Making a Headboard from an Old Door

Here is a diamond in the rough  . . . we saw potential!

This old door had six panels, but we only needed five panels for a queen-sized bed headboard. That works great because Neal prefers an odd number of panels. (For my sake, glad he likes odd!)

Before . . . one side . . .

Before . . . the other side . . . 

First, we sanded . . .

And then we sanded the other side . . .  just enough to knock off the loose paint. We liked the rustic look. 

Filling the Holes:

Neal filled the holes with Bondo wood filler.  Love my talented Neal! 🥰

Painting the Door and Trim:

We lightly painted just one coat of paint (not chalk paint) and after it dried, sanded off to reveal the colors beneath.

We painted a 1 x 3 flat piece of wood (for the top of the door) and a long piece of 1.25″ picture molding. We first painted both pieces of trim brown and then a second coat of the blue once the brown dried. (We actually had Home Depot match the blue on the original door.)  Once the blue dried, we painted this with the off-white that we used on the original door.

Cutting the Trim:

We added two pieces of trim at the top of the door. We added a 1 x 3 as the flat piece at the top and added picture molding (or door/window casing or chair rail moulding) under the flat piece. The picture moulding was 1.25″. (Note: There is a difference between picture molding and crown molding; picture molding, door/window casing, and chair rail moulding is 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 (also known as shingle or decorative molding).

Neal cut the ends of the picture molding at a 45-degree angle using a miter saw. 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. Really think through this part!

Neal attached with finishing nails and then caulked the joints.

Here is another look on the other end . . .

Attaching the Door to the 2x4s

We screwed the 2x4s into the door using screws that were long enough to go through the 2×4 and catch the wood of the door but NOT too long that they would come through and be visible on the front side of the door. (I added the felt so the 2x4s would protect the wall.)

Attaching to Bed Frame:

We used a 2 x 4 (cut in half to have two pieces) to attach to the bed frame. You really don’t see the 2 x 4 boards, but I painted the boards off-white just to blend and give a more finished look. Here is a picture attached to the bed frame.

We attached the 2×4 boards to the frame with long screws and nuts.

After . . .

We originally made and used this headboard in another house as seen below.  And another view with the bed made. Another view at night with lighting . . .Here is this same headboard at our lake house in my daughter and son-in-law’s bedroom.

Thanks for reading my blog!

Don’t forget to pin for later reference. Below is the headboard we made for my daughter and son-in-law Emmy and Keith. It is kingsize. It, too, was made from an old door. It obviously is longer (wider). Instead of mounting on 2x4s, we hung this directly on the wall using TWO of these tracking systems from Home Depot

This is the second kingsized door headboard we made. The other one was from an old door for my in-laws (before my sweet mother-in-law passed away?). It was made from a new door, but we used the same technique on each of them. The only difference between the queen size and king size is the length.

Let us know what you think of our door headboards or if you have any questions by posting below. 

 

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Author: Suzanne

Blogger and DIYer with my talented husband Neal. I share about our projects and life lessons following Christ.

41 thoughts on “Making a Headboard from an Old Door”

    1. Hey Charmaine,
      YES, you could install this directly on the wall. We actually made a king size headboard from a new door for my in-laws and hung it directly on the wall. It worked great!
      Thanks for reading our blog!
      Suzanne

    1. Jennifer,

      Thank you for taking the time to share this. I am delighted our post helped you make a headboard! Knowing that makes my day!

      Thanks again!

      Suzanne

    1. Hey Martha,

      We used screws with nuts to attach the 2×4’s to the bed frame. The 2x4s actually touch the floor, but the bed frame (with headboard attached) was fairly easy to move as needed. I hope this helps!

      Thanks for reading our blog.

      Suzanne

    1. Thanks for your question on our blog about our door headboard.

      We purchased the picture molding (also known as shingle molding) at Home Depot. I searched to see if they still have this molding and could not find it online. It is similar to this molding. They have several other options.

      I hope this is helpful. Thanks for reading our blog.

      Suzanne

    2. Hey Heidi,
      You can use door/window casing such as this or a chair rail moulding such as this or this at Home Depot, which is basically the same as picture moulding. Just don’t use crown moulding because it does not lay flat against the door. I hope this helps.
      Suzanne

  1. Do you have pictures of the Kingsize headboards you made out of old doors. I am really thinking about doing one for my bed.

    1. Hey April,
      Yes, I added a picture to the blog post of one we made for my daughter and son-in-law. It obviously is longer (wider). Instead of mounting on 2x4s, we hung this directly on the wall using a track system. This is the second kingsized door headboard we made.

      Thanks for reading our blog!
      Suzanne

  2. Hi absolutely love this idea. I have a new queen ensemble and don’t want to attach the door to the wall. How would I stabilise the bedhead. Have you any ideas? Thanks again

    1. Hey Carol,
      I am glad you like our door headboard. We love it too and plan on making more at some point. It is a really fun project.
      If you don’t want to attach it to the wall, then use 2 2x4s and attach each of the boards to the bed frame. Go back and check the post, we show you how to do this. Also, put felt on the bottom of each 2×4 and it makes it easier to move the bed as needed (and protects your floor). We also put felt on the back of each 2×4 so it would not scratch the wall. I hope this helps!
      Thanks for reading our blog!
      Suzanne

    1. Hey Ashley,

      Try looking at antique stores, junk stores, thrift stores, Habitat ReStore, any architectural store that sells old stuff. You could also try Facebook Marketplace.

      Happy Shopping!

      Suzanne

      1. Just bought mine on FB marketplace for $20! Looking forward to this project! Thanks for the details on how you did yours, very helpful and changed my design before I even started to be more in line with how you designed it.

  3. Turned out beautiful! So for the queen did you cut one panel off? If so can you give a few directions and what you used to do so please?

    1. Hey Crystal,
      Yes, we did. We clamped a long level to the end of the door to give us a straight line and then used a circular saw to cut one of the panels off the door. If you have a large table saw, that would work too.
      I hope this helps.
      Suzanne

  4. Do you happen to know the dimensions of the door before cutting and what you cut it down to? It’s beautiful! I’m looking to make one for a queen bed but want to make sure the door isn’t too short 😬

    1. Hey Missy,

      Great question. We made this for a queen size bed too. The last picture in the post is a queen bed (for my daughter and her husband).

      For the Queen Size Bed:
      I can’t remember the original length of the door before we cut it; we cut one panel off the door. However, after cutting the door, the length is 65 inches.

      The original width of the door was 34 inches. We did not cut anything off the width. However, after adding the trim at the top, the total width (including the trim at the top) is 35.5 inches.

      After adding the 2 2×4 posts to attach it to the bed frame, the height from the floor to the top of the hardboard (including the trim) is 62.75 inches.

      I hope this is helpful. Please let me know how it goes.

      Suzanne

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Great question! You can use door/window casing or a chair rail moulding, which is basically the same as picture moulding. Just don’t use crown moulding because it does not lay flat against the door. I hope this helps.
      Suzanne

  5. Hi,
    How did you attach the 2x4s to the headboard, so that you have a clean look at the front and don’t have any bolts showing? Maybe you glued it??
    Thanks!

    1. Hey Lynn,

      That is a great question! We screwed the 2x4s into the door using screws that were long enough to go through the 2×4 and catch the wood of the door but NOT too long that they would come through and be visible on the front side of the door.

      Thanks to your question, I have revised the post and added a picture.

      Suzanne

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