(Vaguely) Gustavian Chalk Paint Headboard

Aside from having a barn (?) one of the favorite things about this house when we bought it was the fact that it had a separate guest room downstairs.  We’ve always had a lot of visitors, and having a room dedicated to that purpose was a big bonus.  However, it was put together with bits and pieces left over from other people and other houses and was not quite the relaxing escape I wanted for our friends and family.   We did buy a comfortable queen bed for the room, but never found the headboard we needed which I think makes a bed look very unfinished. I didn’t want a footboard as well, some guests are tall, and it’s easier to make the bed without one.  Not to mention the risk of kicking the edge of a bed in the dark in an unfamiliar home at night.

Dream headboard. Beautiful, but approx. $3700. Yikes. http://www.nordicstyle.com/gustavian-bedroom/26-gustavian-king-size-bed-150cm.html
Beautiful, but approx. $3700. Yikes.
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Guest room with no headboard – and still with table for wrapping Christmas presents. Before I had my sewing room so table set up for crafts.

 

My inspiration for this room was in a  decorating book I had.  It had built-in bookshelves (swoon) and toile curtains by British company Swish. Looking for a Swedish/Gustavian inspired headboard for a reasonable price was getting me nowhere, so I decided I’d better find one I could transform.  So I hit up Craigslist for something cheap and workable.  I found this beauty south of Seattle and at $40.00, I’m pretty sure I overpaid, but I was already there so I decided to go ahead and load it up in the car and bring it home.

headboard unpainted
This headboard is nothing BUT untapped potential.  Why is there a strange flat panel in the center?

 

I have a very dear and generous friend who paints and sells furniture and blogs about home improvements over on the site Clockwork Interiors, and she kindly offered to help me on my first chalk painting adventure.  I dragged that headboard over to her house for her expert tips, spent a lovely day painting it, and then promptly left it in her garage for almost a year.  Because I’m thoughtful like that.  But luckily for me she didn’t finish it and sell it, but let me come get it and finish it at home .  (Seriously, if you don’t follow her blog, you should.  She’s very talented and very productive, and has so many great ideas.)

After wiping it down, I glued some little wood medallions I’d picked up at Michael’s to the corner posts for interest.   I gave it a base coat of Sherwin-Williams Whole Wheat in flat latex, and followed up with two (or maybe three) coats of Maison Blanche Vintage Furniture Paint in Antique Blue.  I distressed it, added a coat of clear wax, and then got to adding a fabric panel in the odd empty center to add softness and interest.  (I know I took photos of painting the headboard and of adding fabric and batting to the panel I had Kirk cut, but I think they must have been on my laptop before my hard drive crashed.  Pretty simple:  Paint headboard with good brush.  Wrap board in batting, wrap fabric over board, staple gun from the back.)  I was debating between a Scandinavian style check or a classic pale blue ticking stripe, and ended up using the check.  But once I had Mr. WoW screw the luan panel from the back, I just wasn’t happy with how it was turning out.  It was better, but not quite right.

Better, but not quite there.
Better, but not quite there.

For starters, the blue was just a little too icy for the room.  And the pretty bits of detailing weren’t standing out enough either.  I figured adding a medium antique wax would tone down the color a bit, but I think it still wanted something a little more. I decided that the small raised section on the top could use a little decorative painting, perhaps our initials in an old style font, or a garland or wreath?  I looked through a Scandinavian country decorating book I have and found a free-hand pattern that was used on walls instead of wallpaper and thought it would look terrific.  Here’s the problem, though.  I can’t draw.  At all.  If it’s possible to draw a stick-figure flower garland, that’s how I would do it.  LUCKILY for me my mother is a very accomplished painter, so I asked her to please come over and paint it for me.  (She does lots of lovely decorations, and has done some terrific painted furniture for my girls over the years.  So talented.  Did not pass down to me.  🙁 )

Adding the garland
Adding the garland
finished but unwaxed
finished but unwaxed
garland close-up
garland close-up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, that made such a difference.  Didn’t she do a beautiful job?  By adding the little darker wax it helped make the garland look antique, and also pulled out some of the details on the headboard.  It also made the blue a little richer and even a little greener, which works perfectly with my beloved Brunschwig & Fils toile draperies.  I LOVE toile, as long as it doesn’t have those creepy little cherubs on it.  I am still on the fence about the check, however.  What do you think?  Smaller?  Ticking stripe?

Close up of the finished garland.
Close up of the finished garland.
Finished Headboard
Finished Headboard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a painted desk and little dresser I painted to match in this room still to show, and then I hope to have a guest room reveal.  It’s taken a few years, but now I think the guest room is really a relaxing retreat.


Hard to believe it’s only 3 weeks since the holidays.  Did you have a great holiday season?  We did.  After Christmas last year with no kids around, we had both girls and our new son-in-law for the holiday.  Heaven!  We started with a quick week-end to visit the newlywed’s Porland pad,  visited the new McMenamin’s Anderson School House in Bothell – big fan, especially if you can find a seat in “the shed” – drove to “Woodinville Wonderland“,  had family Christmas here, went wine tasting in Woodinville, took some frosty walks, had dinner at The Hollywood Tavern and took our annual playhouse Christmas photo.  (It was a little late to include in the cards, but it still counts!)  Not a white Christmas like they promised us, but lots of frosty days and one short spell of snow on the last day of vacation.  Beautiful.  We deserved it after a record-breaking amount of rain in December.  Wishing you a healthy and productive 2016!

When in Portlandia, you must do brunch. Broder Nord.
When in Portlandia, you must do brunch. Broder Nord.
Merry Christmas 2015!
Merry Christmas 2015!
Tolt trail
Frosty trail walk
Hollywood Tavern
Dinner and outdoor fire pit at The Hollywood Tavern
Cuilin Hills
Wine tasting at one of our favorite wineries – Cuillin Hills – we are still working on our selfie skills.
Pasture
Pasture frosted over – Happy New Year!

 

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