Before and After

Rehabbing My Headboard Before and After

I drive around pretty much all day long every day for my job.  The downside of this is car mileage and gas usage.  The upside of this is that I find a lot of cool junk.  One day I was driving down the street in a neighborhood I do therapy in and and I saw this headboard and footboard plopped in the middle of someone’s front yard.  When I mentioned it to the mother of my client, she said she would call them and ask what they were doing with it.  Luckily, they told her they were getting rid of it and that they would give it to me for $10.    I said, “YES!” and headed to my parents’s house to borrow their SUV so I could haul it home.  Unfortunately, when I got back to their house, no one was there.   After contacting my client again, I was instructed to head around to the trailer in the back of the house and give the money to the person who lived in it.  To say I was feeling some concern about possibly getting serial killed would be putting it mildly.  But fortunately, despite being very questioning and ornery, the old lady who lived in the trailer took the money and left me alive.  The next issue was that there was no one around to help me load it into the car.  So I put on my big girl pants and after about 30 minutes of heaving, pushing, balancing, adjusting and sweating, I was (barely) able to get both pieces into the car and was happily on my way back home.

I know that is quite an introduction to showing you a headboard, but I feel like it is relevant because it makes me feel even better about how it turned out.

It looks pretty good now but when I first picked it up, it looked ROUGH.  It was completely falling apart, pieces of the detailing were flaking off everywhere and it was covered in dirt and dust.  Most sane people would definitely agree it was garbage.  I took before pictures, but they definitely don’t do the crapiness justice.  Also, there was no refinishing the wood due to it being some sort of veneer  (I think) and the detailing was somehow applied in layers.  So all of you wood purists don’t need to get all worked up that I painted it.

First, I washed it down with some TSP solution and then rinsed off the chemicals.  I went to Lowe’s and picked up some wood glue and wood putty and went to work glueing pieces that had fallen off or were getting ready to.  I used the putty to fill in gaps and large cracks.   If any of you follow me on Instagram (megan_twodelighted), you saw that I used super fancy tools like hair claws and clips to clamp together pieces while they dried.  Only the best around here.

Pedro the pig functioned as my official drop cloth holding assistant.  That is a very important position and he is very professional.

I decided to use chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint) to help disguise serious imperfections and help it keep its vintage look.  Instead of Annie Sloan’s, I used Cece Caldwell chalk paint in the color Seattle Mist.  I painted primarily in the sun and the only issue that I had was that it dried so fast, it didn’t give me much time to work with the paint once I had applied it.  I think this would have been less of an issue out of the sun.

I used one of my small paintbrushes to get in the little crevices that my bigger brush wasn’t.

Since I showed you guys my bedroom situation last time, I also brought some lamps that I had in my guest bedroom up to my room.  They were my favorite lamps so I thought it was dumb that they were in a room that was never used.  I bought them for sale at Anthropologie a long time ago and unfortunately they don’t have them anymore.

I also ended up having to move the art that was over this dresser to the spot above the bed because after I put the headboard in, I realized there was too much scrolly stuff in one place.  The rectangular print balanced it out better and I really like the way this mirror looks over the dresser.  This mirror I found at a yard sale and it was like $15.

The paint color ended up looking pretty good with my existing wardrobe (a flea market find).  Also, I didn’t mention previously, but my bedside tables were found at Habitat for Humanity Restore.  Basically, I am the queen of cheap bedroom furniture.

I still haven’t recovered the ottoman that usually sits in front of my bed because once the lamps went in, I realized I wanted to go a different direction with a thick gray and white stripe.  But now that I have this pretty footboard, I am not sure I want it covered up.  What do y’all think?

So ends the story of my yard trash $10 head and footboard.


  1. Taylor

    Meg! This is awesome. You have quite an eye, I tell ya. And you also tell a pretty great story 🙂 Pedro seems like a real stand up guy.

  2. Megan

    Thanks Tay. Pedro is the best. Also, I forgot to mention in the post, but this headboard is for a full bed and I have a queen. That is why it looks ever so slightly shorter than the mattress. But I liked it so much and it was so cheap that I just didn’t care.

  3. Katie

    That headboard is beautiful, the whole room is beautiful. Next time you go to the Habitat store or plan on going to some yard sales let me know. I’m in desperate need of some things!

  4. Laura at Simply Lowcountry

    I am obsessed!!! The headboard is amazing and the whole room is incredible. Great job!!


  5. Christina

    I admire your rehabbing talent. If I saw that on the side of the road, I wouldn’t think twice about stopping to check it out. however, I would pay big bucks for the rehabbed version! Go you! I love it!

  6. Lindsay

    Lookin good, Meg.

  7. Caitlin

    Fantastic! Come fix up my house, will ya?

  8. marilyn

    When I first saw that headboard I thought you had surely thrown away ten good dollars. When you started cleaning it I thought you would be so disappointed. Your dogged determination sure paid off. But you should have gotten a picture of your hair clips being used as clamps to keep the wood together!

  9. Megan

    Thanks so much everyone!

  10. Brynn Renné {chartreuse & a twist}

    first off, love that you shared the story – awesome!!! secondly,
    WOW ditty WOW WOW!!!!! i am so impressed (of course, not surprised… since i know you are so talented!) with how this came out! way to see the potential and run with it 🙂 so inspiring! XO brynn

  11. Megan

    Brynn, thanks so much. I am not sure about talented but stubborn is definitely accurate 😉

  12. Stephanie

    I like seeing the footboard. You did a great job on it.

  13. Lindsey @ be pretty

    Megs, my dear, your bedroom is dreamy! 🙂 LOVE the bed…. what an amazing different! Add furniture-restorer to your list of “can do’s very VERY well” and talents! Knock my freaking socks off…

  14. Jean Wilks

    You are so resourceful and wise plus very smart and I admire your abilities beyond measure! Your bed and room is beautiful! ENJOY!

  15. dhra

    Wow..i just stumbled upon your site as I’ve been looking to decorate my new place. I love love your bed, you did an amazing job with it and it’s really inspiring!!