Initially I was leaning towards a DIY tufted headboard (cause they are all over Pinterest), but my fiance reminded me that he lives here too and the tufted style is a little too feminine for our bedroom. (You’re welcome Nick!)
Here’s how we accomplished this project:
1. Buy Materials
- 1 x 6″ boards. Make sure to get ones that are straight! I’d recommend a lumber store over a large home improvement retailer for better quality wood.
- Stain – We love using Miniwax band stain. The color we picked was Dark Walnut (2716)
- Polyurethane – We used a semi-gloss so that it’s glossy enough to be easy to dust but not super shiny.
- Sandpaper – 220 grit for a smooth finish. You might want to buy a lower grit if your wood is rough and sand with that first.
- Painters tape
- 3M Command Strips – 12 lb. These are the heavy duty kind. You will need 4 per board for safety!
2. Sand the Boards
Sand the flat part of BOTH SIDES of the boards. Don’t forget the edges too! You can hand-sand these, but if your neighbor has a sander I’d recommend borrowing it. There will be wood flakes everywhere, so be sure to do this activity in a space that can handle the mess.
3. Stain the Boards
This is the BEST step. Staining wood is so very satisfying. Watching the wood go from plain to colorful is the best part of any wood project.
For this project I stained the wood once, let it dry overnight and then stained a second time the next day to darken the color. I used a roller to apply the stain and wiped it down with an old t-shirt.
4. Seal the Boards
Polyurethane is basically a liquid plastic that will help seal in the color and give wood a finished look. Without it your wood project swill collect dirt and can stain with water.
*** Make sure to use a tool that you are ok throwing away for this step. Polyurethane is nearly impossible to wash out of a nice brush.*** I learned this the hard way 🙁
Apply the polyurethane using a roller. GO SLOW to avoid micro bubbles. Try to stir the can every few minutes using very smooth and slow strokes, trying to minimize the amount of air getting stirred in. If you have any bubbles that don’t go away in a few minutes, use a brush to smooth the sealant.
5. Hang the Boards
Ok folks, this is where the fun begins. I know that hanging 4 to 6 boards perfectly horizontal and keeping consistent spacing seems like an impossible feat, but believe me when I say THIS TOOK LESS THAN 45 MINUTES. Here are the methods I used to hang the boards.
To hang each board I used 3 or 4 of the 3M Command Strips shown above. The boards near the bottom got 3 and the ones near the top got 4. I was worried at first that this was a huge risk and I’d wake up with a broken nose, but our boards have been hanging for months and there have been zero issues.
To hang the first (lowest) board, use a piece of painters tape to create a level line on the wall. Align the board with this line to adhere to the wall. (If you need more help, check out my tutorial for hanging a mirror here. The same rules apply).
Now, I know that if you wanted to measure out an inch or two from the top of the first board and then reapply the tape and re-level the tape and then stick on another board, you could. BUT remember I promised getting this done quickly. So instead of doing it that way, I took about 5 minutes and turned on my engineering brain to find a better solution. The answer: BOUNCY BALLS!
I tapes 4 bouncy balls to the top of the board and then set the bottom of the next board on top of those. Then move the bouncy balls up to the top of the new board and keep going. It took about 10 minutes to get all 5 boards (not including the first one) applied to the wall.
I also applied a piece of tape, leveled vertically, to the edge of the boards to help keep them aligned on the edge for a sharp modern look.
Before and After