Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Reclaimed Wood-Look Headboard - King Size

I've always hated spending a ton of money on rooms we 'never use' (ha ha, not like THAT!  Seriously though, most of our time spent in the bedroom is sleeping if you think about it), so I've never really pushed for REAL bedroom furniture.  We've always just had a bed frame - as in the kind that supports your box spring & mattress, not a proper real headboard, etc.  Various 5-10$ cheapo tables for nightstands over the years, now using the crappy presswood 4-drawer dressers we bought 6 years ago when we moved to CU.  Which are still our only dressers - used for socks, underthings, bathing suits and pyjamas that don't hang.

I couldn't see spending a couple-few grand on furniture we'd rarely ever SEE when there are so many many other things I'd rather spend the money on!  Like new tile, or new carpet upstairs, or new appliances I'll never buy ;)  Heck, even converting the old wood burning fireplace to a sealed gas log would be higher on the list than bedroom furniture!  So, when I found Ana White it was like a dream come true, SO no pun intended!  The plans!  The beauty!  The sheer cheapitude!  Most are Pottery Barn or other 'high end' knock-offs, which I LOVE but holy crap...800$ for a headboard?  I'd rather build the knockoff!

Off to the hardware store for lumber & nails I went!  I picked a mix of select pine, and 'whiteboard' which is just angry/sad pine.  I wanted knots and a bit of warping and some interest.  I didn't want it to be perfection.

75$ later, here's what I had loaded in my husband's car -

About an hour later, I had a decent start -

I have GOT to build a workbench!  A wobbly table and a short small bench were dreadful on my back, and annoying to work with.  Slightly better than the floor, I suppose.  Only just.

I was able to get it done spaced over a couple days, because The Husbeast was off work that week, so child-minding duties were shoved off on him ;)

Things I learned, did differently, or wish I had done -
  • It's hella-hard to get a square cut with a jigsaw
  • This size calls for a support beam to be added at the end to the middle of the back, vertically.  I wish I had added it in the beginning.  It would have made clamping and getting the edges tight a lot easier.  I ended up with a few gaps which I finally shoved copious amounts of wood filler into, before staining (this will come back to piss me off later, but not in the way you might expect).
  • I didn't make the outside of the legs/sides flush with the front.  I looked at it both ways, and I liked the detail and depth it gave having it flush to the back
  • I would be tempted to re-jig the plans if I ever made another.  It would change the height, but I'm ok with that.  I found that starting at the top with a 1x4, which is then finally trimmed front & back with a 1x4 just made a giant lame bit.  I'd probably start with a 1x6, trimmed front & back with a 1x4, to give it some added interest.
  • Be SUPER ANAL with your pre-stain wood conditioner (a total must working with pine if you're staining)
  • I hate using a sponge/pad to apply stain, even gel stain.  After the first coat I used a brush and was SO much happier.  Also, the gloves they sold me were crap.  I went through a 10 pack in the space of one staining coat.  I ended up with dirty zombie hands.  Bought a pack of 30 blue Playtex gloves for 2$ at walmart and I have yet to have my finger poke through, or rip it in half getting it on my hand.
Proof that wood conditioner is key -

And finally, a pic of the finished headboard...Not yet installed ;)  We'll drag it upstairs realsoonnow!

It's soooooo beeeeautiful!  I love it!  LOVE.

/ETA - holy cow we have a crazy dirty garage!  Also, I WILL post a pic when we finally get it upstairs...really, I promise.  I just need to somehow sort through and put away the Pile O Cack that is on my side of the room.  I swear, there's a bag from last christmas with the contents of our stockings in there.  Sorry Santa!


  1. that is beautiful...........LOVE .IT.............

  2. What brand and color of stain did you use? My biggest fear is spending all that time building something and then ruining it with a bad stain job. Love how yours turned out.

  3. Thanks! I used Minwax Gel stain in Walnut. I did 2 coats. Then 2 of the fast-drying poly, with a quick swipe of 220 sandpaper in between the poly coats!

  4. Oh, and if you're a staining newb (like I was!) do a test piece on some scraps you have left over before you do the actual piece. That helps get it sorted out in our head, on what to expect! I had never stained before this one. I started with one of the middle boards and just went left to right along the board, then did the next one out, etc. Wiping the stain off after 3 minutes on each board.