Houston, We have a Head board re-finished and repaired – One small step for the bed, one giant step for the Master bedroom!

Posted in BEDROOMS, DECOR, DIY, FURNITURE MAKE-OVERS
on March 20, 2014

Have you ever noticed that the master bedroom is the LAST room in the house to have anything done to it, or is that just in my house? We’ve made over two girls rooms – one Paris room and one zebra print – and a little guys room, and yet, in the six years we’ve lived in this house, we haven’t touched our bedroom. It’s so sad.

We made a decision to change that way back at the stroke of midnight when we’d had a bit too much champagne and I was we were spouting off our plans for 2014. When the headache cleared, I decided we agreed it was still a really good idea, so, we came up with a list of things we’d need to do to make us happy. 
Frwwrffwrrr.. that’s the sound of the tape fast forwarding to today. Or, it would be if anyone still had tapes. And, suddenly, I’m realizing that I’m not the 29 years old that I’ve convinced myself that I am! But.. we’ll ponder that another day. For today, we are – both of us, I swear – finally working on a room for us! 
Worst. Photo. Ever. 

When last we spoke, we had sold the bed(!), and were so excited, because we hadn’t really realized how claustrophobic we’d both been feeling. Well, we were excited for a short while.. because after we sold the bed, we were left with a king size mattress, no headboard, and the uber ugly legs of our new metal bed frame just.. hanging out. We needed a bed skirt. At the very least, a temporary bed skirt, which I threw together, but more than that, we really, really needed a headboard. Like, really. At least until after I’d searched every thrift and furniture store within a 25 mile radius I just happened to come across this. You know, while casually looking. See? We’re back to the headboard. And you doubted my windy story path.. 

I found this bad boy at the Salvation Army. It’s nearly unheard of for me to find a king size bed at a thrift store – not that it never happens, but it’s rare in my experience, especially in decent shape. But there it was.. a complete frame, with headboard, foot board and rails. Not the original rails.. but rails none the less. It was entirely the wrong finish – much, much, MUCH too golden oak-ey – and one of the posts on the headboard needed some repair work, but it was hard wood, and the first thing I’d seen that would work stature wise, that was within our budget. Our bed side tables and the armoire we kept from our original suite are quite large.. the headboard or bed frame had to be large enough to hold it’s own. 

We brought it home, and got right to work. It had a few nicks, but we decided to largely leave the finish as-was – we were going for a bit of weathered look anyway. We did have to repair that broken post foot though, and in some ways, had to undo the poor repair work that the previous owner had attempted. Luckily, Shay is a genius at that kind of thing.  A piece of quarter-round, although not a perfect match, would work nicely as fill-in for the missing trim.

Much better photo. Badly broken foot post. 

The previous repair had been to simply attach a piece of wood with little concern for aesthetics. We thought of removing it, but doing this was going to cause more harm than good – it was well glued.

Instead, we decided to add to it. To begin, Shay used a small handsaw to cut the corner edge of the repaired piece back a half an inch at the corner on either side of the post foot. This would allow him to create two bridge pieces that would blend the original molding with the quarter round.

He cut two small pieces – one end with a 90 degree angle to butt up against the original molding, and a 45 degree angle to meet at the corner. He used glue and nails to attach. Then, he cut a longer piece, with 45 degree angles at both ends, to fill the gap. Once in place, we filled any remaining seams with wood filler and we were good to go! As you can see, it’s not an exact match, but at first glance, which is all the post would get anyway, it’s more than passable.

We gave the entire headboard and foot board a thorough sanding with 300 sandpaper and followed that up with super fine steel wool. After a final clean, we used a deglosser to remove any residue and the poly from the original finish. Then we were ready to stain – which is what I am doing right here. Don’t I look lovely? Those are my oldest yoga pants, and I wore them especially for you! And.. those socks I’m using to apply the stain are Shay’s.. but we won’t talk about that.

I actually used two different colors to stain, which gave the finish more of the depth of color I was looking for. I used Minwax Jacobean and applied a second coat of Minwax Ebony. I then applied four coats of Minwax Wipe-On Poly – as an aside, can I just say I LOVED using this product? It was so easy! I had no issues with bubbling and it just went on so smoothly. I don’t think I’ll ever use a brush applied poly product again. Loved it!

Early on we realized that the foot board would not be going upstairs, at least with our current dresser. We are, however, holding out hope that we’ll be able to find a replacement for the dresser or replace it all together with a more organized closet system. We’ll see.

After allowing everything to dry for 4-5 days – despite what it looks like in these pictures, it kept snowing off and on and it was drying in our garage – we were ready to take the beast upstairs. 


We are lucky enough to have two staircases in our home, but not lucky enough that either staircase is an easy climb or appropriately positioned to accommodate large, heavy objects. This headboard weighs about 120 lbs, give or take a few, and it’s 78″ wide. It’s truly a beast. And, I’m weak. So, we determined that I should be at the top of the headboard, as there was no way I was going to be able to bring up the rear. Shay was at the bottom of the stairs trying to hold the headboard up as high as possible so that I could drag it up from stair to stair, which had him pretty much pinned against the wall until I was about half way up. At one point I explained that if the headboard slipped, I would not be able to save him, and that I wanted him to know that I loved him immeasurably, just in case he were to die that day. I had visions of losing my grip, the giant headboard barrelling down the stairs and pinning Shay. Luckily, we managed to wrestle it upstairs and everyone survived to refinish again.

Here it is, in all it’s glory.

I believe that knocks something off our list! With the headboard having been found, this is what we have left to do:

  • bed skirt
  • head board or new frame
  • refinish the large dresser or replace
  • throw pillows
  • make-over lamps and new shades
  • floating shelves on large open wall
  • accent rug
  • window treatments 
  • two matching ottomans for either side of the dresser
  • wall art

If you want to see our original plan, go here.

As I said, it’s one small step for the bed, one giant step for the Master Bedroom! Now, it’s onwards and upwards. Next up, our lamp make-over! Stay tuned!

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