We’ve made quite a few changes to our bedroom in the last month! Of all the rooms in our house, it was probably the room that we had decorated the least since we’ve lived here. I’ve had plans for a while, that after we got married, we would makeover our bedroom to make it feel more peaceful and relaxing and make it more “us.” So, as soon as we got back from our honeymoon, we got started on it!

First, we decided to paint the walls. Our landlord told us when we moved in that we were free to paint any walls, as long as whenever we moved, we left the leftover paint/paint can so he would have the color to get more paint mixed for future touch-ups. The existing color wasn’t horrible, but every room in our entire house is painted that color (except for the bathroom and laundry room which are both white). We really wanted to change up the color a bit and since our bedroom is a relatively small room, we thought it would be an easy room to change up with paint. Our bedroom also doesn’t get a ton of sunlight because of the dark wooden blinds on the windows (that are necessary to keep all of our neighbor’s porch/house lights out of our faces while we sleep), so we wanted to lighten the room up a bit with the new paint color.

Here you can see how splotchy the wall looked before we painted it. It had been touched up many times over the years and all the touch ups stood out.

Here is our room all cleared out (except for the bed and dresser in the middle of the room) and ready for paint! You can see in this picture that even though we have all the windows open and more sunlight is coming in than normal, the wall color still looks kind-of dark (and a little too orange-y for my taste).

The color we picked for the walls is “Sugar & Cream” from Valspar at Lowe’s. It is paint and primer in one and covered the walls really well. We had just enough paint in one gallon to do one coat and we decided it didn’t need more than that anyway. I don’t have any great pictures of the new color on the wall until the final afters of this post, so you’ll have to wait just a minute for those. 🙂

After we got the walls painted, before we even started to bring our stuff back into the room, I noticed something else I wanted to fix while we were at it — our headboard.

You can read all about how we got and attached this old door to our bed frame in this post. We had lived with our old door headboard in its natural state for about 8 months and I finally decided it was time for a change. Overall, the character of the natural wood in the door was interesting, but the color really clashed with the darker wooden blinds and darker wooden dresser in the room. It just looked really dingy and dirty. In a different house somewhere, it might have looked more shabby chic, but to me, in here, it just looked shabby.

I thought painting it would be the best idea, since I thought it could benefit from lightening up, but I figured I should at least try staining it first, so I could be sure that painting was the way to go. It is always easier to paint over something than to strip painted wood back down to stain it.

So I grabbed my can of stain, the same one I used to stain my desk in my office and about a million other smaller things. One coat of stain later and I was left with this HORRIBLE mess:

Instead of a pretty rich wooden color like my desk, this old door soaked up the stain completely different and just looked horrible. Some parts were kind of reddish, but most of it turned a darker grey color. I thought this new look just make it look even dirtier.

So, on to painting it was. Before painting it though, I decided that we should add a little bit of molding to the old door to make it look a little more “finished.” I had always wanted to do that and even mentioned it in this original post about the headboard, here, but we never added it because we had left the wood plain and if we added molding out of a different type of wood than the door, we knew we would have to paint it all to look seamless.

So off to Lowe’s it was to look for wood. We originally thought about putting crown molding along the top of the door, but  in order to do that, we would have had to buy more power tools to cut the molding correctly. I also kind-of thought it would add too much of a traditional feel and I wanted something a little more simple. We decided instead on just a simple trim using 1x2s and 1x3s to frame out the top and two sides of the door.

Then onto our next set of challenges. Usually when we’ve bought wood for other house projects, we’ve just had the people at Lowe’s use their saw in store to cut our wood down to the sizes we needed. This time, however, we went to two different Lowe’s and both of their saws were out of order. We don’t have our own power saw because we don’t really have room to store it and we’ve never really had to have one before. Luckily though, Drew got a jigsaw from his grandma as a wedding present and we thought we might be able to get all the small, straight cuts we needed for this project from that.

Once we got our wood home and took all our supplies outside to make the cuts, we realized that the outside of our house doesn’t have any plug-ins. We didn’t have an extension cord long enough to reach out our second story window to the front yard either. As a last resort we even tried to use the converter box in Drew’s car to plug the saw in, but it didn’t give out enough power to run the saw. So, we were left with having to make all the cuts inside the house.

Luckily, the saw worked perfectly to make the cuts we needed and it didn’t actually create as big of a mess as I thought it would.

We were really only left with a minimal amount of sawdust from the wood. Thank goodness.

We brought our headboard and wood into the hallway and set up shop there to get this makeover started.

For our makeover, we decided to add 1x2s to the front of the door on the top and both sides, then add 1x3s to the outside of the top and both sides as well. The top of the door headboard before had some notches in it where the door hinges used to be and was old and worn and not at all straight and finished looking. We basically just wanted to frame out the door a little more to give it a more finished look. We let the 1x3s on all the sides come out over the 1x2s about a quarter of an inch or so for a layered, stair-stepped look.

After getting all our trim attached it was time to get all the holes puttied up and the seams caulked for a smoother, seamless finished product.

Sometimes things have to get a little uglier before getting better, right?

Then we had to sand everything down to make it smooth again. Side note that we learned from this project — caulking is not sand-able like wood putty is. It doesn’t sand down smoothly, it just balls up and peels off, so if you use caulking for the seams, make sure you have them perfectly smoothed out with your finger before letting them dry. Lesson learned.

I wish I could say that the sanding step went just as smoothly inside as the wood cutting, but it did not. Sanding makes a mess, so hopefully if you attempt to make a project like this, you have outside plug-ins. If not, prepare yourself for a really dusty house and have your vacuum cleaner nearby to keep the mess under control.

 After all the sanding, we re-attached the door to our bed frame to make it easier to paint.

I chose a soft, warm, white paint, called “Wedding Bells” (how fitting!) from Valspar at Lowe’s for the door. I just got a quart and again it was paint and primer in one so it worked well for this project.

I worked late into the night to get the first coat of paint on. (We had to sleep on an air mattress in the living room for a week while we were painting the walls/staining then painting the headboard in here, so we were anxious to get this project finished and be able to get back in our own bed!) Once I was finished with the first coat and stepped back, I was a little dis-heartened. Our sanding job on the seams in the wood of the door was really bad and made the whole project look like crap.

So the next day, back to sanding it was. Unfortunately, that meant we had to get yet another part of the house messy and covered in dust from the electric sander.

But in the end, making sure that all your holes and seams are sanded smoothly really gives a much better looking product in the end, so it was all worth it. I also ran (by hand) a piece of fine grit sandpaper along the entire surface of the headboard as well. It is always essential when painting wood furniture that you lightly sand between the first layer of primer/paint for a smooth finish in the end. It really makes a big difference.

Finally, two more coats of paint later (and a little extra on the seam parts since the first coat was sanded off) we were left with a pretty, clean white headboard!

I am really impressed by the transformation that the extra molding around the edges and the crisp, white paint added to this headboard! It just looks so much more crisp and clean. I love the updated look. So simple and pretty.

Ready to get to some real before and afters?

This is what the old door headboard looked like in the room before:

And now, with a lighter wall color and some new bedding:

It makes the room feel so much lighter and airier! I also think it makes the room feel a little more young as well. I love taking something old and giving it a whole new life and purpose!

As you can see, we have still yet to find the right side tables for in here. I’ve been on a search like a madwoman for them! I just can’t find what I want (for an affordable price!). Plus the headboard is slightly larger than the bed and hangs over about 6 inches on each side, meaning I have to find sidetables that fit underneath it, so the tallest they can be is 26 inches high.

You might have also noticed a few other changes in here as well. The new sheer curtains in here are ones we bought and used on the pergola at our wedding that we got married under (I have lots of wedding pictures to show you soon!). They looked so pretty on the pergola at the wedding and I’m so happy that we got to re-use them in our bedroom. I’m super sentimental, so I love little things like that. They add such a pretty layer of softness to the room that I love. There are 8 panels total, so 2 on each end of the window. (They are the 95 in length bought online at Target, here)

We also have some new bedding in here as well. The previous mattelasse that we had on our bed (in the before picture above) was from my dorm room a couple years ago and was a full size (meant to hang far over a super tall twin size college bed). It was pretty, but too small for our queen size bed. I prefer my coverlet/comforters to hang farther over each side of the bed, so we really needed a king size coverlet. It was also ivory, and I really wanted white to go better with our new light and bright bedroom feel.

