Reclaimed Wood Headboard DIY (Mobile Home Makeover Bedroom Update)

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by Robin
mobile home bedroom before

The master bedroom at our riverside weekend retreat had never seen better days. As you can clearly see, from the photo above (from when we first looked at the place) it was always weirdly configured and pretty ugly: 
  • It had absolutely no character or style.

  • There was tired brown wood panelling on all sides.

  • The wall sconces - which should have been nice - were on the wrong wall which made the room feel extra small (and gave one sleeper a hike and a half to the bathroom at night.)

  • And - lurking below all that - a rotted rim joist and walls...

mobile home water damage
Blowing out a wall to make it more open concept? Ha. Not quite.

We jumped in and made some changes early on:
  • First off, we hired someone to make the major repairs and replace all the exterior doors and windows. (No window or door quite closed all the way - one of two jobs of doors we think). 

  • Next, we pulled up the scratchy grey carpet and put down this laminate - with the help of our kids - it was so much fun!).  

  • Ed removed the wall sconces, which allowed us to move the bed to the best spot for this room - directly across from the door.

  • We painted the (formerly super creepy) hallway doors a sunny happy yellow - which instantly hid their cheap awfulness and made them cheerful, modern and fun.

  • Then, we painted the panelling. And on a fateful day, we wallpapered the back wall of the room with this fun birch tree wallpaper (similar to this one). (Fateful because it was also the day our dog taught us to have this skunk smell removal kit at the ready. Exhausting.)

wallpaper over paneling
This wallpaper is perfect for our little escape among the trees. 
You can almost line up the real trees outside with the paper birches.
(I can't see this photo without remembering the smell of skunk!)

Many structural surprises led to us paying gobs of money to boring, important things. So we are being intentionally stingy in what we spend on decor. But, if you know anything about us you already know that decorating on the cheap is a challenge we love - so we would have been stingy anyway!

The final touch the room needed was a DIY wood headboard. We were able to make a fabulous raised panel looking reclaimed headboard for a steal!  You can make a beautiful headboard out of so many different reclaimed finds. It's fresh and fun and cost less than $25.    Here's how we did it...

We were given this section of reclaimed panelling - at least I think that's what it is - wainscotting is my best guess.  It's made of a dense hardwood.  We could have left it natural - which could have been beautiful in another room - but that's not much fun for this space.

Green Reclaimed Headboard DIY


  • Headboard material - ours was a reclaimed wood panel - but it could be anything! 
    • If you don't have something reclaimed, a simple way to make a raised panel look headboard on a budget could be to use an MDF material such as this - cut to size and mounted on plywood.
    • Another reclaimed option could be a panelled door - easy to find at the ReStore.
  • Paint - we used Fusion Mineral Paint in Park Bench (such a great paint to work with!)
  • Paint brushes, paint roller, tray
  • Sander and sandpaper
  • Screws

How to Make a Reclaimed Headboard:

reclaimed headboard diy
First, we trimmed our reclaimed wood to size. It was about 2 inches too wide for our space, so we cut a bit off each side until it was about 58 inches wide. A double bed is 54 inches wide - so we have about 2 inches overhang on each side.

Then Ed sanded it really well.  Sanding helps to make sure paint will adhere well to the wood.
(Real handymen wear Crocs. Normally never in public. Until now...)

how to make a reclaimed headboard
To make this old wainscotting into a headboard we propped it up with old scrap wood until it sat at the height we wanted. 

I wanted it about an inch below the window frame - to see the maximum amount of pretty green - but not look like it's wedged in there.

(Keen observers will catch the following: dust bunnies to help get the measurement just right. And, yes, we still need to add the baseboard to this back wall. We're real people being real.)

attach bedframe to headboard
Then we centred the bedframe on the headboard and screwed it into the wood.

green headboard paint
I then painted the whole thing with my new favourite paint in the happiest green colour.  It's Fusion Mineral Paint in Park Bench.  

It's the perfect emerald green for my Hudson's Bay Blanket inspired colour scheme. (I've fallen hard for Fusion Mineral Paint ever since I first used it for the cabinet tv cover we made. The colours are so good - and the quality is wonderful.)

painting reclaimed wood headboard
Wait! No priming?! That's exactly right! 

Fusion Mineral Paint needs no priming - unless you're painting something very glossy like plastic or laminate.  Another reason to love it! My sanded wood doesn't need primer, so I happily skipped that step.

I used an angled sash brush to get into the grooves.

green headboard paint
Then I used a small roller to paint the rest.  In all, it took me about 20 minutes to paint the whole thing. I was careful and it didn't need a second coat. 

One coat! I love this paint!

fusion mineral paint park bench
The room is quite monochromatic - basically white, black and grey - this green is the perfect hit of colour!

Please note: Those blocks are not needed below the headboard. I'm not sure why we didn't remove them for the photo!

green headboard
Primary colours are maybe an unusual decor choice, but not for this mobile home. I pulled the colours from the Hudson's Bay blankets that I've always loved. 
It's a look I'm calling: Preppy Vintage Cabin.

In this tight space the night table does double duty: it's a compact electric fireplace that heats the room on cold nights and gives a cozy ambience to the whole home.  You can see it all the way down the hall and into the living room - it gives such a pretty ambiance.


diy green headboard reclaimed
I wish there was a little more space so that we could have made the headboard taller - the pillows in place hide so much of it. I am so in love with this colour! 
Who needs pillows when you have a pretty headboard to admire? (Ed says he does.)

reclaimed headboard green

You can see all of our Mobile Home Makeover projects here, including:

diy wood headboard

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  1. Hi there folks: Your place is looking great! I had a question about the headboard support: does that block of wood have to stay there to stop sag in the middle or did you remove it afterward? Thank you!

    1. Thank-you for the nice comment! Nope. Those blocks of wood aren't needed at all - we should have moved them before the photo. :)

  2. What a beautiful change! Good job, never would have picked that wall paper but it really looks good! I also love those blankets, not much use for them in southern AZ though. Cute cute heater too, job well done. That home away from home is looking better and better!


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