Pieced Wood Headboard Tutorial

I am SO excited to share a fun building plan for a pieced wood headboard that we just made and painted in partnership with Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan!  It is SO fun and cool and I know it would look great in a room that is bright and cheerful!

Let your scrap pile of reclaimed wood shine! This DIY tutorial shows you step by step how to build a pieced wood headboard, with optional color washing with #AnnieSloan chalk paint for added character. #remodelaholic | DIY headboard tutorial | reclaimed wood project | video tutorial | free building plan

I was inspired  for the design with it’s cool diagonal lines by this art piece that was in this lamp photo on West Elm (affiliate)


 So let’s get building!

 Pieced Wood Headboard Tutorial

Click Here to Get a Free Printable Version of This Building Plan

*All Remodelaholic building plans and tutorials are for personal, non-commercial use only. Use this printable plan as you build, but don’t sell the PDF plan or otherwise distribute the file. (Items built following this tutorial may be sold, but the instructions and PDF file may not.) Thanks!

Please watch the video then follow along with the tutorial.



Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 4 1


  • (23) Variety of pallet boards and dimensional lumber in width and texture.  The longest boards would be around 46”.  If you don’t mind seams you could use shorter boards for the longer sections.
  • (3) 2 x 4 x 96″
  • (1) ½” Sheet of Plywood


Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 2 1
Front View
Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 1

Top View (with the top trim removed to show the layers of wood)Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 3 1

Front View of Frame



  • (2) 52” x 3 ½” x 1 ½” – 2×4 Sides
  • (2) 47” x 3 ½” x 1 ½” – 2×4 Top and Bottom Supports
  • (1) 54” x 34” x ½”      – Backing
  • (2) 18” x 3 ½” x ½”    – Leg Spacers


Trim Around Frame (the design has 1/2” thick wood around the trim. Depending on the wood you use, you will need to adjust the dimensions.)

  • (2) 52 ½” x 2 ½” x ½” – Side Trim
  • (1) 55” 2 ½” x ½” – Top Trim


We can’t really provide an exact cut list for the patterned pieces.  This will vary greatly depending on the wood you use and the thickness and length of the boards.  I suggest drawing a pattern you like and cutting one piece at a time to fit in place!  With the pattern below if you you the dimensions off of it, remember to subtract ½” of the side and top trim.

  • (about 23 or more) boards with different widths and textures.Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard Pattern

French Cleat Wall Bracket:

Cut a board diagonally and use both sides to create a french cleat.  See diagram for details.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 17 1

  • 8” x 2 1/4” x ¾” – Headboard Side Bracket
  • 8” x 2 1/4” x ¾” – Wall side Bracket

Tools needed:

  • Table Saw (optional, great for cutting boards to width though)
  • Circular Saw
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Orbital Sander with 100 grit sandpaper
  • Brad Nail Gun (optional, you could hammer them in by hand)
  • (60+) 1 ½” Brad nails
  • Drill
  • (16+) 1 ½” Screws
  • (4) 2″ Screws for the French Cleat
  • Wood Glue
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil

Construction Steps

1. First start off by cutting the 2×4 frame pieces to length.

  • (2) 52” x 3 ½” x 1 ½” – 2×4 Sides
  • (2) 47” x 3 ½” x 1 ½” – 2×4 Top and Bottom SupportsRustic Pieced Wood Headboard 6 1



2. Next, you want to cut out the main plywood backing to size and the leg spacers.

  • (1) 54” x 34” x ½”      – Backing

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 7 1


  • (2) 18” x 3 ½” x ½”    – Leg Spacers

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 8 1


3. Now screw the 2×4’s to the backing.   I laid out the 2x4s’ on a large surface, placed the sheet of plywood on top, making sure all the edges lined up and everything was square and then just screwed the plywood to the 2×4 frame to make sure the structure was nice and sound.   

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 2

4. With the frame setup, you can now create reference lines, for the pattern, on the plywood.   We drew some lines directly onto our backer board using a pencil and a square (or some yardsticks)

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 4

5. Because we didn’t want to see the raw end of any of the wood from the front pieces on the side of the headboard, we decided to wrap the edge of the headboard with a long trim piece that we mitered on the table saw. This way it would meet up with the pieces on the top of the headboard and the joint would be hidden in the outside corner edge of the headboard. 

You need two pieces cut out for the side trim pieces and one top piece.  Miter along one of the sides of each piece on the table saw at a 45 degree angle.

  • (2) 52 ½” x 2 ½” x ½” – Side Trim
  • (1) 55” 2 ½” x ½” – Top Trim

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 9 1

Then miter the top end corners as well with the miter saw.

Glue and attach the sides and top trim to the edge of the bed frame.  Be sure to secure the top two corners with a couple brad nails.

