Vintage Headboard

June 25, 2020

I'm Joey, the creator & founder of Beach House for Six. I believe your home should be beautiful, approachable & a true reflection of your family. 

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I love that feeling when I am scrolling marketplace online or walking into a thrift shop only to find that vintage item you have been waiting patiently for. I am a big fan of mixing vintage and antiques into my modern designs. You cannot walk into a store and purchase such character that tells a story in your home like a good vintage piece.To someone else it’s trash but you see the beauty and potential in the treasure. You are a creator, a visionary!

This is exactly how I felt when I stumbled upon this free headboard. It was part of a set and I obtained and every single wonderful piece has filled my blog and Instagram with inspiration for months!

I think when I first shared this set in my stories many were shaking their head asking me why? In my question box, many people said ” I don’t see your vision” haha… I knew it was there in the back of my head, I just needed to bring it to life.

Original Photos

Everyone loves a before and when you see this you will know what I’m talking about. This is straight out of 1980 this ugly orange and shiny stain.

But I had a vision like I said. Here are some headboards that inspired this design and will cost you a pretty penny too!

This Studio Mcgee bedframe runs around $5400 for a king size. We built the frame similar for a fraction of the cost.

This Leanne Ford sideboard from Crate and Barrel was my biggest inspiration. You can see it now!

Step 1- Sanding

Start sanding the easy to get places and see what you are working with. I highly recommend an orbital sander and some type of handheld electric sander. I use 80 grit generally to start but I also have a light hand with my orbital sander. Be careful if you have never used one so that you don’t get circles in your wood. You can also start with a 100 grit paper and take it slow until you get the hang of it.

Step 2- Strip

The next step is beginning to strip your piece. You will need gloves and protective eyewear for this. I have splashed stripper in my eyes and it stings really bad. If it is an antique I recommend using a stripper for antique furniture. I knew this was solid oak so I wasn’t worried about my stain ruining it. I used an inexpensive Lowe’s stain linked here and it worked great. The same stain may not work well on every piece so my all-time favorite is Zip Strip. Be careful the smallest drop will burn your skin.

all products linked in or “shop the post”

visit my IGTV video here.

You want to start by brushing the stripper on and letting it sit for a few minutes or as directed on the can. Using a spatula begin scrapping up as much stain and glue and transferring it to a rag on hand. Be careful not to touch the stain, it will burn your skin. If this happens just wash with soap and water immediately.

Once you have the majority scraped you are now ready to go in with a wire brush. This step is a huge time saver getting into the cracks and crevices without trying to sand. Just keep applying stain and using your wire brush until you have removed most of the stain.


You should have most of the stain off and are ready to finish with some detail work. There is no way to get in every crevice but I have some easy tools to help with the job. Nail files are your best friend. They are much easier to hold than sandpaper and can get into any crevices. They are linked in the “shop the posts” slider in this post and in the sidebar.

Then the last bit of the sanding process will require some 220 grit to smooth off the entire piece. You may need to let the stain dry first as it will be gummy and wet and won’t sand as easily. I recommend a few hours of drying time before you do the final sand.

Pre-Stain Conditioner

Prestain conditioner is essential so that any stain you put on will not go on splotchy. This is an easy step you can complete with a rag. Drying time is only 15minutes.

Color Stain

In order to deposit a nice warmth and avoid your piece being all white you will want to apply a single coat of stain. This color combination works great to contrast any pink tones of the wood. Start with “golden oak”. Don’t mind the picture it has been tested and works!

Now you are ready for your color wash. I used white and will link it here.

Apply one coat and see how you like the color. My first coat didn’t give me as much of the uniform look I was going for so I went ahead and did two. It came out perfect!

first coat apply and wipe with rag immediately.

Final Reveal

And there you have it a beautiful headboard! If you want to know how to build the frame you can visit my blogpost on Master Bedroom Reveal.


I hope you subscribe to me here. I promise not to spam you and don’t want you to miss the next restoration piece.

Thanks so much for being here, without you this blog isn’t a success and as always here are easy and affordable links to shop all the items I used.

Much Love,


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