Lowe's Home Improvement

Painted Wallpaper Headboard

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Make your own economical MDF headboard. Then dress it up to resemble one made with paneling, and paint it to complement your bedroom decor.

Red painted headboard against wall

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 day

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Table saw or circular saw (optional)
  • Jigsaw
  • Drill and bit set
  • Utility knife
  • 120-grit and 180-grit sandpaper
  • Wallpaper brush
  • Screwdriver


  • 3/4-in x 49-in x 97-in MDF, #37461
  • allen + roth beadboard paintable wallpaper, #350745
  • 18-in Hangman picture-hanging system, #56378
  • Interior latex primer, quart
  • Wood glue
Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Step 1

Download the Headboard Dimension Diagram to determine the width of the headboard you'll make. Then have a Lowe's store associate cut a medium-density fiberboard (MDF) panel to the width of the headboard and 49-in tall.

Step 2

Draw a centerline dividing the panel vertically. From the bottom, measure the distance shown on the Headboard Dimension Diagram and mark the centerline where you'll anchor one end of a compass and trace the rounded top. Then lay out the 4-in notches on both sides.
Good to Know
To make your own beam compass, duct tape a pencil to one end of a yardstick with the point about 1/2-in past the edge. Measure the distance from the pencil and tape a nail or scratch awl where needed along the yardstick. Add tape until there's no movement of the pencil and nail or awl.

Step 3

Using a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade, cut out the notches and arch along the line. Sand the cuts using 120-grit sandpaper.

Step 4

Mix equal amounts of wood glue and water to make glue sizing that will keep the paint from sinking into the porous MDF. Along the MDF edges, brush on a generous coat of sizing to seal them. When dry, smooth the edges with 120-grit sandpaper. Then apply two coats of primer to the MDF and sand smooth after each coat.

Step 5

Cut three 49-in strips of wallpaper (two for the twin headboard) and place them vertically edge to edge on the headboard. Center the pattern and mark the headboard at the seam. Then moisten and apply each strip of wallpaper with a wallpaper brush and let dry.

Step 6

Trim off the excess wallpaper with a utility or crafts knife. If you want the headboard edges to contrast with the front, apply two coats of paint to the edges and let dry overnight. Then tape the edges and apply two coats of paint to the front.

Step 7

On the back side, draw a horizontal line 33-in from the bottom. For a twin headboard, attach one centered Hangman bracket. For the other sizes, install two Hangman brackets with the ends 6-in from the headboard edges. Attach the other half of each bracket to the wall where you'll install the headboard -- leave a 1-in gap between the headboard and floor -- and hang it in place.