Shiplap Headboard - a project that I didn't enjoy...

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Project by PlanBWoodworks posted 08-07-2017 09:14 PM 2292 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a king size headboard that I built for a neighbor/customer. He and his wife had been looking for a new bed, and couldn’t find one that they liked that didn’t require a kidney as down payment. The husband – a deputy sheriff – stopped by my garage late one afternoon and asked if I could build them something.

I will tell you his visit was pretty scary at first. He and a fellow deputy pulled up in 2 separate sheriff vehicles. The sun was shining into the garage, so as they exited their cars, I couldn’t see faces. I only knew 2 sheriffs pulled up in marked cars and uniforms, and they were approaching me. Even though I am a law abiding citizen, and support LEOs, that was rather scary. I let out a sigh of relief when I realized that it was my neighbor!

Anyway, his wife found a headboard on Pinterest that she liked – a shiplap headboard – and wanted it to have a reclaimed barn wood look. The picture that they sent me showed a headboard made from 1×4s. I firmly believe in overengineering everything I build – and 2×4s are cheaper… – so that’s what I used.

Measure twice and cut once – right? More like measure twice, cut once and then realize that you did the math incorrectly and that you are a full foot short of the required length of the headboard. Then- do more math, cut several more pieces and lap joints to make it right. Stupid math…

Lots of jointing, planing, sanding, gluing and brad nailing later, the assembly was complete! I laminated 2 2×4s, chamfered the feet and rounded over the corners for the legs. The actual headboard is set back 1/2” from the front. Finally, I planed a 2×4 down to 1” thick, rounded over the bottom and corners, and routed in a decorative cove on the top edges.

Now it was time for the finish. I used minwax gray, minwax dark walnut and a little off white latex paint to hopefully achieve the look that they were looking for. It was my first time with this finish, so I did the back first to practice (picture 2). I thought that it was too light, so I used less white on the front (picture 1). Now, I am not sure which one I prefer.

Anyway, I did not enjoy attempting this particular finish. I think it is too subjective and so I don’t know that I would like to do it again. I am very nervous about the reaction to it. My neighbors have seen pictures and really like it, but we will see how they feel when they pick it up this afternoon. I have never sold anything that I built that I did not know that the person I was building it for was going to love it. I don’t like not knowing!

Update – the finish was a no go. Apparently, the Mrs. wants more white and gray. Time for more sanding!

Thanks for looking.

-- Why can’t I ever find my pencil???

4 comments so far

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


216 posts in 2774 days

#1 posted 08-08-2017 10:08 AM

I like it.

-- MrLaughingbrook

View XrayJay's profile


272 posts in 2786 days

#2 posted 08-08-2017 11:39 AM

I like it too! I have a friend who wants me to make her a rustic headboard also, I made some samples of stains on scraps and gave them to her. I am hoping to take as much of the guess work out before hand. Still you are 100% right about subjective liking. When I have made a project for people they rarely tell me what they “exactly” want, and like you you’re wondering the whole time while you’re working hard if they’ll like it. I hope the finish redo works!

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1583 days

#3 posted 08-08-2017 12:34 PM

Do you smell bacon? I smell bacon.

View PlanBWoodworks's profile


168 posts in 1289 days

#4 posted 08-08-2017 06:25 PM

MrLaughingbrook and XrayJay, Thanks for the likes. I am approaching this as an opportunity to get better with this technique. Ultimately, I never want to sell something that the customer doesn’t love. While I certainly prefer a more certain finish, it’s a learning experience. In the future, I intend to have my customers approve the stain in person before I apply any clear coat.

Gargey – if you are calling LEOs pigs, then I suggest that you look at your reasons for feeling that way. I have always found it very interesting that people who disparage LEOs have come by that philosophy due to negative interactions with the police. Further, these same people are the causes of those negative interactions 99.99% of the time. While I am aware and readily admit that there ARE bad cops out there, I believe it to be a minuscule percentage of that profession. Accepting responsibility for our actions and understanding the need for accountability by all parties would go a long way towards repairing the relationship between law enforcement and the public at large.

If you weren’t disparaging law enforcement, then I apologize for the sermon, and will simply say – um, ok…

-- Why can’t I ever find my pencil???

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