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DIY Rustic Wooden Plank Headboard




When I decided to redo our master bedroom early in the fall I knew exactly what I wanted. Finding it in my price range was the issue. I wanted a headboard that looked like reclaimed wood. Distressed, uneven, rustic….that’s what I wanted. I searched and searched but the only one I found that I really loved was way more than I was willing to pay. I finally decided why not just make my own? 


I picked up all the materials I needed at Lowe’s for less than $25! All I needed was 2 packs of the V-Groove Wainscot plank paneling and the stain. That’s it. I already had a foam brush and the nails. Creating the headboard wall was easy- I finished it (with Matt’s help) in just a few hours. I had the whole room done in one weekend. 


I decided to go with 2 packs of the wainscot plank paneling because of the height of the wall I was using to create the headboard. Each pack has 12 v-groove planks so each side of my headboard is made up of 12 planks stacked one over the other. If your wall is shorter or you don’t want such a large statement headboard then you could probably get away with one pack. 






I chose to use the smooth side of the plank for my headboard but you could also use the other side with the grooves and have the wainscot look in your headboard. If I had been planning on painting the headboard I think I would have used the grooved side. 






I decided on Rust-oleum Ultimate Wood Stain and the color I chose was Kona. I love Rust-oleum wood stain when I’m working with natural, bare wood. It goes on easily, covers well, and dries quickly. Technically it’s supposed to contain a top coat already but I always do my own top coat anyway. 






The actual staining of the planks was super easy. I did a very very light sanding of the boards and wiped them with a tacky cloth. Then I used a foam brush to apply the stain in thin even strokes. I wasn’t concerned with being precise or uniform because I was going for a distressed and rustic appearance. I also didn’t stain down into the grooves on the bottom because I wanted some bare wood showing through. I did 2 coats of stain- make sure to let the first one dry completely before starting the second one. 






When I was sure the stained boards were dry I had Matt help me nail them to the wall. Now I’m lazy and subscribe to the “good enough” theory so I nailed these puppies right to the wall. If you are concerned about nail holes then this might not be the best method for you. Matt found the center of the wall, measured where the top of the bed would hit, and started the headboard a couple of inches below that mark. Because I was going for the rustic and reclaimed wood look we didn’t measure or worry about each board fitting together perfectly. If you’re wanting a uniform look then you’ll want to lay out the boards before you start nailing them to the wall. 






Once all the boards were nailed in place I applied 2 coats of the same poly top coat that I used when I gel-stained the kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanity, and stair case. I probably didn’t have to do that but I had the poly sealer so I figured might as well use it. I did like the look better after I applied the final top coat.  It’s hard to see in the difference in the pictures but the stain seems to have soaked in to the wood planks better after I applied the final top coat and there’s more of a sheen to the headboard. 






I let the top coats dry completely before I assembled the bed. I was super pleased with how my headboard came out. It’s exactly what I wanted and I love it! Not too shabby for a few hours of work and some creativity…and only $25!






A couple of weeks later I added the Mr. & Mrs. letters above the headboard. The wall is huge y’all and even with the tall headboard it still felt massive. It needed something and the letters added a little extra dimension to the wall. It was another $20 well spent- letters were from Hobby Lobby and I used some leftover cream paint from another project. The & is painted with the same Rust-oleum oil rubbed bronze spray paint that I used on the mirror in my dining room. 






I’m really glad I decided to do this project. I think the headboard is really the focal point of the master bedroom now and it makes a statement. The master bedroom finally feels complete and I love the serene, peaceful feeling I get when I walk in there now.





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