I love old things. The truth is I have too many old things in my home. Not too many if you are opening an antique shop, but perhaps a few too many for an ordinary house. It doesn't help that people put beautiful old things in the garbage (frequently) and that I am an unashamed garbage picker.
Garbage picking is easy. You see something you like, pull up next to the heap and beg your husband to please throw it in the vehicle. Easy-peasy, no pride lost.
I have a small collection of solid wood doors that I've found in the trash. Four to be exact. I've used one as part of a vignette in my back yard, two of them are still waiting for their repurpose, and one I've recently made into my headboard.
I found a door (in my collection) that was symmetrical and without glass - and got to work.
The door was a bit mouldy, so I scrubbed it with an all natural deck cleaner that removed the mould. It also needed to be trimmed on either side so it wouldn't hang out from behind my mattress (too much - we hope to move up to a king sized bed at some point so needed to leave a few inches). After it was clean and cut, the whole door needed a thorough sanding.
The door also needed some pizazz, so I bought solid wood crown moulding and topped the headboard with it. Two 45degree cuts and it was capped off nicely. Don't be intimidated by cutting - seriously, I'm terrible with angles and it only took me a few minutes. Just double check before you cut. You know: measure twice, cut once. I used wood glue along the length of the moulding and some finishing nails to hold it in place until the glue dried and to add some stability.
After sanding and attaching the crown moulding, I tried an antiquing method called waxing (or something, I don't know). I just rubbed a tea light candle in all the areas I wanted the wood to show through so when I was finished painting I could sand the area and have it come right off. The verdict: it worked wonderfully and I will definitely use waxing again if I need to keep something old looking.
I bought floor and porch paint in a light grey and applied three coats to get the dark door totally covered. Listen to me now, if you are painting a piece of furniture and you want it to never ever ever scratch - use floor and porch paint. I've used it several times and it never fails.
I wanted the door antique looking, but I hate when things look like they've been painted, sanded and called antique. My husband hates it more than I do. Forbids it actually. Probably because of my crap efforts in the past. I would not make that same mistake again. I covered the grey paint with an antiquing glaze in all the areas I wanted to be darker. I then began to sand away the areas I had previously put my tea light candle wax on, corners and edges. It wasn't quite right, so I lightly applied more floor and porch paint and rubbed it in/off with a rag. After a few rounds of antique glaze and paint I finally landed at the perfect look. It was worth the extra time and effort. I would hate to look at my headboard every day and regret not spending more time on it.
Lastly, to hang the door I found keyhole hooks that are for hanging flat objects (like my door) flush against a wall. Just ask your grumpy hardware associate at whatever building store you're forced to go to even though you hate it. There are certain sizes that will hold different weights, so be sure you get the right size for your door. I used 3 just to be certain. Take your time measuring your wall and your door so you don't have to mess around hanging a heavy door on the wall. Miraculously, I managed to get mine up on the first try - and for someone who is terrible at calculations, measuring, etc. - it's a testament to taking your time.
That's it. In total it took me over a week, but that's because it was raining for four days - so it really would have only taken me three days if the weather had cooperated. Three days and $40.00 for a headboard I am totally in love with.
Now go break your bed and make a new one from a door you picked out of the garbage!
If you make a headboard from an old door PLEASE oh PLEASE share your pics with me. I'd love to see what you do differently, and how it turns out!