A little warning: this DIY metal headboard refresh is misleading.
Before I actually got to witness my talented Papa weld our headboard, I thought that metal tubing came black. Nearly every piece of furniture he’s made is matte black, so how was I supposed to know? When I went to buy the supplies and ended up with this gunmetal grey metal tubing, I was convinced I’d been sold the wrong stuff. When it came time for me to pick a colour for the headboard – turns out that’s just metal paint making it black, duh!! – I must have looked at my Papa like a deer in the headlights. I’d planned on a black headboard and had already ordered black, cream and pink patterned bedding (shocking right? pink!).
“Just go get some matte black paint,” he said, “Rusto-leum“.
I did as I was told and Hubby, Papa and I brushed on the paint a few days before the headboard was loaded into the trailer for the big move out of our hometown. The paint has held up incredibly well, especially considering that this headboard has been moved about 4,000 kilometers since its creation. When we set it up again in the lakehouse, I noticed that a few scuffed areas had finally begun to appear. It also looked a little more faded than I remembered. I decided last January to give it a makeover as soon as weather permitted – this time I wanted spray paint, to eliminate brush strokes.
I was totally preoccupied during the winter, spring, and summer with choosing a colour but could never decide definitively.
White? It would look really California Mid-Century but the design I dreamed up would be lost against the white walls.
Gold? That would look awesome, but not my style.
Navy? Maybe, but it would clash with the black frames of the Hungarian posters.
Aqua? There’s such a thing as too much of a good thing, plus it would clash with the new teal curtains.
Silver? Too industrial.
Orange? Hubby would love it but that would seem more appropriate for a child’s bedroom. I wanted sophisticated.
I spent three seasons terrorizing my loved ones with these (and more) colour choices. In the end, with winter looming and spray painting season coming to a close, I decided there was an obvious choice that provided contrast against the white walls, complemented the graphic artwork, didn’t compete with the curtains, highlighted the fun design…black! Gloss black, for a bit of change? No, too 80s. Matte black – the same colour and finish I chose more than seven years ago.
I hauled the headboard and side tables (sans glass) outside and marveled at how pretty the black metal looked against the forest backdrop – we definitely need a cool welded gate. And fence, otherwise a gate is just silly.
I used our workbench to prop up the headboard and lightly sprayed on Rust-Oleum Universal paint and primer (in matte black). I had dusted and cleaned the headboard before hauling it outside and didn’t do any sanding or any other prep work – this paint really adheres well to metal. I have finally learned to keep my cool spray painting: applying super thin coats, and patiently waiting in between each one. I also start a pass before and after the paint reaches the thing I’m painting, because if it comes out in a spurt or spray, it’s not spitting on my project.
Also, not wimping out and actually shaking the can vigorously for the recommended time is key. It’s tragic I only now have a handle on this! I’m just too impatient for my own good. The dry time on Rust-Oleum spray paints these days is phenomenal and meant that I could switch where the headboard was lightly clamped and spray that area too, without damaging the freshly painted finish.
LOL. I know it looks identical to you, but I can totally see a difference! The black is richer (did it fade from the sun?) and and the scuffs and marks that make it look less fabulous are now a distant memory. It looks like new and reaffirms black as the perfect choice.
Maybe someday I’ll want to try a different colour, but for now I’m still happy with basic black. One thing is certain: I’m really pleased with the quality of the paint, both the Rust-Oleum I applied more than seven years ago, and the refresher coat I just gave it. One other thing is certain: don’t spray paint into the wind:
So, maybe I didn’t wow you with the colour (haha), but let’s pretend there’s a lesson in here, in addition to a couple fruitful spray painting tips: sometimes what you currently have is just right. Does that sound deep and philosophical? No? Okay, fair enough. Well, I’ve got a gold project in the works that just might wow you…
Thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing the paint to refresh my headboard! Rust-Oleum has been my go-to paint for metal long before home-ownership and the blog, so I’m so excited to be able to partner with them for projects
around the lakehouse.