Dark Turquoise Paint
What did we end up doing? We chose the turquoise paint to keep the calm and serene feel in the room, since we felt that the espresso was a little too dark and dramatic for this light and bright space. Also, the addition of the floating shelves-acting-as-nightstands are dark espresso in color, so we figured we were covered in the espresso area.
Once we were all set and decided on what exactly we wanted to do with our headboard, it was time to get to work!
How to Refinish a Headboard
We dragged our old headboard outside and gathered our supplies:
Say hello to our still somewhat-new orbital sander. To say I'm (still) thrilled with it would be an understatement.
Anyways, we took our headboard outside (yes, in the front yard... but our neighbors are totally used to seeing us do projects out there!) so we didn't get dust everywhere, and I strapped on my goggles and mask and got to work!
I used the orbital sander for most of the large wood areas, using a lighter-grit sandpaper to sand off that top layer of protective finish so the primer and paint would stick better. I used one of those nifty sanding blocks to get all the small tricky areas that the orbital sander couldn't reach. I also made sure to sand away any deep scratches or dents in the headboard (it has been through several moves, and that was after we bought it from a fellow student in college - so who knows what it's really been through!). This was the most exhaustive part of the process - and it only took me 30 minutes!
Not too shabby, in my opinion.
After the headboard was sufficiently scuffed up, I used an old rag to wipe off the extra dust on the headboard. Then it was time to prime!
One thing I absolutely loathe using is primer. I've found that while oil-based primer is hands-down the best (it's like, super-sticky), since it's stickier and thicker it tends to show brushstrokes no matter what I do (even with the foam brushes. Grrr!). So this time I decided to try something easier and that (I crossed my fingers) would work just as well as a regular ole' bucket 'o paint.
Oil-based primer spray paint.
I'm in LOVE with this stuff! No brushstrokes, super-easy to spray on, and only took me 5 minutes. Hallelujah! I was in heaven.
Seriously. I'm totally trying to figure out how to use this stuff on the rest of our unpainted baseboards and trim in the house from now on.
Anyways, once the headboard was covered with a layer of primer and given a day to dry (just to be sure), it was time to apply the paint!
One of the upsides of buying all your paint at one store is that it's super-easy to just waltz in and pick out the current swatches in your home to use as guides for your new paint color. In fact, that's what we always do. No paint samples for us, thankyouverymuch, we'd rather just test the holy paint gods and hope and pray that our choice works once it's up on the wall (or the headboard, in this case).
Somehow, it seems the paint gods do find us worthy.
After two light coats of paint using a foam brush to achieve a super-smooth finish, it was FINISHED.
Ahem, drumroll please...
While not as dark as the original Photoshop rendering (a side effect of choosing the paint color in the poor lighting at a home improvement store, I'm sure) we really couldn't be happier with the light and airy feel it adds to the room, while still having presence and holding it's own. We're also loving that a few hours and $30 worth of supplies (due to the fact that we ended up buying a whole gallon of paint, that is) gave us a totally new look and pretty-much a new headboard - the "new" headboard is about 1000x better than the old, raggedy, dinged up "old" one. Score.
So what do you think? Did you like the earthy wood tone of the older one better? Have you ever used spray paint oil-based primer before? Do you like to tackle home improvement projects in your front yard, too (what do your neighbors think?)? We'd love to hear your thoughts!