Painting a Headboard

headboard full front

Painting a headboard is a great way to update your bedroom.  Plus it’s an easy weekend project.

If you remember the cute little set of gray night stands I recently did, this headboard belongs to the same client.  She is re-doing her whole bedroom, and moving away from dark wood.  Having everything in whites and grays will really brighten up the space. 

I remembered to take the “before” shot at the last minute, after a few swipes of primer. Pretty dark, huh?  So let’s learn how to paint a headboard!

headboard before

Here are the supplies I used.

Resource List:

(Note: These are affiliate links for which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.  Thanks for your support!)

If you want tons of information on Dixie Belle paint and products, you can check out this Comprehensive Guide post, and you can download it free here by clicking the picture:

Prime the Dark Headboard with White BOSS

Since the wood was so dark, I didn’t want to take any chances with bleed-through on my painted wood headboard.  So I primed with 2 coats of white BOSS; 2 coats are recommended for the best coverage. 

Unlike most Dixie Belle products, this one does have an odor, so try to use it in a ventilated area.  BOSS comes in white, gray or clear.

If you have any stains (marker, ink, water rings, etc.) on your piece, you will want to let the second coat of BOSS cure overnight before painting.  The extra drying time ensures the stains won’t bleed through your final finish.

Not that I needed it for this project, but BOSS also blocks odors. So if you have a piece with musty odors or smoke smells, BOSS can help with that too.

painting a headboard

Painting a Headboard with a Fluff and Hurricane Gray Blend

My client requested a finish that was mostly cream, with some gray touches.  I chose Fluff because it has a gray undertone, and goes well with any of the Dixie Belle grays.  For the gray, I chose Hurricane Gray.

At first, I planned to blend these 2 colors in a traditional way using water and blurring the transitions to remove any harsh lines.  But it just wasn’t coming together the way I wanted. 

So I changed course and did more of a water wash.  I painted on the Fluff and then added a wet line of Hurricane Gray across the top.  I sprayed a lot of water so the gray dripped down.

headboard closeup angle

I blended the drips as they formed with horizontal brush strokes and a synthetic brush.  This gave a water color look. The blended color is actually quite similar to French Linen.

I kept it a bit darker in the recesses and brighter on the flat surfaces for interest.  A 1-color finish can be pretty, but I’m partial to a finish that has highlights and lowlights for depth.

headboard detail

Headboard Top Coat 

To get a buttery smooth feel, I scuff sanded all over with a very fine sand paper.  I dusted it down, and sealed with 2 coats of Satin Clear Coat.  I’ve gravitated towards sealing all projects this way, for the added durability and sheen. 

Now this solid wood headboard has a fresh new life in a newly remodeled room!

If you liked this project, you may enjoy these as well:

If you enjoyed painting a headboard with me, head on over to Shop my Faves and pick out some paint and products for your next project!

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