Over a year ago I posted about Restoration Hardware’s bedding with a rose window design on it that I loved. At $279 (without tax or shipping) for the coverlet alone, it definitely wasn’t in our bedroom bedding budget. However, while shopping at Marshall’s the other day, I found this king size white coverlet with a really similar design for just $49! It is so soft and much lighter than our old mattelasse, which is great because Drew is a giant heater at night. I really, really love the circular rose window design on it, better than the one from Restoration Hardware actually. If you look closely you can also see little fleur-de-lis’ in the design as well! Perfect for our life in New Orleans!

Drew hated the pillow shams that matched our mattelasse before, so with the new coverlet, I decided not to buy any matching pillow shams. Instead, I decided to go with king sized pillows in back, with two standard sized pillows in front. I love the layered look that adds without putting too many pillows on the bed. The king sized pillows fit perfectly across the width of our bed and I think they also make it feel a little wider as well. They are also nice for an added cushion behind my back when I’m sitting in bed doing my bible study at night. The white and cream patterned pillowcases are from Target.

We also bought this new rug for in here as well. The wood floors in here need badly to be refinished. They are rough and splintering right at the end of the bed. I had to walk really carefully across here to my side of the bed and be watchful of getting splinters in my feet. We had been looking for a long time for the right rug, and for $80 from Target, this one works just fine. No more splintery floor on my bare feet! (You can also see in this picture that we need to move up our curtain rods a bit to keep the ends of the curtains off the floor!)

Another addition to my bedside table (and an up-close view at the curtains) is this picture frame (on clearance from Wal-Mart) that we used on the guest sign-in table at our wedding. It goes with the colors of the room perfectly! I can’t wait to print out one of our wedding pictures to put in there.

Overall, I love the changes we’ve made to our room in the past few weeks! The wall color (although much more yellow than I expected it to be) makes the room a little brighter and cheerier, the rug is great, the curtains look much better in here than our old ones, I love the new bedding and pillows, and I absolutely love our made-over headboard!

Next on the list in here are definitely side tables, re-finishing Drew’s dresser, new sheets (already on this — the current ones are looking a little too orange in here now) hanging a big wedding picture above the dresser, and possibly new table lamps (the ones we have are from Drew’s old apartment and aren’t really my style and don’t really go in here — when the lights are off, the shades are grey which clashes with all the white, brown, and creamy yellows in here). We’ll get to all that eventually!

Oh, I almost forgot! Here is what our budget breakdown looks like for this project:

$15 door from flea market
$10.81 for wood/bolts/screws to attach door to bed frame
$30 in poplar boards (1x2s & 1x3s) from Lowe’s to trim around door
$13.01 in sanding pads for our electric mouse sander (had to buy several extra with all the sanding we ended up doing — still have some leftover though, so those can be used for another project)
$15.00 quart of paint (Valspar Paint & Primer in one, in “Wedding Bells” from Lowe’s) to paint headboard
$2.78 for Caulking to make seams nice and smooth
$4.98 for Cabinet/Door paint roller (I actually didn’t use this much, found a small angled paintbrush was easier for me)

TOTAL: $91.58 (We actually spent the $15 for the door years ago and the $10.81 in wood/bolts/screws to attach the door to bed frame almost a year ago, so technically we only spent $65.77 on the actual headboard makeover.)

Not bad for the completely different look the headboard gives our bedroom! Buying any bed/headboard elsewhere would be much more than that! 🙂

    1. Yeah, I like the shape. I don’t totally hate them or anything, just think they would work better in a different space with different colors. I think lamps with curvy glass bases would fit the space better. But I won’t be buying anything else unless I get a good deal on it. 🙂


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