a large lamp in the guest room that I just switched it out with. Good idea! I think it looks better.
  • Sharyn Diaz Sharyn Diaz on Nov 05, 2015
    Go for it...you can do it coral with white semi dry-brushed on the the raised design ...it will look fab with your clean minimalist decor.
  • Vickie Vickie on Nov 05, 2015
    I love the style of the headboard for your room, the entire room for sure has a 70's vibe, love the mirror and agate on the branch - something I would have loved in my bedroom when I was a teenager in the 70's. Also love the simplicity of the beautiful lace curtains that add to the decor by sunshine coming through the pattern, oh and the cool little chair as a bedside table is awesome. I think if you like it as is, leave it, add some bedside lamps, pillows on the bed with some orange in them to for sure bring in the 70's color. Now if you want to change the color, go for it, my Mom was all in to "antiquing" furniture in the 70's which is the equivalent of our distressed craze and back then any color went. She antiqued a desk in red, a hutch in golden yellow, a some other piece in blue. Now if 70's is not what you want, I would say paint it dark gray but that is just because at his point that is one of my favorite furniture colors so just decide what is your favorite and go for it, after all such a small investment you might bring out the decorator in you!
    • See 2 previous
    • Vickie Vickie on Nov 06, 2015
      @Fiona Janine Yep, that gray is incredible and you know what, I would so go for it because even if it goes out of style soon, which I doubt, gray is timeless, you can always repaint it. And I like it for men too, nothing more classy than a man in a gray suit so it is great for him and also for you because any accent color you choose will go with it. I am a fan of orange and think gray and orange is beautiful together, not bright orange but more pumpkin color or the color of rust for me. so I think you have made a great choice, have it as a great back color that you can add what you want with it, even the coral to match the picture would be great as pillows on the bed. Oh and I totally understand about the toddler pulling things off. I have one granddaughter that barely plays with toys, would much rather explore drawers, what's behind the sofa sort of kid so minimalist is for sure the way to go!! Good luck and don't forget to post some pics when you are done!
  • Alethea S Alethea S on Nov 05, 2015
    For $10, what have you got to lose?
  • Jan Marie Caruso Jan Marie Caruso on Nov 05, 2015
    Paint it a bright turquoise, then use liming was to soften it a bit. Maybe visit Mackenzie-Childs for some fun but more work involved for a VERY FUN edition...don't be afraid a jazzing it us, looks like you could use some. Forget the turquoise go straight to the mackenzie-childs web here is a start http://www.mackenzie-childs.com/Furniture/Beds-Bedroom-Furniture/ look forthe catalog and flip through it. Happy Decorating
  • Denise Boyce Denise Boyce on Nov 05, 2015
    I say Yea! yea! yea!!! [ =
  • Jen Calvert Jen Calvert on Nov 06, 2015
    It's a total yea, great deal! The gray is fabulous. post after pics please?
  • Something like this?
  • Janie Janie on Nov 06, 2015
    I would make a bench out of it.
  • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 06, 2015
    I found a before and after of the same exact headboard on Pinterest! I hope we end up getting it. Our car is too small. My husband is trying to see if he can borrow a friend's truck. I don't know if it's worth it to rent a truck for a $10 headboard. Ugh! I have my heart set on it now. I want to paint it a light French gray.
  • Rhondalea Rhondalea on Nov 06, 2015
    It is a specific stain. If u sand your project n wipe it clean, us Boulder have any problems.
  • Rhondalea Rhondalea on Nov 06, 2015
    Stupid smart phone!!! You shouldn't have any problems!
  • Bron Bron on Nov 06, 2015
    I think the before and after picture looks good. Painted a lighter color. I think if you use it as a head board on the bed you will need a lot of fun colorful pillows on the bed just to soften the look as it is quite a heavy looking item. I think it has an interesting appeal about it but does need to be lighter. ( I really like your mirror :) ).
  • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 06, 2015
    We're going to pick the headboard up tomorrow. I'm so excited. Now I'm looking at paint online. I'm going to need zinsser primer, since it's veneer. I'm considering Behr colors Sparrow, Light French Gray, Reflecting Pool, and Dream Catcher. I'm thinking a light gray with a tiny hint of blue would be nice. I like having a project! Hopefully, I don't regret its funky 70s grooviness. I'll update on how it turns out.
    • Bron Bron on Nov 11, 2015
      yay! I will continue looking at your post to see the results.
  • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 07, 2015
    Man, I'm obsessed with this project! Now I'm thinking mint or a light teal might look nice and soothing. I'm eyeing up Behr Whipped Mint and Cool Jazz.
    • Gail Gail on Nov 13, 2015
      I liked your idea of painting it a glossy coral. Use your white spindle tables and add pillows that pick up the color, Maybe a jute rug on the floor. Wow!
  • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 07, 2015
