before and afterlightingproducts

before & after: door headboord + suitcase picnic set

by Kate Pruitt


I’m not in the market for a new headboard, but sometimes I see projects that make me wish otherwise. This door-turned-headboard by Angela is so simple, and yet it creates such an amazing result. The character of the wood seems far better than any modular, mass-produced headboard of a similar style, and I love the versatility of this simple piece. Great execution, Angela! — Kate

Time: 4 hours (spread out over a few days, mostly time spent stripping the paint)

Cost: $30 ($10 for the door and $20 for paint stripper and polyurethane)

Basic Steps: The first step was to clean the door up and decide which side was best to use. Next we cut the door to the width of a queen-sized bed using a circular saw. To create a straight edge to run the saw, we clamped down a straight poplar board and made sure the straight edge was perfectly perpendicular to the door using a square. Then we made a cut on each end to center the panels to the bed. Next we sprayed the door with paint stripper and allowed it to soak in. Using a stiff blade, we removed the paint. This had to be done three times to completely remove all of the layers of paint. Once the paint was removed, we lightly sanded any rough areas including the freshly cut ends.

After the door was sanded, we gave it a good coat of polyurethane, lightly sanded the imperfections and then finished it up with a final coat. Next we mounted it on the wall with a French cleat. This was done with a 1 x 4 scrap board of poplar. The board was cut in half horizontally at a 45-degree angle. One half of the cleat was then mounted to the studs on the wall, and the other half was mounted to the door. The headboard then easily rests on top of the cleat, creating a tight fit. By making the cleat significantly shorter than the width of the door, we were able to easily adjust the headboard from side to side to position it just right for the bed.

We have a few bits of advice for this project — first, find a door with good character to really get a good result. For example, we thought this door worked especially well because of its unique two-panel style and antique key hole. Take your time with the paint stripping; don’t be afraid to do many smaller passes rather than trying to take off the paint all at once. Finally, when hanging the headboard, have a good understanding of where the wall studs are in relation to the desired location for the headboard. This will ensure proper mounting of the cleat. — Angela

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)


CLICK HERE to see Amy’s vintage lamp transformation after the jump!

Spring has finally been showing itself these last few days, and this vintage-suitcase picnic set by Sibylle is a great way to celebrate the warmer weather outdoors. Sibylle created this set as a birthday gift, with all the trimmings included — plates, straws, cake and flags. I love the mix of stripes and checks against the crisp white exterior, but the greatest part of this project is that it’s completely customizable. Great idea, Sibylle!

Time: 4 hours

Cost: $55 ($15 for the suitcase and $40 for other supplies)

Basic Steps: I painted the suitcase white with indoor/outdoor latex paint. Then I cut out the old pocket on the upper part of the suitcase to have an even surface, and cut the new fabric to the right size of the suitcase (separate pieces: upper part, lower part, sides)

I folded the fabric one inch on the sides and ironed them to have a clean edge, and then glued the fabric onto the old fabric with Mod Podge. For better hold, I stapled the corners. To hold the cutlery and champagne glasses, I took a piece of ribbon, stapled the beginning, made a loop big enough to hold a fork and knife/champagne glass and stapled again. To hold the plates, I stapled a square Velcro piece onto the suitcase and sewed the opposite piece onto a piece of ribbon (4x). I also made a little garland out of baker’s twine and felt and glued it to the top part of the suitcase.

My advice would be to first finish the inside and then paint the outside, unless you have time to let the paint dry for a day and then tackle the real work. Also, make sure that your suitcase is not too thin to staple anything on to. If it is thin, you can hold a flat, hard object against it while you staple. After you paint it, you will not see the staple. — Sibylle

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