Distressed Wood Headboard (Standard King Size)

DIY king size wood headboard
I CAN NOT stress enough that this is easier than it looks. I may have a blog about DIY home improvements but I’ve only been doing this for a few months and this headboard is the first piece of furniture that I built from scratch. If you can work a jig saw, you can make this headboard!

I made this as part of Janae’s Master Bedroom Makeover that I posted yesterday. Janae, one of my close college friends, was helping me as we constructed it and we literally stopped after each step, looked at each other and proclaimed how bad ass we thought we were for doing such a good job 🙂

The plan for this headboard came from ana-white.com, but the plan there is for a queen size so my measurements are a little different. If you haven’t seen Ana White’s website, please please check it out, this incredible woman makes just about anything you can think of for a home, and does it all by hand with great photos, videos and plans so you can make it too.

(Wood used was pine)
2 – 1×2 – 8′ length
7 – 1×3 – 8′ length
9 – 1×4 – 8′ length
3 – 1×6 – 8′ length
1 – 2×4 – 8′ length
1 1/4″ finish nails
2″ finish nails
Wood Glue
Tape Measure
Jig Saw
Safety Glasses
Paint or Stain of your choice plus paint brush

Wood Cut List
6 – 1×3 – cut to 55″ (front, back and sides of legs)
2 – 1×2 – cut to 55″ (inside of legs)
5 – 1×4 – cut to 76″ (panel pieces)
3 – 1×6 – cut to 76″ (panel pieces)
4 – 1×4 – cut to 74″ (panel trim, front and back)
1 – 1×3 – cut to 80 1/2″ (top trim) DO NOT CUT UNTIL STEP 6
1 – 2×4 – cut to 81 1/2″ (top of headboard) DO NOT CUT UNTIL STEP 7

DIY king size wood headboard

1. Legs: Build the legs by fastening the 1×2 middle piece (top board in photo) to the 1×3 front leg piece (bottom board in photo), as shown above. To hide the nail holes, fasten the 1×2 board into the back side of the 1×3 board, keep outside edges flush. Use wood glue between boards and 1 1/4″ nails to fasten.

DIY king size wood headboard
2. Panel pieces: Starting at the top, fasten the panel pieces between each leg as shown above. Use wood glue and 1 1/4″ nails to fasten panel pieces to legs. You will fasten 8 panel pieces to the legs in this order from the top:
DIY king size wood headboard
Once panel pieces are in place, your headboard should look like the above picture. Now keep in mind that you may have boards that are a little warped or bend a bit, this is ok. In fact, this will end up giving you the distressed look you are going for and  those things don’t stand out as much once the headboard is painted.

DIY king size wood headboard
3. Back of legs: Use 2 – 1×3 back leg pieces, wood glue and 2″ nails to fasten the back leg pieces to the middle leg piece and panel pieces. Wood should be flush at the top and outside edge as shown above.

DIY king size wood headboard

When back of legs are fastened, the bottom inside of legs should look like the above picture.

DIY king size wood headboard

4. Trim pieces: Using 2 – 1×4 trim pieces, fasten the front trim with wood glue and 1 1/4″ nails by nailing through the back into the back edge of the front trim. Then, use 2 more 1×4 trim pieces, wood glue and 2″ nails to fasten the back trim to the headboard, as shown above.

DIY king size wood headboard
5. Leg sides: Using 2 – 1×3 leg pieces, wood glue and 2″ nails, attach leg pieces to outside of legs to hide leg seams, as shown above. Keep all edges flush.

DIY king size wood headboard
6. Top trim: Measure top of headboard and cut 1×3 top trim piece to fit flush. Attach to top of headboard with wood glue and 2″ nails keep all edges flush as shown above.

DIY king size wood headboard
7. Top of headboard: Cut the top of headboard 2×4 piece 1″ longer than the top trim piece. Center the 2×4 on top of the headboard keeping the back side flush, you will have a slight over hang on the sides and front of headboard as shown above.

That’s it! You are finished building, now you can paint or stain whatever color you prefer. If you want to get the beach wood distressed look that I used, you’ll need the following:
Rust-oleum Weathered Grey Stain
Any dark brown transparent stain
2 rags (you don’t mind ruining)
paint brush
To get the distressed wood look you’ll start with the grey stain, a wet rag and the paint brush. Dip you brush in the stain, tap away the excess, apply a few light brush stokes to a 6″ area, then wipe away the stain with the wet rag. Continue this technique on the entire headboard. Start with light brush strokes and if you want a darker look you can go back over the same area again. Once you have finished with the grey and allowed it to dry, you will use the same technique with the dark brown stain.

DIY king size wood headboard
I hope you all enjoy my first major building project! If you decide to build the same headboard, I’d LOVE to see your photos! Post your photos on my facebook page or tag them on Instagram with #justlikeplayinghouse

9 thoughts on “Distressed Wood Headboard (Standard King Size)

    1. Hi Sheila,
      These measurements are for a standard king size bed. If you would like measurements for a different size, let me know and I will get it to you.

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