Old Door Headboard

Thankful for Family!

Antique Door

For Thanksgiving we made the long trip to my grandmother’s house. She was the first twin mom in the family and was very eager to finally have a chance to meet our boys. As any parent knows, traveling with an infant can be tedious. The boys did as well as can be expected of 6 month olds cooped up in a car seat for 14 hours.

During our visit I had a chance to dig through my grandfather’s sheds and find some awesome antique doors and windows salvaged from family property. It took my grandfather, my dad, TwinDad, and a tractor to get 6 doors down from the barn attic. Somehow my mom and I each managed to fit 3 in our minivans.

A note about working with old doors and windows: lead paint is often found on antique pieces like these. Lead paint is toxic if ingested. Take extreme care if paint is chipping. Make sure all chipping paint is removed and the rest sealed before bringing anywhere near children. If sanding, be sure to wear appropriate masks to avoid breathing in lead paint dust.

I’ve done a few things with my windows, but more on that in a later post. One of my 3 doors had some beautiful seafoam green/blue paint on one side and it wasn’t chipping at all. The color went with my master bedroom palette perfectly so I decided to repurpose it into a headboard.

There are many ways to turn an old door into a headboard, but I needed a quick and easy method that didn’t involve power tools or extra wood. I removed the hinges and hardware which wasn’t easy since the screws were all rusted. I scrubbed both sides clean with a rough brush followed by a lightly damp cloth. Using Durham’s Rock Hard Water Putty, I filled the holes left by the removed hinges and doorknobs. Once this was dry and sanded smooth, I touched up the areas with the best matching paint color I could find (a blend of Americana Décor “Vintage” and Martha Stewart “Antique Sky” chalk paints). I sanded the colored side to bring out the wood grain a little bit and to give it a distressed look.


When all paint was dry and the door wiped clean with a dry cloth, I applied a thick coat of liquid shellac to both sides. I opted for the liquid instead of the spray because I had to work inside (it’s gotten cold here) and I wanted to be sure I had a good thick coat to seal the door and prevent any chipping paint.

TwinDad attached 3 large steel D-rings to the back of the door headboard almost in the middle of the door. Since we rent and I don’t want to leave large screw holes in the wall, I decided to use picture hanging hooks for my headboard. Each hook holds up to 100 pounds and we used 3, one on each end and one in the middle.

Finally, a headboard! I LOVE the color and am so happy to have preserved this door which would have been left to rot on abandoned property or in a shed. I plan to build a hall tree with one of my other doors…but more on that later.




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