Hi everyone! Today I wanted to share with you my tutorial for a DIY headboard and side tables! When we moved to North Carolina from New Mexico, we almost doubled our house size, and I have been on a mission ever since to furnish our home while not going broke and trying to still keep things simple. This is where the whole KonMari method (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing) has come in handy. If you haven’t read this book, you should! It is a game changer and applies to so much more than your belongings. Anyways, I try to decorate in ways that are not only functional for our family but also affordable and reflective of us. With this, I have been trying to make sure that we really like whatever we decorate with and really think it over before starting on a project.
Our guest bedroom has been a catch-all room for the better part of our time in this house until just recently. Once my husband and I agreed on using an old door as the headboard, it took me another few months until I found one in good condition with the panels like I had envisioned. I ended up finding one on a local garage sale facebook site for a good price. It then sat in our garage for another few months while I decided how I wanted to paint it! Here is how the door looked when I bought it:
Wearing a mask, I used a wire brush to remove any big chunks of loose paint. I liked the chippy look and the texture it gave the door. I wiped down the door carefully then sealed both sides with 2 good coats of Valspar matte clear spray paint. After that was dry, I painted it in Valspar’s Lincoln Cottage Black. (I did both sides) This is the same color as our front door, and we had plenty left over, so it made the paint color decision much easier. Once dry, I applied a beige paint- Valspar’s Belle Grove Buff(I had a sample of this already)- with a dry brush around the edges and corners where I wanted it to look distressed. It’s ok to overdo it on this step because this is not your final coat of paint!
After this was dry, I took some good ‘ole Vaseline and rubbed it on each of the places I previously painted beige(you can use your fingers- there is no skill required here- you just rub a blob of vaseline anywhere on the beige that you want to show through). Bear with me, this is a super easy technique that gives wood a naturally distressed look! I then went back and painted another coat of the Lincoln Cottage Black over the entire front and sides of the door. I do recommend using a cheap-o brush for this coat, as you don’t want vaseline getting in your good brush. Once the black coat was slightly dry, I used a rag to rub over the areas that had vaseline. You will be able to tell where the vaseline is, as the black will not have adhered quite as well. The black will come off easily to show spots of beige in a soft distressed look. This is so much easier than sanding until my arm is about to fall off!! I have used this technique on quite a few pieces in our house, and it is by far my favorite (and easiest!) way of distressing wood. If you want to see my video tutorial on this, watch it here: Distressing Wood with Vaseline Video Tutorial
I then sealed the door in Valspar clear semi-gloss spray paint. **I did have ‘in progress’ pictures, however, they have decided to disappear from my phone** If you have further questions about any of the steps, let me know. I’m happy to further explain the process!
There are various routes you can take to hang your door. I decided to use a piece of wood to brace the door and then screw the door into the studs. I wanted to make sure it wasn’t going anywhere! I knew I could paint over the exposed screws to make them hardly noticeable.Once deciding the height I wanted to hang the door, I marked the studs using a stud finder. I used a 40in long piece of wood screwed into the studs with size 10×3.5in screws as my base. Make sure it is level before you screw it in! (Side note: if you go to Lowe’s lumber department and ask them if they have any scrap wood, you can get discounts on the pieces they have as scraps. They don’t always have any, but when they do, I’ve either gotten them for 25 cents a piece or FREE!!! I’m not sure if all Lowe’s have this. I went in and told them what I was using the wood for and how long it needed to be and they gave me this piece.)
I sat the door on top of the base and had my hubby hold it in place while I made sure it was level. I then screwed 2 screws on top as well as 2 screws on the bottom into the studs. I used the same 10×3.5in screws that I used for the base. Ignore the bad lighting, I am not skilled in the photography department!
I later painted the screws with black paint to camouflage them. With the height of the mattress, you can’t even see the piece of wood that I used to sit the door on.
Next, I wanted to figure out a side table solution. I had been looking for guest bedroom and living room side tables for what seemed like FOREVER. When I did find something in my price range, it wasn’t what I was looking for. Trying to stay as inexpensive as possible, I decided to use decorative brackets with a piece of wood on top. You can find the brackets from most hardware stores starting at $5 a piece, although a lot are super simple without much character for that price. I went antique shopping with a friend and found these decorative brackets at $5 a piece. They are exactly what I had been looking for: enough detail to give some character, good size, and solid/heavy.
They were fairly rusty when I bought them, so I did lightly sand the rust off and spray painted them in… surprise, surprise, Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze! For the tops, I used a piece of MDF board we had leftover from when I renovated our coat closet. It was 1 long piece, so I had my husband cut it down to 2 pieces, each 11.25in x 16in. I did sand down the corners and edges so they wouldn’t be sharp. I painted the tops in the same black that I did on the headboard: Valspar’s Lincoln Cottage Black. I sealed them with the Valspar matte clear spray paint. Once dry, I used small screws(I already had these) to attach the brackets to the top. I then marked off the studs in the wall, and screwed the entire piece into the studs using the same size 10×3.5in screws I used on the headboard. I definitely recommend having someone help hold the table in place while you screw it in- it’s not easy to do by yourself! As with the door, I painted the screws on the brackets black to hide them. I left the ottomans underneath the tables for added storage, but for a total of $20 on 2 side tables, I am pretty pleased with how they turned out.
And yes, that is Whitetail-opoly under the bed… don’t judge.
Even if you had to go buy the wood or MDF and paint (FYI: for small projects like this, all you would need is 1 sample container of paint. Lowe’s has Valspar samples for $3-$4, sometimes cheaper if you catch the pre-mixed ones on clearance), you could easily make 2 tables for under $30 (depending on the size and material for the top you choose, of course)
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