DIY Headboard turned Coat rack

DIY Headboard

This week, I’m leaving you in the capable hands of a special guest blogger – Centsational Girl, aka Kate. If you haven’t already come across Kate’s Blog , this is where she shares her incredible talent for budget friendly DIYs and revamping old items on a shoestring. In her own words, Kate is “a simple gal with a simple dream:  transforming the drab into the fab with an arsenal of paintbrushes, primer and power tools. I’m in pursuit of diamond style on a dime, and I refuse to believe quality must always be expensive.” That’s our kind of thinking!

Kate will be sharing a wonderfully inventive tutorial with us this week, in which she turns a rickety old headboard into a beautiful, and practical, coat rack. Over to you Kate.

Cat x

Headboard turned Coat rack

You will need [as well as the old headboard]:

wood filler (optional)
a second, contrasting paint colour
an old cloth
D rings x2

A little while ago, I bought a spindly old-fashioned twin headboard at the local thrift store with every intention of turning it into a bench.  I’d seen the idea traveling around on some blogs, and loved it.

After some thought, I decided I had less use for a bench, and greater use for a coat rack in my guest space.  I had a bare wall, so why not fashion the headboard into a rack for scarves, sweaters, jackets, robes, or hats for my guests ?   You may recall, I’ve done this before, turning a footboard into a message centre with some white and chalkboard paint.

So I decided to do it again, but this time with a headboard.  I also used a different paint technique to give my coat rack an antiquated look.  Now, the twin headboard has been transformed into an architecturally decorative piece, providing both form and function.

Follow along and I’ll show how I turned this:
DIY Headboard

Into this:

DIY Headboard

First, take a look at the headboard that I brought home from the thrift store.  You’ve seen these before.  They were popular many decades ago.  Not so much anymore.

DIY Headboard

The wood was in pretty poor shape.  It would be fine to refurbish the headboard by simply staining or painting it, but it just came across as too old fashioned for my taste, so I repurposed it for a better cause.

Step One: I cut the bottom legs off with my compound miter saw.  I’ve recently learned to operate this bad boy.

DIY Headboard

Step Two: I sanded the piece with a coarse sanding pad to remove any debris or trace of remaining varnish.  This piece was pretty dried out, so not much was there.

DIY Headboard

Step Three: I removed the spindles with a saw from the center for a more modern look, and filled the holes with wood filler.

Step Four: I primed my piece with durable primer so my paint job would last.

DIY Headboard

For my new coat rack, I wanted to “antique” the appearance of this older piece to pay homage to the fact that my wood had been around for several decades.  I wanted that vintage French distressed paint treatment with creamy white paint and exposed wood edges underneath.

If you desire the same look, but your wood is in poor condition, or is a paler tone wood like maple or natural oak, then what can happen is when you sand away your creamy white paint, you expose that poor wood condition or pale wood tone underneath.  In such circumstances, I prefer to cheat.  I like to guarantee a rich espresso tone underneath my cream paint.  So I fake it.  Here’s how.

Step Five: Paint just the edges of your piece where you want the “wood” to show through with espresso brown paint.  Allow to dry.

DIY Headboard

Step Six: Paint your piece with your color of choice.  I chose to spray with a favorite: Rustoleum’s ‘Heirloom White’.  I allowed the paint to settle for 30 seconds, then I used my fingernail underneath a slightly moistened paper towel to scrape away the white paint and expose the “wood” [brown paint] underneath.

DIY Headboard

Note: I have used sandpaper in the past to expose wood edges underneath my paint job.  Sandpaper works just as well, but this is another alternative.  I like this moist wipe away technique because it guarantees the result I want.  And if I scrape too much white paint, I just spray over the smear, and start over.

Step Seven: When my paint was dry, I attached ‘D’ ring hangers to the back of my headboard.  I also attached three brown hooks to the front.

-DIY Headboard

I’m really crazy about these deep brown iron hooks against the crisp white paint.

DIY Headboard

We’re expecting a lot of guests this autumn during the harvest season, so now they have an extra place for their fall scarves, hats, and mittens : )

DIY Headboard

Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at

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