This easy DIY farmhouse headboard project was so much fun! I can’t tell you how exciting it was using power tools and creating something from scratch. I was determined to make the entire headboard all by myself and it feels so great to have succeeded.
My husband, Jeremy, helped me select the wood, determine the design and approach, and he set-up the table saw and showed me how to safely use it – so not completely on my own. I am clueless about construction so I could not have done this project without him and I really appreciate his support and instruction. Plus, I think he was pretty happy that I was doing the actual work, and not him. To his credit, he would have done it all had I asked him to.
The skeleton of the design is similar to a pallet. I saw some six-foot pallets for free, but when we took a closer look they were pretty flimsy – not ideal for this project. However, a strong sturdy pallet could work and save you time and money.
Easy DIY farmhouse headboard
Jeremy suggested that we just build a pallet with smooth wood with solid construction – so that’s what we did. In hindsight, it would have been better to use lighter wood and only three vertical 2×4 boards to lighten the entire piece.
Supplies to build a farmhouse headboard
Here’s a list of the wood we used:
- 10 boards: 1x4x6 (8 of these are used horizontally across the vertical 2×4 boards and the other two are cut and fit vertically between the horizontal 1x4s)
- 2 boards: 2x4x96 (I cut these 2×4 boards in half so that I would have four vertical boards)
- 8 shiplap MDF boards: 6×96
- 1 pre-painted finished board (used for the top)
After I cut the 2×4 boards in half, I laid them out.
The six-foot boards are laid across the 2x4s hanging over two inches past the outer 2x4s.
I measured to make sure the space between the six-foot boards was equal and the space between the 2x4s was also equal. It doesn’t have to be exact, but it was pretty close.
Then I predrilled three holes at each intersection point. It’s handy to have two electric screwdrivers – one with a drill bit and the other with a screwdriver bit.
Next, I screwed in wood screws to hold it in place before drilling any more holes. Once the outer boards are secure, the inner boards can easily by drilled and screwed.
Once one side was done, I just flipped it over and did the same thing to the other side. I used a metal ruler to help me line up the ends of the boards.
When both sides are done, decide which side will have the shiplap. That’s the side where I added vertical 1×4 boards directly on top of the 2×4 boards. This allowed me to attach the shiplap boards all the way across the frame.
I used two 2×4 boards cut into 12 pieces.
Then I drilled and screwed two holes in each.
Now that my frame is ready, it was time to cut the MDF shiplap boards.
My frame is six feet wide and I want the shiplap to extend the frame by six inches on each side. So I cut each shiplap board at seven feet.
After cutting the first piece of shiplap, I used a vice grip to cut two at a time. Jeremy showed me how to line up each end, secure it, and make sure the blade is coming down exactly where I want it.
With the shiplap ready to go, I cut the top board so that once it’s attached to the top of the frame, the rest of the shiplap boards install straight.
I used brad nails to attach the top board and shiplap to the frame.
Next, I used 3M spackling compound to cover the nail holes. After it was dry, I carefully sanded until smooth.
Then I wiped down the shiplap to clean the surface for painting.
Once the area was prepared for painting, I used the Wagner Flexio 3000 spray painter. For a smooth finish, you may want to thin the paint a little (whether spraying or rolling). For thinning latex paints, mix 1/4 cup of water for every 1 gallon of paint. If you are using oil-based paints, start by adding a small amount of thinner (mineral spirits). Thinner works more aggressively compared to water, so start small.
Keep in mind that not all paints can be thinned. Before trying to dilute paint for spraying, check the label to see if dilution is recommended. Otherwise, you will lose the quality of the paint.
I used Behr Downtown Grey. I like egg shell or the next one up towards glossy. I don’t like too much shine, but I want to be able to easily clean and dust.
Here’s a video showing how easy it is to spray paint a shiplap headboard:
Here is the headboard installed! Check out the complete farmhouse bedroom makeover, here.
The entire project cost around $140 to make this king size shiplap headboard. You could save money by using a free pallet, sanding the rough spots, and add some additional wood screws to stabilize the frame. You could save even more by using paint you have or using pre-stained shiplap so that no painting would be required. There are a lot of variations you could go with to make this basic design. I hope you’re inspired to take on that project you’ve been thinking of!