If you want a unique, one-of-a-kind and affordable headboard, how about painting a headboard on the wall? If you like to change decor often, you can easily paint over it to make a new look. You can customize it to the color and design you want. That’s what I did to make a unique headboard in our apartment in India.
The first time I shared the inspiration photo for this project was way back in October 2010:
That was only 3 days after I launched this blog! In February 2018, I spent three weeks in India, working in the apartment. I finally painted this:
I’m happy to see this idea come true!
Why did it take so long to get things done? Two reasons: 1) There was a lot of trial and error with architects and contractors from half a planet away, and we got so frustrated that we stopped working on the apartment for a while, and 2) My husband and I both worked full-time so there was limited time to go to India.
How to make a painted headboard wall
As you’ll see below, I used stencils for my headboard wall. But you don’t have to use stencils. You can paint whatever you want. I mostly hope to inspire you to see a different way to do things than the usual way, which is to buy a wood headboard or upholstered headboard. You don’t even have to paint all the way up to the ceiling. You can paint a square, rectangle, arched or rounded shape on the wall in the area where you usually see headboards.
The original inspiration photo was published in an Australian décor magazine, Vogue Living. It is a mother-of-pearl door from India. To make the diamond shapes like you see in the door, I used stencils from Royal Design Studio — the large Star Diamonds Wall Stencil and the smaller Star Diamonds Furniture Stencil:
Mother-of-pearl has a metallic quality to it, so I painted with shimmery paints. I used Royal Design Studio Stencil Cremes in Bronze Age, Smoked Oyster and Aged Nickel. And I made a custom copper.
There’s a copper color Stencil Creme (Copper Kettle) but I didn’t have enough. So I mixed these colors together to make a yummy rich glowing copper:
First, I painted a base coat with a taupe color, Asian Paints Silk Route, back in 2015!
I thought this base coat would make it easier to build rich color than stenciling directly on a white wall.
Now, 3 years later, I dabbed and swirled one of the shimmery Stencil Cremes over the Silk Route paint. I think this was Aged Nickel? Or it could have been Bronze Age. I’m sorry I didn’t keep notes.
Here you can see the mottled metallic look made by the shimmery paint:
It’s a little blotchy but that gets covered up a lot by the stenciled pattern.
So many of these photos will be bad, I admit it! I painted most of this at night with bad lighting. The lighting was even worse than usual because one of the wall sconces stopped working.
Here you see I painted the big diamonds along the edges first. Then I filled in the middle with the small diamonds:
This is 10 feet tall! It’s hard to tell by the photos how tall it is. It took many hours to fill in the whole pattern. I had two of these small diamond stencils, so I could work in two areas at the same time while paint dried.
Almost done!! After painting all night until about 4 a.m.
I remember being really sick and coughing so hard it hurt while painting this. Why keep painting? There was limited time before I had to go home to Chicago. And I’d already waited more than 7 years to paint this! So I didn’t care how sick I was. I decided not to climb to the top of the ladder and finish that top row at 4 a.m. when I was so tired and sick. I left it for the next day.
Once this was done, it seemed like it needed something more. It just didn’t “feel finished.” So I painted some more. I added dark borders and scrolly stencil patterns on the edges:
The scrolly pattern is a custom stencil cut with my Cricut Explore, with a vector illustration purchased from Shutterstock.
Ahhhh! This feels better! It feels done!
Are there enough diamond shapes here?!
Also, I “pounced” or dabbed bronze and silver colors over the patterns with a brush to make an antique and “slightly dirty” look:
The day after, I was so tired from painting till 4 a.m., I crashed with the phone next to me, probably in the middle of Instagramming. When I opened my eyes, I saw this. The rich, multi-patterned look I worked so hard to make:
It’s a little thing, but this view made it all worth it!
This boho chic patchwork pillow is another DIY project shared here on the blog:
Here are shots of the room:
It’s furnished simply. We spend only a few weeks a year here so we don’t need much stuff. And everything gets very dusty in India, even indoors, so the less stuff we have, the less stuff we have to clean.
Some walls still need more art. But the “headboard wall” is complete. Finally.