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How to Build a Headboard

Turn a door on its side and open your mind to a bold new look.

Photo: Mark Lund

Tool Box:

Standard Solid wood door (old or new)

96-inch premium 2x4 board

Measuring tape

Rotary saw

Sandpaper (120-grit and 220 grit)

Damp rag



½ inch drill bit


Painters tape

x-acto knife

paint (we chose Ralph Lauren Magistrate Black)

3/16 inch drill bit

1 ¼ inch wood screws

3-inch “L” shaped brackets (2)

2 ¼ inch wood screws

Plastic wall anchors

Step 1: Sawing and Sanding

1. Lay solid wood door and 2x4 on a flat surface

2. Saw the wood door to measure 30” wide and 58” long for a queen-size bed. Trim evenly from all four sides so the rectangular inset panels remain centered.

3. Saw the 2x4 into two 46 ½ inch lengths. These will be the legs.

4. Sand door and legs, first with 120-grit sandpaper and then with 220-grit sandpaper. Wipe thoroughly with a damp rag.

Step 2: Aligning and Drilling

1. Mark each inserts corners using a pencil

2. Create evenly spaced markings between all the corner markings with the help of your measuring tape. (they should be almost 2 inches apart)

3. Drill ½ inch holes on each of the pencil markings. Quickly sand over drill holes to smooth the edges and wipe again with a damp rag.

Step 3: Priming and Painting

1. Paint the door and legs with a primer such as kilz or cover-stain and allow to dry. Then paint again with the color of your choice.

2. Mask off the inside edge of the recesses with painter’s tape. Have your knife on hand so you can make even-edged cuts on the tape- now is not the time to be sloppy!

3. Paint the recesses using whatever color you desire. Allow to dry.

4. Lay the 4-inch side of one leg perpendicular to the shorter edge of the door. The leg should be centered on the door and extend 1 inch past its top.

Step 4: drilling and mounting

1. Make three even marks on a leg where it meets the door. Drill 3/16 inch holes into the door on the marks.

2. Align by securing the first hole with a 1 ¼ inch screw before drilling the next two. Secure the others and repeat on the other leg.

3. Attach an “L” bracket under the door near each leg with 2 ¼ inch screws (and the other edge of the bracket flush with the wall)

4. Stand headboard in place and mark the wall through the brackets’ holes. Drill ½ inch holes on marks; insert anchors. Screw the brackets to the wall with 2 ¼ inch screws.

-- The Nest Editors

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