Did you see the post yesterday about the bedside tables? How about the price breakdown?
Let's build a headboard I said. I pictured us pulling this project together in a day, maybe a week's time... that was back in the beginning of July and here the project is finally finished, two months later. I can't believe the amount of time it's taken to finish.
As I mentioned yesterday this project also involved some rolling with the punches. When I knew I wanted to make a headboard from a door I started some internet searches and found this one that I loved. It looked so easy, cut the door to size, take two 4x4's router out a spot for the door, slip on the ends and then cap with some trim. Done.
The door was so pretty I decided I'd stain it instead of paint so we looked into wood and anything good enough to stain was going to be ridiculously expensive. At least $150 just for wood. That led us to a different plan that ended up being just as expensive which led us back to the original plan but using cheap wood and paint instead. That changed our wood price from hundreds to a mere $6. We did use a little fir so we increased it to $18 but that was much more on the affordable side.
I decided for the bedside tables I'd stain the top and paint the rest and Brad suggested staining the trim piece on top of the headboard. That seemed a little matchy matchy to me but when the bed side tables turned out to be less quality than I expected I scrapped the stain on them and moved it to the door instead. That's why we bought the fir, better quality for stain.
So I got the door for my birthday and it leaned against the wall for a good long while looking like this.
While I waited for us to go to Calgary to use a router I took off all the hardware and sanded.
We finally went to Calgary and I forgot the camera so these next pictures all come from my iPhone.
We decided to use 2x4's instead of 4x4's so we carefully marked with pencil the area we needed to router.
Starter Home to Dream Home had the great idea of using a circular saw to give yourself some straight lines to follow so we did the same and were so grateful we did! Here's Brad getting the saw ready.
And the boards cut.
Here's a top view.
He then very carefully followed those lines to router out the center
until it looked like this.
We hadn't really considered the amount of sawdust this would create. Look how hazy the air is and check out the floor, it was everywhere!
We then brought the boards home to try them out and see how we did (the door doesn't fit in our car so we can't really take it anywhere). The width was perfect but sadly the height was an inch too short. He forgot that the plans he made and used were for a different design so they weren't quite accurate. Another trip to Calgary and the same procedure left boards that were actually the right size.
Then Brad had exams to write and the poor door continued to sit.
Finally we took the door down to our neighbors house where he cut it to the right length. I love the makeshift worktable, and notice the level clamped to the door as their straight edge?
I decided to do my painting with the parts unassembled and then put it together once I was done so I took my supplies outside and started to prime one of my side pieces (this plan ended up being awesome and I recommend it).
Here's where I got really angry and threw the door around a bit. Remember our routering? We were so careful with our measuring and when we came home from Calgary we tested it and it fit like a glove. While I primed one side piece my husband decided to do one last check of the routering now that the door was cut to size the pieces no longer fit. Apparently the ends of the door were slightly skinnier than the middle. I continued priming anyway and once it was dry we used the router my parents had loaned us to make our hole slightly wider. This time we had no saw to make a straight edge and no clamp to hold it steady. We drew a straight pen line for Brad to follow, I stood on the board, Brad knelt on the sidewalk and eyeballed. We only routered the back so the front still has a nice straight line. It was a pain but the pieces actually fit now and I could continue on.
I primed with two coats that I put on with a sponge roller.
Using the same Heirloom White as the bedside tables I spray painted the pieces individually
While they dried I pulled out the stain. We had purchased a piece of fir to use as trim on the top so I got ready to tackle that. I've never used stain before and surprisingly did very little research into working with it, I just brushed it on. I'd expected to wipe it off but it looked so beautiful I left it as is. Brushing it on seemed a little like magic. It was a boring piece of wood and after 3 coats of stain it ended up so pretty. I probably wouldn't have needed quite as many coats if I had used some sort of wood conditioner first but I have lots of stain so it was no big deal. The piece on the right shows what I started with.
The paint dried and it was time for the fun part, time to finally turn this door into a headboard. We used 3 screws on both sides (for a minute there we were sure we needed the drill bit we broke on this project but in the end we needed one slightly smaller. We drilled pilot holes for the first 3 screws and then our bit broke and we just skipped the drilling. The screws all went in with no trouble. We had planned on using wood glue and then screwing but honestly we forgot the glue and it's held nice and tight so we're leaving it.
Check it out, it actually looks like a headboard here! Just needs some glaze and a cap piece on top.
I won't go into too much detail about the glaze since I talked about it yesterday but here's a before and after the glaze. The sun was obviously in different places in this photo but you get the idea.
While the glaze dried we got ready to attach the headboard to our bedframe and this is where we discovered that our frame doesn't have any parts to attach a headboard. We tried to buy some but they weren't what we needed. In the end Mom came to the rescue. She offered to swap bed frames with us since she doesn't need to attach her headboard. We were so grateful that we drove over there almost immediately. This caused a pretty major problem that I'll talk about in a minute.
We lined the frame up with the headboard and marked where our holes needed to be, then we drilled and used bolts and washers to attach everything nice and secure.
We put the bed back together and it was pretty clear that the headboard was much too tall. Our original bed frame was one that sat really low, it was only 3 inches off the ground. We've lived in a couple places that have no storage so we had purchased bed risers to lift it up to a better height for us. It made it a little taller than average but not hugely high. The risers went to Mom with the bedframe though so we now have a bed that is standard height meaning it's a little lower than when we measured for the height of the headboard. We decided it needed to be 4 inches lower.
We left it for the night but in the morning we moved the bed, unscrewed the headboard and moved it outside again. We borrowed a saw, a square and a clamp, cut off 4 inches and then re-drilled our holes. We brought it back inside started to put in our bolts only to find that the holes didn't line up properly. Here's where I sat on the floor and cried a little. I'm now so completely frustrated with the headboard that I don't love it like I should. It's done and it's in the room but I can hardly bear to look at it because of all the troubles we had. Hopefully this feeling wears off soon. While I sat frustrated, completely unable to do what needed to be done, my wonderful husband took it outside, re-drilled the holes again and we re-attached it.
The piece of fir wasn't actually attached though. We've been waiting until we can borrow a nail gun with a compressor so those nails will almost disappear and we don't need to worry about covering them. It allowed us one final change just when we thought it was finished.
One thing I always wanted was for the fir piece to be thicker but it's a lot more expensive and not as easy to find something other than 3/4 of an inch. We decided to add a second stained piece on top to give us the height without the huge expense, we only added an extra $12 and I officially love it. Now I walk in the room and I'm happy to see that all the work paid off.
Here's a reminder of what I started with and then some different angles of the bed. These pictures also show the bedside tables that I posted about yesterday. I think they make a really nice set and after cutting off the 4 inches I'm really happy with the height.
I moved the pillows on one side so you can see the full headboard.
Here's a closer view of the bedside table with the headboard.
Here's a close up of the two stained pieces
It feels awesome to finally have this project done and it feels so great to have a grown up bed.
Before the new Headboard
You featured me!