We have made several bed headboards from old and new doors. In this post, we will explain how to make a headboard from an old or new door.
This was the original door we purchased at a salvage store.
This old door had six panels, but we only needed five panels for a queen-sized bed headboard. That works great because we prefer an odd number of panels. (Later in this post, we will show two more headboards we made for kingsize doors.)
This is one side of the original door.
This is the other side of the original door.
We lightly sanded both sides to remove the loose paint.
We decided to use the more rustic side for the headboard.
Filling the Holes:
We filled the obvious holes, including the doorknob hole with Bondo wood filler. Follow the instructions on the can. After it dried, we sanded the areas smooth.
Painting the Door and Trim:
We purchased one 1 x 3″ flat piece of wood (for the top of the headboard) and a 1.25″ piece of picture moulding (which will go under the 1 x 3 at the top of the headboard).
The 1 x 3″ flat piece needs to be at least 4″ longer than the length of the top of the headboard (the original height of the door). This will allow for a 2″ overhang on each side.
The 1.25″ piece of picture moulding needs to be at least 8″ longer than the length of the top of the headboard because you will cut a 45-degree angle on both ends. We will share more details on this later in this post. We suggest purchasing a piece a foot longer just in case you cut the wrong angle and need to recut. We know this from experience.
Note: There is a difference between picture moulding and crown moulding; picture moulding, door/window casing and chair rail moulding are solid on the back and rest flat on the door. If you want a more dramatic look, you could add a larger piece or a more decorative piece of picture molding.
We were attempting to make the trim that we were adding to the door match the color of the door. We wanted it to look original and blend with the door.
Using latex paint, we painted the 1 x 3 flat piece of wood (for the top of the door) and the piece of 1.25″ picture molding brown (under color). After the brown dried, we painted each piece blue. (We had Home Depot match the blue of the original door.) Once the blue dried, we painted this with the off-white.
Painting the Actual Door:
We used the same off-white latex paint to lightly paint the original door. After it dried, we lightly sanded it to reveal the original colors (brown and blue) beneath.
Cutting and Installing the Trim:
First, cut and nail the 1 x 3:
Using finishing nails, we nailed the 1 x 3 flat piece to the top of the headboard. The back of the 1 x 3 is flush with the back of the headboard.
Next, cut and nail the 1.25 picture moulding:
Measure the length of the top of the headboard and use a miter saw to cut a 45-degree angle on each end of the picture moulding. Using finishing nails, nail this under the 1 x 3 flat board. Measure and cut two smaller pieces at 45 degrees and nail them at each end of the picture moulding to give it a finished look.
WARNING: Be very careful as you measure and cut angles. We have made many mistakes on this part. It is like making a puzzle and you need to pay attention if your measurement is from the short or long (pointed end) once you cut. The only good thing about making a mistake is that you learn what to do (or not do) next time. Think through this part!
We caulked the joints. When it dried we lightly painted the caulked jointed with the off-white paint. We wiped off some of the paint on the joints to make it blend.
Here is another look on the other end . . .
Attaching the Door to 2 x 4s:
We purchased a standard 2 x 4 and cut it in half.
Note: You don’t see the 2 x 4 boards, but I painted the boards off-white just to blend and give a more finished look.
We screwed the 2 x 4s in the back of the headboard using screws that were long enough to go through the 2 x 4 and catch the wood headboard but NOT too long that they would come through and be visible on the front side of the headboard.
We installed the 2 x 4s so that the bottom edge of the headboard would be about 1″ below the top of the mattress.
I added the felt to keep the 2 x 4’s from scratching the wall.
Attaching to Bed Frame:
We attached each 2 x 4 board to the bed frame with long screws and nuts.
Ignore the unused holes in the picture below. We have used this headboard on several bed frames and thus have multiple holes depending on the bedframe we were using.
The final headboard:
Without decorative pillows:
And with pillows …
Below is a kingsize headboard we made for my daughter and son-in-law. It, too, was made from an old door. Instead of mounting this headboard on 2x4s, we hung this directly on the wall using TWO of these tracking systems from Home Depot.
Below is another door kingsize headboard we made from a new door.
Don’t forget to pin this for later reference.
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Let us know what you think of our door headboards or if you have any questions by posting below.