How to Paint a Whimsical Headboard
Create a charming bed, no hammer and nails needed
Hidden in this sweet 2-D headboard is an important paint tip. "Start with the bedding," says Brian Carter, a decorative painter in Atlanta. "You can always match paint to fabric, but you can't always match fabric to paint." For this project, he drew two shades from the linens to compose an accent wall as deft as a well-made bed. A coat of pink went down first, followed by broad khaki-green stripes, created with the help of a yardstick, a plumb line, and painter's tape. Enter two templates. Start with 36-inch-wide kraft paper and draw the headboard, making two square-top posts slightly narrower than the stripes. Fold the paper down the middle and cut out the side that looks best. Unfold the template, position it above pillow height, outline it in pencil, then fill it in, down to mattress level, with two coats of white paint. Pencil in the scalloped post caps and dots, and paint them and the border outline with a ½-inch artist's brush. For template two, the finials, draw a silhouette of a stylized bird large enough to straddle a stripe; use a saucer or a compass to draw its perch. Flip this template so that the birds face each other. "If the stripes are evenly spaced, the rest can have a relaxed look," Carter says. "Imperfections are part of the charm."