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From the Design Files of Heather B – Wrong Headboard Color

Design Question

This headboard was an oak color. I repainted it white and put a beige color overtop. I am not pleased with the results. It looks like it’s been painted white with beige rubbed on. I would like a more unique finish. Was thinking it may look better just white with the color on the edges sanded off. Can you suggest a color or technique for this style? I have a whole suite I would like to do, so I would like to appreciate it for a few years.     Thank you 

Design Answer

It actually didn’t turn out too badly but I can see why you would be reluctant to paint an entire bedroom set in this way. There are several things you can consider trying.

Option #1 – Repainting it White

Painting it all white with the shade of white you used originally and then lightly sanding the edges, the crown molding and maybe random areas of the posts will give the headboard a distressed or antiqued look. Actually you could use the sanding technique on any color you chose to give the headboard and the other pieces in your bedroom suite a distressed finish.

Option #2 – Glazed Finish

Because the headboard has a charming old world look that could be adapted to several décor styles including country, French country and even traditional, you could use a glazing technique that would give it the appearance on an heirloom found in a rural cottage. To get the desired effect you will need to use three paint colors: base color, glaze color and an accent color. Since you already have purchased paint, I suggest that you use those two; then you only have to purchase an accent color and a clear glaze. The accent color should be a color that matches or complements one that is already in the room. For example, you may have a shade of blue you like that appears in the pattern of your curtains or your comforter. Here’s how to get the look I have in mind:

  1. Apply two coats of the white paint (or whatever color you choose for the base coat) to the headboard.
  2. Let dry thoroughly between each coat.
  3. Lightly sand the headboard. When finished sanding, wipe down with a damp cloth to remove dust.
  4. To create the glaze mix two parts of your beige paint (or whatever other color you decide to use) with one part glaze. Using a rag, apply the glaze to the headboard in small, circular motions. Try not to go over the same place twice. Make sure it’s dry before going on to the next step.
  5. Paint the edges of the furniture piece with your accent color. You can also highlight the crown molding of the headboard or the edges of the drawer fronts of a dresser or night stand.
  6. Using your accent color, for an added country charm, stencil a floral motif on the footboard (if the bed has one; you only mentioned the headboard) and on the drawer fronts and/or sides of the case goods of your bedroom suite.
  7. To protect you handiwork, apply one to two coats of a clear finish. 

Option #3 – Glazed and Distressed

To give your headboard a distressed appearance, follow the above steps 1 through 5.

You will need extra-fine steel wool and finishing wax.

Before steps 6 and 7, take the extra-fine steel wool and dip it into the finishing wax. Rub gently in a circular motion to give the surface a distressed look that is smooth.

Thanks for writing in. Hope this has been helpful. Let me know how it turns out. Keep sending me your design questions and pictures.

One Response to “From the Design Files of Heather B – Wrong Headboard Color”

  1. woodworking says:

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