Faux It ‘Til You Make It: A DIY Barnwood Headboard

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to add rustic charm to your bedroom, creating a DIY barnwood headboard may be just the project for you. With a little creativity and effort, you can transform an ordinary bed into a stunning focal point that’s sure to impress.

One of the great things about using barnwood is that it’s often readily available and relatively inexpensive. You can often find it at your local salvage yard, Craigslist, or even on Facebook Marketplace. If you don’t have any luck with those options, you can also purchase new wood that’s been distressed to give it that weathered, vintage look.

Before you begin, you’ll need to decide on the size of your headboard. Measure the width of your bed frame and add a few inches on either side to create a frame around the headboard. You’ll also want to decide on the height of your headboard, which can range from a few inches above the top of your mattress to the ceiling.

Once you have your measurements, it’s time to gather your supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Barnwood or distressed wood planks
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood glue
  • Brad nailer or hammer and finishing nails
  • Stain or paint (optional)
  • Clear coat or sealant (optional)

Step 1: Cut your wood planks to size

Using a saw, cut your wood planks to the desired length for your headboard. You may need to trim some of the planks to create a straight edge or remove any damaged sections.

Step 2: Sand your planks

Using sandpaper, sand your planks to remove any rough edges or splinters. If you’re using new wood that’s been distressed, you may want to sand it lightly to create a more natural, worn look.

Step 3: Arrange your planks

Lay out your planks in the order you want them to appear on your headboard. You can create a uniform pattern or mix and match different sizes and colors for a more eclectic look.

Step 4: Glue your planks

Once you’ve arranged your planks, use wood glue to attach them to a backing board. You can use a large piece of plywood or a thinner piece of wood if you want your headboard to have a little more flexibility.

Apply a generous amount of glue to each plank and press it firmly onto the backing board. Use clamps to hold the planks in place while the glue dries.

Step 5: Secure your planks

Once the glue has dried, use a brad nailer or hammer and finishing nails to secure each plank to the backing board. You can nail the planks directly into the wall, but attaching them to a backing board makes it easier to move the headboard if needed.

Step 6: Stain or paint (optional)

If you want to add a pop of color or enhance the natural grain of the wood, you can stain or paint your headboard. Use a paintbrush or sponge to apply the stain or paint evenly across the surface of the wood. If you’re using a lighter color, you may need to apply two or three coats for full coverage.

Step 7: Seal your headboard (optional)

Once your stain or paint has dried, you may want to seal your headboard with a clear coat or sealant. This will protect the wood from moisture and make it easier to clean.


Creating a DIY barnwood headboard is a fun and rewarding project that can add a lot of character to your bedroom. With a little bit of patience and creativity, you can create a beautiful, one-of-a-kind piece that you’ll enjoy for years to come.

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