How To: Old Door Headboard


Title: How to turn an old door into a Headboard
Name: Leah
Time: 2 weekends
Cost: $50

Leah has taken our many inspirational headboard posts to heart and create her own headboard from a $6 door on Craigslist. Click above for the pics and head below for all the instructions. Give Leah a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful….



wood paste wax
clean white cloth
wood filler
spackling tool
wood stain pen
woodfiller pen
2×4’s — 3 of them
oil based stain
stain brush
sand paper
wood screws
drill bits
measuring tape
4 bolts & nuts (long enough to attach 2×4 to bed frame)
soap & water
And last but not least the occasional consult from my mom (she previously taught furniture building)

I found the old door on craigslist (a favorite pasttime of mine). I was told it was around 50 yrs. old. I liked the coloring however it did have a significant blemish that needed repair which is why woodfiller, woodfill pen, spackling tool and stain pen are included in the list of tools. The door is solid wood on the outer edges and has 2 inset panels that I believe are some sort of plywood. I’m not sure how this project wood work out if you were to use a hollow door. I started out by scrubbing the entire piece down w/soap and water as it had been sitting in a garage for quite some time. I carefully inspected and sanded the door especially in problem areas. I wanted as smooth a finish as possible if I was going to comfortably lay my head against it.

Once the door was completely dry I began applying the woodfiller to the damaged area to smooth it out. I used the spackling tool for this and sanded between each layer. Once this area was to my liking, I used the stain pen to attempt to even out the color. It turns out the color I had was not an exact match but due to the nature of the door (i.e. it’s age and imperfections) I didn’t have a problem with the color as it turned out. I used the woodfiller pen to touch up tiny imperfections on other parts of the door. Once I felt the door was in good shape and had been sanded smoothly I began the application of the wood paste wax which is two part:

First apply the wax with a cloth which I did in a circular motion – let it dry – and then buff it which I did with a clean part of the cloth. I applied 6 coats. Wax doesn’t produce a high gloss finish — more of a sheen as well as helps to seal the wood. Due to the size and weight of the door I opted to put three legs on it for added stability. I bought 3 2×4’s and had them cut to my desired length at the hardware store. Each of these was sanded and stained to match the door (although they weren’t an exact match, I think the color works).

I put the door face down on the ground and attached the 2×4’s (after allowing the stain to dry overnight) to each side and in the center with wood screws. I staggered the screws for added stability. I drilled holes through them prior to attaching. Once attached I drilled holes in the bottom of the left and right legs to be able to attach them with long bolts to my standard metal bed frame. The hardest part of the project came next…getting that thing up the staircase! Once in the room I attached it to the bed frame with the bolts and the project was complete. A key part of my project was that I carefully studied my bedframe and the door and drew diagrams and took many measurements to aid in the process. Because of this I didn’t have measurement errors and didn’t have to redo any part of the project. I recommend it- kind of like a pattern for sewing. It was my constant point of reference.

I paid $6 for the door on craigslist! Got the rest of the materials that I didn’t already own at a big box hardware store.

Give Leah a THUMBS UP if you find this project helpful….