$20 Spindle Headboard Repurposed

Hello, beautiful friends, and welcome!

I just got back late last night from my beautiful niece’s wedding in Wisconsin. My parents, my younger sister and one of her sons went as well.

I also took my oldest, Jack, with me:

They had a photo booth set up and needless to say, we had a blast with it!

That’s my older sister on the right and her Hubby behind her, and of course, they are the proud parents of that stunning bride! Isn’t she gorgeous? (I’m biased I know.) The younger handsome fella in the center is my other sister’s son.

She made it into the photo below:

They were missing the props…but we didn’t seem to need any!


Of course, it is always good to get home.

I’m taking this week off to unwind and just enjoy spending a few lazy Summer days with my boys, so today I’m sharing one of my all-time favorites with you!

I originally shared this project back in 2016 and I still see it as the one that got away:

Of course, it doesn’t look like much yet.

I found this for $20 at the thrift store…


What was holding this one up from being done for so long is the fact that it is nothing but spindles, and I just wasn’t looking forward to tackling this all with a brush. Plus the finish was terrible:


I decided to layer paints to get a fun chippy look:

Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Can you see the layers? NO? Let me take you in for a closer look:

Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I’ve added a few affiliate links so you can find the products I used.

And how did I combat all those spindles??

Meet my arsenal:

Oh yeah…spray paint all the way for the win on this one!

Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com
I’ve made a few headboard benches and this one was made pretty similarly with just a couple adjustments for the spindles.

I started by cutting the footboard in half using my miter saw:

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com
(I have this Ryobi saw now.)

Then I had to cut some height off the legs on my new side pieces…

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

So that the top of the sides would meet the back at just the right place…

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I clamped the sides to the back as pictured above, making sure everything was level as I went. (You’ll want to be sure you create your bench on a level surface as well.)

I usually connect the sides to the back using my Kreg Jig Kit, but I wasn’t able to use that here since the side pieces were spindles and not flat. So from the back, I pre-drilled a hole through the back and into the spindle at the top of the side where it meets the back, using a 1/8″ drill bit:

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I followed with a 3/8″ drill bit just barely into the surface there, to allow me to countersink the screw a bit.

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Then I screwed the back to the sides using a 3″ wood screw.

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

Then I was able to go back and fill in the holes with Elmer’s Wood Filler, completely hiding them.

After attaching both side pieces, I attached a front piece to connect the two across the front, making sure it was level with the back piece. That is what the seat slats will sit on. I did use my Kreg Jig Kit for that piece. (See how easy that is to do HERE.)

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

And I filled in all the holes and sanded them with 220 grit sandpaper when they were dry.

To make the seat slats, I  found these slats from my son’s old twin bed that were perfect:


I cut them to fit with my miter saw but decided to start painting everything before attaching them to the bench.

I started with Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Spray Primer. It took two cans to do all the slats and the bench.

Then I followed up with a coat of Rust-oleum’s Robin’s Egg Blue spray paint:

How to make a headboard bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I kinda loved it at this point, but stopping here would not have added the “layers” I really wanted, so I kept going by adding petroleum jelly to all the areas I didn’t want the next coat of paint to stick to. Then I followed up with a couple of coats of Rustoleum’s Universal All Surface Satin white (my favorite spray paint for furniture)…

Use petroleum jelly to get a chippy look.

You can see the petroleum jelly smeared on under the paint in that photo above.

Then when the paint was barely dry, I took a clean soft cloth and wiped all the areas where I had applied the petroleum jelly, to reveal the blue beneath.

Get a chippy layered paint look using petroleum jelly. confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I added the slats using wood glue and my nail gun.

Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I decided not to worry about filling in the tiny holes.

Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I found that pillow at HomeGoods and still have it on our sectional!

Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I love this layered chippy look. It’s very subtle and the colors give it that calm coastal vibe I love so much.


Spray paint is fantastic for projects like this where a brush would take way too long. Unfortunately, it isn’t cheap. I spent about $30 in paint for this project, but with the bed only being $20, that wasn’t too bad.

Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


Vintage Spindle Headboard Bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com


How to turn a spindle bed into a bench from confessionsofaserialdiyer.com

I hope you enjoyed this look back as much as I did. Maybe it was even new to you?

Here’s another headboard upcycle from 2016 that you might enjoy:

See what I did with this one HERE!

I’ll be back on Thursday with another favorite that may be new to you as well! Then I need to finish off the last three items from my Haul of Shame! Have a great week! 🙂



Don’t Miss a Thing!

If you like what you see, there are several ways to follow along!

Email * Facebook * Pinterest * Twitter *Instagram


Never miss a thrifty makeover! Receive my new posts right to your inbox!

* indicates required


  1. Mary Kaiser says

    Wow I can’t believe Jack is getting so big, and handsome!! Tell him to stop it, he can’t grow up so quick. Looks like you both had a lot of fun at your beautiful nieces wedding. I loved this headboard make over when you did it, and I enjoyed seeing it again. Enjoy the times with your boys because it goes by so quickly. I had 4 children, three boys and 1 girl and they are all grown up and my baby girl will be turning 30 in October, so hard to believe how quick it goes. My oldest will be 36 in October also and that is so hard to believe. The other boys are 33 and 32. I boggles my mine where all that time has gone!

    • I know!! I wish I could slow down time just a little! He’ll be a senior this year and then he’ll be off to college before you know it…boohoo. Yes, we had a fantastic time at my niece’s wedding and it’s always a treat to see my sister. Do all of your children still live nearby? Hopefully you have some grand babies to love on! XOXO

  2. Christina in SW FL says

    Wow, Christy, you have a beautiful family and so fun! 🙂 The warmth and love shine through like the sun. 🙂
    The bench is a winner! Love the layers, they are beautiful.
    Enjoy some time off!!

    • Thank you, Christina! It is always so nice when we can get together as a family since we are spread out all over! I hope you have a great week, my friend! XOXO

  3. Patricia Wilson says

    Can’t believe what you did with the headboard and foot board. How pretty. Love it and enjoy your projects so much. Wish I had a place to do this stuff again.

    • Thank you so much, Patricia! I sure wish I would have kept this one…I haven’t seen another deal on a spindle bed since!

  4. This is the second headboard bench you have made that I love. It looks like it was always supposed to be a bench. I don’t know how you do it, but it’s awesome.

  5. I’m glad you posted an old one – I hadn’t seen it yet. When I use spray paint, it’s all drippy. Probably my lack of patience! And wow, Jack’s really growing up! It goes by quickly. Enjoy your time off and lazy time with your boys 🙂

    • Oh yay! I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Joni! I get drips too when I try to spray too much at once. Yes, Jack isn’t my baby anymore boohoo! Wishing time could slow down just a bit! Thank you! XOXO

  6. i can see why you think this is the one that ‘got away!’ it’s beautiful and i love the chippy look! and who doesn’t love Robin’s Egg Blue! is it as easy to work with petroleum jelly if you’re brushing as opposed to spraying?
    (love the family photos at the wedding – lots of family resemblance!)

    • Thank you, Gwen! Yes, I love Robin’s egg blue too! I’ve had the best results with Vaseline when using spray paint, but it does work with chalk paint as well. XOXO

  7. Weddings are always so much fun. Aren’t the photo booths the best? Great pics of you and your family. 🙂

  8. Marcie Lovett says

    Who is that man standing in Jack’s place? OMG, when did that happen?!? Wishing many more happy occasions for the family.

  9. Victoria Golojuch says

    Such a clever idea and so cute!

  10. Mary Loveland says

    Looks like you had fun at the wedding! Jack is a heart breaker for sure; loved the brides dress, gorgeous.
    Probably a good thing to revisit projects, I forget how pretty you make everything!

    • Oh we had a ball, Mary! Thank you…Jack has become such a sweet young man. My niece had picked her dress and then saw that one on the mannequin in the window as she was leaving. She knew she had to try it and it was perfect! Thank you, sweet friend!! XOXO

  11. Carol Flynn says

    Just wondering if anyone won the paint Giveaway??

    • Hi Carol! Would you believe the winner didn’t respond? I drew another this morning. She responded right away and I’ll be announcing that on Thursday. XO

  12. Cecilia from Georgia says

    I always love spindles…not to paint them, just admire from a distance!! I love the chippy look on this and have never used Vaseline…something new to try! Enjoy your break and time with your son because they grow up way to fast! XOXO

  13. Brenda Johnson says

    Oh my gosh!!! I love this SO much, I wish it was mine!!! If I had my health in tact I would so love to do what you do, it looks like so much fun!

  14. LOVE this bench! So adorable! a great re-imagined piece.

  15. Theresa K. Smith says

    Great Job! I’ve been wanting to make one of these for my yard, just haven’t found the right one yet. I do have a old iron one, that would work well…just need to find a welder. Oh, well, maybe when I retire…(within the next year!).

    • Thank you, Theresa! I am always admiring iron beds when I see them…they have so much charm! Of course, I’m not a welder either lol! Here’s hoping the next year or so flies by so you can get to all those fun projects! XOXO

  16. The bench you created using the twin headboards is pure genius. You do have a creative mind. I will be looking for twin headboards and see how, or if, my imagination will go.

    • Thank you, Dennie! This is one of my favorites. I’ve been on the hunt for another spindle set but no luck. Maybe you will have better luck than me! XOXO

  17. Christy James says


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.