Attach the top and side trim before continuing with the pattern boards.  We found it easier to match up the angles.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 11

6.  Now you can start selecting and cutting boards for the top pattern.  It is nice to sort of lay them out according to the reference lines you drew on the plywood backing.  Start selecting the boards for the pattern and cut them to width if needed.

As a hint it is helpful to start with the longest boards in the pattern.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 12

7. Once you have the layout set, you need to miter the edge of the pattern board to match the edge pieces of the frame.  So, cut the mitered angles to match the edge trim on the top and sides of the frame.  This is where the compound miter saw comes in handy.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 13

8.  Once the first section of boards is set in place and the mitered edges of the pattern board meet up with the miter on the edge pieces, it is time to cut the opposite end of the boards, into a straight line.  using a circulate saw, set the blade to only the depth for the woods thickness that is sitting on the plywood backer and cut of the ends in a straight line.  Cut off the ends all at once with a circular saw.
Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 14
Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 11 1

9.  Now work on the next section of pattern boards boards below that cut, I matched up the mitered edge and used the circular saw to cut off all the raw ends that hung off the edge of the frame.  

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 12 1

10.  Fill in any remaining sections cutting each board individually until done.

With the smaller sections, we found it was easier to just cut the pieces to length one board at a time so they would  fit just right, rather than using the circular saw method.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 13 1 Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 14 1

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 15 1

11. Once all your pieces are cut to fit, you can sand each piece individually.  We used a big variety of aged wood, so some pieces might need to be sanded more than others.  Make sure to remove slivers but don’t sand all the character off, if you can help it.

We used an orbital sander and 100 grit sandpaper.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 19

12 PAINT!!  After they are all sanded and dusted, it’s time to paint all the boards.  

Painting with the Chalk Paint® was very fun!  If you aren’t sure where to buy it, you can find a stockist here.

I wanted the look of a dry brush finish, and while I didn’t’ actually paint with a dry brush, but I kept my layers light and let the wood peek through, since I wanted an old weathered look!  (and considering my wood, was all types of old an new wood, it helped with the natural texture when I painted.)

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 20

The fun news is that Chalk Paint® actually has three new colors to add to their line, that are all beautiful!

Wood Pieced Headboard Painted With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint @remodelaholic

The three new colors are Honfleur, Giverny, and Amsterdam Green.  Go check out the amazing palette of colors here.  Other colors we used were Antibes Green, Florence, Provence, Aubusson Blue.

Wood Pieced Headboard Painted With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint @remodelaholic 2

I didn’t actually sand each piece, but some of the darker pieces we sanded quite a bit to help bring the color down a little bit.   Sanding was fun because as soon as you start sanding the paint, you have the exact same consistency of chalk dust in the paint you remove, and it makes for a great amount of easy texture and interest.

After the paint was all dry, we used White Chalk Paint® Wax to wax the pieces of wood.  The wax goes on so easily but it will harden and protect your paint over time, so you definitely don’t want to skip this step.   I also used the MixMat™ and the WaxBrush to apply the wax.

Wood Pieced Headboard Painted With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint @remodelaholic 9781

Since the wood we used was very textured and aged, I often started by adding the wax in a circular motion to really get the wax into the cracks and uneven surface, you can see a tutorial on our YouTube page here.  After applying a thin coat in a circular pattern, follow up by brushing with the grain to even out the finish.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 22

With a microfiber rag, I buffed the finish, and the paint really started to shine beautifully!  You can see the shine in this image that the wax provides!  Before waxing, the finish is matte and without a sheen at all.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 23

Wood Pieced Headboard Painted With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint @remodelaholic 9798

13. To wrap up your project, it’s time to glue and nail the boards down.  We used wood glue and a few brad nails per board.  Once put together, be sure to do a light sand to the mitered edge around the whole headboard to knock down the sharp edge.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 17

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 18

We attached our headboard to the wall with a French cleat.

Rustic Pieced Wood Headboard 5 1Here is how it attaches on the back and wall.  And the feet also rest on the ground for added support!

There you have it!  A nice bright headboard for a full sized bed.

Wood Pieced Headboard Painted With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint @remodelaholic 9861

Wood Pieced Headboard Painted With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint @remodelaholic 9839

Wood Pieced Headboard Painted With Annie Sloan Chalk Paint @remodelaholic 9829

So many beautiful colors!  Which one do you love the most?

A special thank you to Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan for supporting our page and partnering with us to create this project.

See more beautiful headboards:

easy DIY tufted upholstered headboardDIY Upholstered Headboard Tutorial - TinySidekick.com for Remodelaholic

curvy DIY reclaimed wood headboard

DIY headboard from salvaged cupboard doors

Plus, read our free guide to headboard sizes

and headboard shapes and styles


Website | + posts

Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *