Wednesday, June 22, 2011

the headboard



Earlier this year we made our master bedroom headboard using one hundred and fifty year old wood reclaimed from the barn and two antique posts that we had found at an antique shop.
The story of the making of the headboard is here.







I then stained the entire headboard with Minwax Wood Finish in Special Walnut.  I applied several coats to get it to the color and depth that I was looking for.  In the next step Dan applied Briwax paste wax in Dark Brown which you can see applied on the right side of the headboard in this photo.  Isn't it amazing the difference the wax makes-  without it the headboard was rather dry, dull and flat looking, and had no life to it.  The wax really brings out the character of the antique wood.





Three-quarters of the headboard waxed! 
Dan's wax technique was discovered on a trip to France where he covertly (they would wax in the back of their space, not out in public) observed antique dealers waxing furniture.  We had long admired the gorgeous furniture we found there, and couldn't figure out how they got the furniture's waxed finish to look so amazing.  We knew there had to be a secret, and there was....the secret:  heat.  They were heating their paste wax to almost liquid, then applying it with a brush (a real bristle brush, not foam;  we use the throw-away kind), letting it dry (5 to 10 minutes) then wiping it down with steel wool (xxxx) and then buffing to a shine with a terry cloth towel.  Beautiful!
In Texas, all we had to do is set the paste in the sun for a few minutes!  The technique requires a lot of trial and error to get it down correctly, but once you do, it produces amazing results.
(note:  paste wax is highly flammable so if you attempt, please use great caution) 




In this photo angle you can really see the difference the wax makes on the wood.  The posts were also given a coat of stain (to blend them with the barn wood) and waxed.  The headboard is extremely heavy, weighing close to 200 lbs-  it took two young, strong workers to carry it.  Gratuity was given as carrying a headboard up a flight of stairs was not  in their job descriptions;)



so, without further adieu....



the headboard

The coverlet is Nicole Miller (discontinued) .  The bedskirt is a natural linen and was custom.  I love the juxtaposition of the slight sheen of the champagne-colored coverlet to the rough natural linen.  The small  blue/green custom pillow in front is velvet.  The large pillow behind it is made from an antique rug (pillow found at the Scott Show in Atlanta.)  Pair of shams matching the coverlet.  The back pair of shams is a gorgeous fabric that I used on the reverse.  I initially brought the fabric swatch home because the colors worked in the room, and then noticed how gorgeous the reverse side of the fabric was.  It is almost like a muted antique paisley throw (sans the red tones;) You can not do this with all fabrics, but it worked with this one.  Twenty one years ago, for some chairs in our first house I used this same technique on some damask fabric.  It was too shiny for my taste, but I loved the design, texture and color of the fabric.... on the reverse side, which looked like a patterned linen.  I still have and use those chairs today! I remember getting a lecture from my upholsterer back then about why it was a bad idea, but I was sure it would work well.   Had I gone with the trend of shiny damask they would have been dated years ago. 
The story about the pair of matching antique side tables is here.


the rest of the room is next!

75 comments:

  1. love----love---love it !!!!!!

    i LOVE evrything here....

    such a pleasure to come by and visit with you

    PURE DELIGHT !!!!

    sending love,
    kary and teddy
    xo

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  2. Why isn't Ella on the bed? The headboard turned out very well. Nice work!

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  3. LOVE your headboard and what a great story. Love the tip about the wax as well. There is no end to yours and Dan's talents. Y'all amaze me.

    Carolyn

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  4. I loved this headboard when you first posted on it and I love it even more now!

    Thank you for sharing your tip on the wax, I will have to try it.

    Have a wonderful day!

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  5. Just stunning! Thank you SO much for sharing info and tips- it really is appreciated by DIY's like me! Beautiful.

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  6. Gorgeous! How did you attach it to the bed?

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  7. Great job with the headboard, looks so rustic...amazing job!

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  8. Your headboard is stunning! Thank you for the waxing tips! It really makes all the difference in the world.

    Your bedroom is lovely!

    XO,
    Jane

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  9. Wow! That is gorgeous! I mean really gorgeous! Bravo!

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  10. What a difference the wax made and thank you for the inside secret on application. I love how it brings out the patina on the wood. I read the stories of your side tables and they are gorgeous. I can see why you had temporary memory loss on that one, too! Love the whole look of your bed!

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  11. Your headboard is amazing. Thanks for sharing about the wax technique! I love those end tables also!!

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  12. The headboard looks fantastic and looks like it has been in the house from the begining. Been searching for just the right linen for our bedskirt. I like the look and feel of linen and Egyptian cotton. In our house we say it feels like sleeping in butta.
    Thanks for sharing.

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  13. thank you all!

    Kathleen- Ella had just stepped outside for a moment when I took the photo;) She's back on the bed now... that's her favorite spot!

    Anon 1:07- the frame is screwed into the horizontal bottom board (you can see the board in the first couple of photos.)

