Try This: Wooden Chair Headboard

Give new life to old chairs and make a headboard with a cheerful twist.

| November/December 2005

Head bored? Wake things up a bit. Give new life to old chairs and make a headboard with a cheerful twist. Put orphaned chairs—each with its own personality—together to make a bed with real character. A little bit of demolition, a swipe or two of paint, a smidgen of simple carpentry, and you trade that tired old bedstead for one with a sense of humor as well as a sense of style.

1. Find four wooden chairs whose back legs are one piece with the chair back so they extend from the top of the chair down to the floor. On some chairs, the back is attached to the seat only and would not be suitable for this project.

2. Using a screwdriver and hammer, liberate the back from the rest of the chair. Every chair is put together a little differently, but most need a couple of screws removed and then some hearty taps with the hammer to release old glue joints before the chair falls to pieces. If the glue is still strong, and the joint won’t budge, use a saw to dismantle it.

3. We chose one color, then mixed paints in varying shades of that color. We brushed the paint on sparingly and unevenly to give the project a bit more character.

4. Decide how best to attach the headboard to your bed frame. For our standard metal frame, we used a piece of 1-by-4-inch pine cut to the length of the bed frame. We spaced the four chairs along it, adjusting the height of the chairs so that plenty of headboard would be visible once the mattress and boxspring were in place. Using a screwdriver and 16 wood screws, we attached the chair backs by their legs to the board. Finally, we bolted the headboard to the metal bed frame.

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