Creating a Headboard From an Old Door

For months we focused on downsizing and moving out of our old home. We sold and donated lots of furniture believing we were going to live full-time in our RV. We put many items of sentimental value in storage. Maybe one could argue that we didn’t downsize enough, but we really got rid of a lot of stuff.

Despite our years of planning and preparation, we changed our minds. We bought a new home and faced a dilemma. We didn’t have enough furniture to fill the house!

We sold our king-sized bed to our old neighbors, along with all the old bedroom furniture. Our new home had a huge bedroom space. But we had nothing to sleep in–no bed, no bureaus, no nightstands–nada.

Although large, the problem with the layout of our new bedroom is that we wanted to keep the bed’s headboard up against the dormered wall. We were sure we wanted a new king-sized bed, but we couldn’t find a headboard that was short enough for the bed we wanted. The wall curved in at 48″. Most king headboards–even the short ones–were at least 52″ in height.

I wanted a shabby chic feel to the bedroom ensemble we purchased. The most important consideration for us at our age was the size of the bed and quality of the mattress. We found Broyhill mattresses which were really split twins on a king metal frame. These beds had the memory foam mattress, gel cooling systems, and the remote control reclining and snore feature.

Then I got the idea to use an old door for the headboard. We could adjust the headboard to whatever height we wanted by using 2″x 4″s cut to the length we needed.

One of the nice things about Frenchtown is that it has a plethora of antique shops with old doors. I found a shop a block down the street which had a (dare I say) crusty old door with the veneer peeling off. I do not exaggerate when I say it was crusty. But I wanted it anyway, because I thought it would be perfect. It measured 80″ in height, a standard height for doors, which is coincidentally the same width as a king-sized bed.


Shown here is the door, puttied, restored, and reveneered in spots. Joe measured and attached 2″x4″s to get the bed to the right height.

I painted the door antique white. I purposely picked an asymmetrical door when standing on its side. I wanted people to know that this used to be a door. I didn’t want it to look new or like a factory-made headboard. I really wanted a look that was a bit more shabby than chic.

Painting: If this was a high end piece of furniture, I would have primed it first. However, I planned to eventually sand the chalk paint down to allow some of the wood and rough spots through. I painted it with General Finishes Antique White Chalk Paint. I chose not to use poly coat, because in this case, the poly coat would have yellowed the off-white paint color. After the paint dried, I sanded down the corners to give it a slightly distressed look. Finally, I painted “Hers” and “His” in acrylics for our corresponding sides of the bed. (We’ve always slept on the same side of the bed for over 35 years.)


Here is the finished door. (Notice my side of the bed is the bigger side.)

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You can see the finished headboard fits perfectly under the roof dormer.

Of course, you can do this type of project and design it to fit your own unique design needs and bed size. There are old doors aplenty here in Frenchtown (probably at a substantially lower price than I paid for this one.)¬† But it might be something to consider if you’re looking for a specific style of headboard and are tired of the MDF junk currently available at even the high-end the furniture stores.

My headboard project is just one of the many furniture upcycling projects I’ve gotten into since we moved here. I’m proud to share it with you. If you like this idea, feel free to steal it and make it your own!

I’ll feature more on the other furniture projects in a later blog.

Thanks for visiting,





Our Historic Home and the Frenchtown Quilt

IMG_20180801_105622184If you read my last blog entry, you know that we sold our home in Saint Peters and bought a historic home on Third Street in Saint Charles. This area, located North of Main Street, is known by the locals as “Frenchtown.” Originally established by French colonials, other European immigrants began settling the area around the mid-1800s.

Our home was built by a German immigrant named John Borgmeier in 1852. Even though he was German, the architectural style of this home is still considered French Colonial. Like other houses in Frenchtown of this style, there is a distinct symmetry to the home. It has 6 doors and too many windows to count, but I find it adorable. A friend of mine told me “It looks like a doll’s house.”

The architecture of the home has changed throughout its 166 year history. After the World War II housing shortage, it was turned into a quadruplex. Believe it or not, our backyard neighbor actually lived in a couple of these obviously cramped apartments many years ago.

The previous owners took great pains to restore the home’s exterior and completely updated the interior to a single-family, two bedroom home. It has been beautifully updated with all of life’s modern conveniences. They had really done a marvelous job and put in a great deal of work and money into it–for which we are so grateful!¬†They made the home move-in ready for me and Joe.

Not having to pour a lot of work into fixing up this ready-made home left me all kinds of time to focus on my art. I was inspired by the beauty of this home’s architecture, its grand history, and the surrounding Frenchtown neighborhood and its community. That led me to one of my current and ongoing projects, which is my Frenchtown quilt.

The Frenchtown quilt will feature a combination of homes on the Historic homes walk with their current facades and a few of the thriving businesses and cozy homes here in the area. Each square is actually a watercolor I have painted. I will ultimately print those paintings on fabric and sew the squares together. This is definitely an ongoing project and will take some time.

ourhouseMy Home

driftwoodsecretgardenEbeling Tin Shop, Now Known as Driftwood Music and Frenchtown Secret Garden

weekslawlerLawler-Weeks House


Working Men’s Chapel, Third Street

I entered a couple of these paintings in the Riverfront Paint Off which was held in Saint Charles last October. I didn’t win anything for the paintings, but I did win a Main Street gift basket in the raffle, which has all kinds of goodies from Main Street and Frenchtown businesses. I absolutely love my cup from Life is Good and my aloe plant from Frenchtown Secret Garden!

Considering that each building is going to be a square in my quilt and that I have to get at least 24 squares to make a decent sized one, it will take some time. But I’ll get there. Perhaps I’ll have it all done and sewn together by the time we have our next Frenchtown House Tour in June. (Yes, my house will be on the tour.)

For now, I promise to keep you better posted on what’s going on in our little town of Frenchtown, Saint Charles, what’s happening down in my basement studio (and Joe’s workshop), and what generally keeps me inspired.

Thanks for visiting,