How to Paint a Bookcase Headboard

A bookcase headboard gives you an extra area to add to your decor on top of keeping books handy for reading in bed. If you are redecorating, or are just ready for a change, you can give your headboard a new look with paint. You'll need to grab a few supplies at your home improvement or paint store, and you can give your headboard a new look over a weekend.

Supplies Needed:

  • Screwdriver
  • Drop cloth
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Tack cloths
  • Primer
  • Paintbrush
  • Paint
  • Clear coat spray

Step 1 - Remove and Prepare

To paint your bookcase headboard, you will have to remove it from the bed frame. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws holding it on, and place the screws in a place where you will not lose them. Take your headboard to an area that will allow you to work. Working on it outside, weather permitting, or in a garage will keep the sandpaper dust from flying all over your house. Place the headboard flat on a drop cloth. You are ready to sand your headboard.

Step 2 - Sanding the Headboard

This is an important step. Sanding the headboard will rough up the headboard to give the paint something to stick to. It will also loosen stuck on debris that may have dried on the headboard. Using the medium grit sandpaper, sand in circles. You'll need to fold some sandpaper to get into the nooks of the bookcase areas. Be sure to get these areas well to be sure the paint sticks well and you don't have chips later from books sliding against them. If the back of your bookcase will be painted as well, turn it over and sand the other side. When the sanding is finished, use a tack cloth to wipe it down well to remove all of the sandpaper dust, and you'll be ready to apply primer.

Step 3 - Primer Application

Using primer will fill in any small dings, and will help to give the paint a good finish. Apply the primer with a paintbrush, going in the same direction when applying. For the bookcase areas, be careful of drips and runs. If you do get one, wipe it up with a dry cloth and reapply to that area. Allow the primer to dry completely, and turn it over to apply to the other side if you are doing to back too. When the primer is dry, you will be ready to apply the paint.

Step 4 - Apply the Paint

Using a paintbrush, you will apply the paint in sweeping strokes for even coverage. Inside of the bookshelves, apply a couple of thin layers so you do not get puddles or runs. If you do happen to get any, simply wipe them up with an old rag and reapply paint to that area. Allow it to dry. If you are painting the back, turn it over and paint, then allow it to dry. You can then add clear coat for extra shine and protection.

Step 5 - Apply Clear Coat

Spray the clear coat over the paint. The clear coat will protect your new finish from scratches, and give it a professional sheen. Allow it to dry, and you can reassemble your bookcase headboard back on the bed frame.