    I have the headboard now. Thanks, everyone for the opinions! It had a neat scapular tied to it. I love things with character and history! I'm going to have to make some changes in the bedroom because it is bulky and demanding because of its size and ornate detail. I want to replace my current side tables with two small, round spindle tables in white. The artwork isn't going to work with it, so I removed it. I'm thinking about painting it with Behr's Shiny Luster, which is a light gray. Any suggestions to balance things out?
    • Jen Calvert Jen Calvert on Nov 09, 2015
      @Fiona Janine the scapular is awesome! I still vote gray. I don't really have any helpful suggestions for balancing things out. I'm a very eclectic cluttered type decorator so... The ideas you have sound really good. the round spindle tables in white. that head board is so great. can't wait to see how it turns out. You really scored!
  • Linda Cabler Linda Cabler on Nov 07, 2015
    You might paint it an off white and then air brush or use gol leaf on it to accent its design. It is beautiful.
  • Bron Bron on Nov 11, 2015
    yes I like Linda's idea but maybe consider painting it a light cream with a slight teal tone and dry brushing over it with a silver. the pattern will be very soft as the head board itself is quite solid. Depends on what look you want. Also a group of 3 teal candles at various lengths will look really nice on the white side table. I think what ever you decide will look really nice as it is such and unusual item. Very funky :)
  • Bron Bron on Nov 11, 2015
    Just had another idea for an art work..... I don't know how it would work but somehow placing paper or thin fabric over one of the designstwide and in some way pressing the pattern onto the fabric or paper ( a bit like we did as children placing paper over a coin and rubbing crayon over it to get the pattern on the paper). You could then frame each sheet and hang it above the white tables. Maybe someone could expand on this idea for you?
  • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 14, 2015
    The headboard has been primed, & I did the first coat of paint on the front. I chose Behr's Shiny Luster, a subtle, light gray, but it looks white! I like the way it looks, but it's not what I expected. I also plan to add two side wall lamps, colorful pillow shams, and a large ceiling rosette as art on the wall above the bed. I have a destructive toddler, so putting candles, plants, or knick knacks on the side tables is not going to work.
    • Vickie Vickie on Nov 16, 2015
      @Fiona Janine I love all these ideas! Love the ceiling tile and pillows and paint color for headboard is great too. And the lamps on the walls, perfect for a home with a toddler! You have got a great handle on this room, be sure and post final pics, so anxious to see it all in reality!
  • Bron Bron on Nov 15, 2015
    I really like your ideas. The pattern on the cushions and the ceiling rosette work in well with the pattern on the headboard.
  • Patricia P Patricia P on Nov 15, 2015
    Looks really good! Have you considered painting the ceiling medallion, maybe red or turquoise?
    • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 15, 2015
      Yeah, I was considering both colors. I'm still not sure. Once the paint has cured & everything is in the room, I'm going to look at it all together and decide.
  • Jen Calvert Jen Calvert on Nov 19, 2015
    Looks great!
  • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 19, 2015
    I brought the headboard inside, but I'm not pleased with how ghost-like it is against our cream colored wall. I'm going to do a dark gray glaze with the hope that the scroll details will pop out. My bedroom is still in progress... Stay tuned.
    • See 3 previous
    • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 30, 2015
      Bad design choice with the patterned Medallion curtains. Although they were beautiful, they made the room feel smaller & too busy. I returned them to Target for simple white, linen drapes.
  • Linda Cabler Linda Cabler on Nov 22, 2015
    Paint it white and do that gold highlighting on it to bring out its features.
  • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Nov 30, 2015
    I glazed the headboard & my bedroom makeover is almost finished. I think I'm going to go back & clean up my glazing job a bit though. I'm not that pleased with my glazing job. I didn't want such a dirty glaze. What do you guys think? Any constructive input?
  • Hey, wow! Looks great, Fiona! Nice job. You're the in-person judge, but the glazing really transformed the headboard! Enjoy!
    • Fiona Janine Fiona Janine on Dec 01, 2015
      I wasn't happy with the glaze, so I went back in and softened it. I realized I had some white acrylic craft paint & had a Eureka moment. I think I'm actually finished now. I love the way it turned out! I'll have to take more pictures in the sunlight. It's still drying, but I really like it now.
  • Carolyn Carolyn on Dec 02, 2015
    I liked it but now I love it!
  • Jen Calvert Jen Calvert on Dec 02, 2015
    Gorgeous! I like the reverse effect the white paint gives and really makes that beautiful scroll work stand out. Good thinking! It all is looking wonderful.
  • Joy Elrod Joy Elrod on Dec 21, 2018

    Not just a headboard. A pieced art!

  • Ellis Ellis on Dec 21, 2018

    I like it much better with the white paint. What an amazing transformation from the wood finish version.