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From furniture to wall art, barnboard has quickly become one of the most popular materials used by today’s DIYers. Wondering how they’re using it? Check out this video on creating a unique barnboard headboard and learn how you can start incorporating the look into your own home.


  • Old barn wood (any length)
  • 1.5? wood screws (depends on the thickness of your boards)
  • (2) 2” x 4” x 64” boards for legs
  • Scrap wood & wood shims (optional)
  • Fine grit sanding sponge
  • Stiff-bristle scrub brush
  • Varathane Diamond Finish – Matte Finish
  • (4) 2" bolts with 5/8 hex nut


  • Palm sander
  • Miter saw or circular saw
  • Drill
  • Ratchet or wrenches for tightening bolts
  • Air compressor (optional)

Making a Barn board Headboard…a pretty cool way to add some character to a bedroom. The first thing we need to do is figure out how big to make it. The easiest approach to this would be just to measure whatever headboard you have now. But, if you want to go bigger or smaller, just grab a tape measure, head up to your bedroom and figure out what will work.

Once you’ve got your dimensions, in this case 44” x 64”, it’s time to purchase your barn board.

The simplest set up would be to have all your barn boards cut to one length. Many places that sell barn board will do this for you.

The next task on your list is to do some sanding. How much sanding you do also depends on the final look you desire. So, use your judgment on how much effort you put into this step. Still, you will want to get all the dirt and grime off your boards. To make this as quick and easy as possible, use a palm sander.

You may want to do some extra sanding on your newly cut edges since they won’t look as worn or rough as the others. You’re probably going to want to wear a mask when sanding because there will be dirt and dust everywhere….cow and barn dirt and dust.

Clean off your boards with a broom, brush or old rag. Don’t worry if there’s some staining that remains – that’s part of the character. Just know that what you leave will show up when you apply the clear coat.

Once clean, your boards are ready to apply the finish. We’re using Varathane Diamond Wood Finish – in Semi Gloss Finish. We did two coats on the front and a sealer coat on the back. So, one 946mL can should do the trick.

This stuff is, actually, fairly forgiving. Still, do your best to use even brush strokes to ensure your coats are even. It should go on pretty well without showing any brush streaks. And, while the two coats may sound daunting, it dries really quick. So, it’s probably not as time consuming as you’re thinking. You will like the end result and this finish will bring out the unique textures and patterns of the wood. It’ll leave it nice and smooth and easier to keep clean.

Well, that was the easy part! Now it’s time to assemble the headboard and attach it to the bed frame.

We’re using 2x4 planks to hold the headboard together. These will also connect the headboard to the bedframe.

First, lay your 2x4s on the floor about the width of your bedframe – and then grab your measuring tape. This is where some precision is required. Measure your bedframe to find exactly where you need to drill holes in the 2x4s. Once you’ve done that, do it again. This has to be accurate for the bolts to connect the headboard to the frame.

Take your marked 2x4s back to your work area and drill holes straight through the 2x4s where your bolts marks were. Once that’s done put your 2x4s back on the floor…at exactly the width you previously measured.

Lay your boards down in the preferred order; keep the more interesting ones for the top they add some cool character to the top of your head board. And remember, make sure not to bump your 2x4s - they are spaced to fit your bed frame properly.

Now you are ready to assemble your head board!

Regular screws will work here. Just get the right length of screws for the width of your boards.

Make sure your boards are tight together, and, based on your pencil marks, screw the boards into the 2x4s.

Once this is assembled, you’re basically looking at your finished product. The only thing left to do is lug it to your bedroom and fasten it to the bed frame; you’ll probably need an extra set of hands.

To take care of the final fastening, we are using 2 ¼" bolts at 5/16” wide, but you’ll want to check these against your bed frame before purchasing, as they are all different. You’ll want to start with the two top holes, move to the two bottom holes then go back and tighter all four bolts up with your wrench.

And there it is your new barn board headboard.

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