How To Paint A Metal Headboard

25 August 2017
 Categories: , Blog


If you find your metal headboard no longer matches the color of the bedroom, or faded you don't have to replace it.  Painting the headboard is a quick way to update the look without the cost of replacement, however, some designs are intricate, which often makes painting tedious. 

Don't let the intricate designs stop you from doing it yourself. Repaint the headboard by following these steps.

Prepare to Work

To complete this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • eye goggles
  • respirator
  • screwdrivers or pliers
  • rags
  • mild liquid dish soap
  • drop cloths or plastic
  • steel wool pad
  • paint scraper
  • paint brushes
  • artist's brush (optional)
  • primer for metal  
  • spray paint or oil-based paint
  • clear coat 

Remove the headboard hardware using the pliers or screwdriver, and store the hardware in a safe place, Work outdoors, if possible, or spread drop cloths or plastic on the floor, open a window to ventilate, and wear a ventilator. 

Remove Old Paint

Set the headboard against a wall or on a sawhorse, then scrape paint flakes and rust with a steel wool pad or wire brush. Apply some paint remover using a rag, and let it stand fifteen to twenty minutes to loosen remaining paint. If you work indoors, use a nonmethelyne paint stripper, since they don't produce the toxic fumes of methelynne strippers. 

Use the paint scraper to remove the loosened paint working in long strips, and take care not to scrape too hard. Dampen a clean rag with water, add some dish soap, wipe the surface, rinse, then let it dry. Remove the paint from the other side of the headboard. 

Prime and Paint

Primer provides a solid surface for the paint to stick, and it hides scratches. Apply primer formulated to work on metal to one side at a time with a paint brush, and use a cloth to soak excess. Work the primer or paint in small areas with an artist's brush.

Hold the spray paint can several inches from one side of the headboard, and apply a thin coat. Let the first coat dry, then spray on a second coat, if needed. To test for dryness, touch it with your finger for three seconds. If it leaves a fingerprint, let the paint dry longer.

If you prefer to use oil-based paint, brush on the paint moving from top to bottom of the headboard in long strokes. After the first layer dries, add another coat. Regardless of the paint method, add a layer of clear coat to protect the finish. Reinstall the headboard after it dries.

Check out local paint stores like Klenosky Paint to get the supplies you need to repaint your headboard.