Paneled Door Headboard

Creating an interesting, colorful or unique headboard for you bed is a fun and potentially easy way to completely change the look and feel of a bedroom.  Over the next couple entries, we’re going to look at some of the best ideas out there on the web–along with a little how-to steps from RepcoLite to make sure these projects go easily for you if you try to tackle them.

The first one I want to talk about is pictured at the left.  It’s the “Old Paneled Door” headboard and really can be a highlight or focal point of your room if you do it the right way.

The main thing you need to tackle this project is . . . obviously . . . and old paneled wood door.  Possibly you’ve got one sitting around in your basement or attic (like me!), or maybe you’ll need to scour some junk shops and mission stores.  Another thing to try is this:  call your friends and family.  Many people have all kinds of extra junk sitting around in their homes that they don’t know what to do with.  They hate to throw certain things away, but they also have no use for them.  As a result, people “sit on” items like old doors and they end up just taking up space.  It never hurts to ask….

Anyway, once you get your door, the steps are easy from that point on to achieve the look in the picture:

Install some trim (or crown molding) around the edge of the door that will be the top of the headboard (see top edge of door in photo above).  This will give it a finished look on the top and will also cover up the notches cut in the door for the hinges!

Clean it up and scuff sand it (if you’re going to paint it).

Apply your latex paint without primer (if you’re going for a distressed look as we see in the photo).

After the paint has dried for a couple days, take some 120grit sandpaper and dust lightly over the entire painted door.  Spend some extra time on edges and the panels to completely remove the paint in those areas and expose the original wood beneath.

Once the door looks sufficiently distressed, wipe it clean with a damp rag and let it dry.

After it’s dried you can either leave it and hang it, or for a little extra durability, you could top-coat it with 1 coat of RepcoLite’s Flat Polyurethane Varnish.  (If it’s white, you might want to leave it unvarnished as the varnish will yellow over time!)

After it’s dried for 24 hours, you just need to mount it sideways on the wall (door knob removed and hole down so it’s hidden behind the bed) and you’re done!

This is one of those projects that you should be able to accomplish relatively quickly and without too much effort.  The part that will require the most DIY’er skill will be the installation of the crown or trim around the top edge.  Other than that, it’s all pretty straightforward and simple.  But best of all, the impact is huge.


Leave the door with a “stained” look.  Either scuff sand it and apply a “freshen-up” coat of stain over the whole door (along with a couple coats of Polyurethane) to create a new, finely finished look; or, leave the stained door completely “as-is” for a more rustic look.

Don’t distress the door.  Skip the roughed-up look and go for a nice, even, solid coat of paint.  If you do this, I’d strongly recommend RepcoLite’s Prime-all Primer as a great basecoat.

Use those old wallpaper scraps!  Cut squares of wallpaper that will fit the panels of the door and install them.  Cut them from scrapes left over in your own home, or call RepcoLite and ask about discontinued wallpaper books you can grab for free!

Old Window Headboard
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