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  14. I've been waiting to see this headboard in your bedroom! It turned out wonderful! The waxing technique sounds like it will last forever! Funny thing is it reminds me of the headboard from our four poster bed that I let go of a while ago. If I had vision I could have stripped it and stained it a darker color! Oh well! I love that your headboard is made with so much history behind it! Your whole home is a storybook! Kudos! Liz

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  15. Beautiful, of course! Love seeing the process. :)

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  16. What a wonderful way to recycle the posts and your re-purposed wood. The waxing process makes an amazing difference in the finished project, thank you so much for sharing the secret.

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  17. Beautiful!

    ♥ sécia
    www.petiteinsanities.blogspot.com

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  18. Beautiful! As a quilting instructor once told me when I debated using the reverse, "you bought both sides!" Use what works.

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  19. I can't wait to see the rest of the room and all the details. Everything is so beautiful. I'm so in love with your home and your style and enjoy your blog very, very much. Wenda Scott

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  20. Wow! LOVE the headboard. You really have a knack with bringing everything together!! LOVE your blog!

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  21. What a beautiful headboard! I'm glad to know of your waxing technique too. Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to see the rest of the room now. ;)

    Blessings,
    Gail

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  22. Thank you so much for the tutorial. A dear friend just gave me an old trunk that belonged to her grandfather - I plunked it in front of the couch and have been trying to figure out what kind of finish I should put on it...da daaa... your timing is perfect.
    Even more crazy is the fact that I have that coverlet and have been trying to figure out what kind of bedskirt to make for it...once again you've inspired me.

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  23. Beautiful! How neat is it that the wood came from your house. There will never be one quite like it!

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  24. much older sister SusanJune 22, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Just waxed my coffee table 'Dan's Way'. It worked beautifully!!! Even got the puppy slobber marks up that wouldn't come out when I just did it according to the can. You also need throw away gloves and elbow grease! For once this summer I'm glad that the temps have been over the 100 degree mark. I just went into the garage and grabbed my can of Briwax and opened it and it was already melted!!

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  25. Oh My GOSH.....what a beautiful headboard....I would kill....well maybe not kill....but sure would love to have one of those babies....It is beautiful and thanks for the tips on waxing...who would have thought to heat wax....

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  26. I can't wait to get home and wax EVERYTHING!

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  27. love it all. i will definitely be trying out the wax. i love "the small blue/green custom velvet pillow" --- the color is perfect and serene!
    You could do an entire post on the other pillow ---> "The large pillow behind it is made from an antique rug (pillow found at the Scott Show in Atlanta.)" The first time i remember seeing this pillow ella was napping on it

    :-) lisa

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  28. Love the stain you used not to dark but dark enough. I cant wait to see the rest of the room.

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  29. Love, love, love the headboard! Love the shape, love the finish, love it in your room. I so agree with your comment about using the reverse side of fabric. I used the reverse side of a damask fabric for a shirted table in my living room 16 years ago, still looks current today!

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  30. I used the reverse side of some light green damask fabric on my dining room chairs about a year ago and loved the effort, glad to know it will hold up.

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  31. The headboard is gorgeous!! Did you attach it to a bedframe or to the wall? I want to make a headboard but am stumped as to how to finish it off. Would love your advice. Thanks, Maureen mb99999@yahoo.com

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  32. Gorgeous, Joan and good to know about the wax technique. I started to heat mine a couple of times and next time I will.

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  33. The headboard is gorgeous and the story of the wax technique is very interesting. It fits in so well with the linens.

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  34. So PRETTY!!! I love the linens too. Your home is just lovely. I look forward to seeing the rest of the room!
    Claudia

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  35. It looks beautiful! I just showed my hubby and asked him to make it and he just laughed. " We already have a headboard remember," he says. Your room really does look nice, can't wait to see it all done.

    Susan

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  36. Just catching up with your life. What an exciting time!! I can't wait to see your feature. I loved seeing "behind the scenes".
    Your headboard is lovely. You always amaze me. Is there anything you can't do?

    xo
    Brooke

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  37. Oh my goodness it is just beautiful!! Love the headboard and the coverlet is so pretty.

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  38. Love it! And yes wax is the way to go. When I was getting ready to wax my floors the gentleman who talked me into the wax finish told me I had apply it by hand because it needed the heat from our hands to warm the wax and help it melt into the wood. He was right.

    As I was waxing away, night and day, I had so many people say "Can't you rig up some sort of mop to apply it instead of crawling around on the floor?" I would explain the whole heat thing but everyone would roll their eyes and say "I dont' know I think I'd figure something out". Reading your post made me happy. If they are still warming the wax in France then it's the way to go here. lol

    Gorgeous bed! My how far you've come.

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  39. I waxed a wooden garden toolbox last weekend outside in 95 degree Kansas City heat. I thought the wax seemed easier to work with with a nice rubbed look afterwards. Now I know why! Next time, I'll heat it until it's more liquid. I can't wait to see the rest of the room!

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  40. i loved seeing part of this room to completion. do you know i cannot get this headboard out of my mind? was thinking about it earlier this week. i am so enamored with your unending talents
    my best
    debra

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  41. Joan, Dan, and Ella: Thank you for posting an update on the headboard; it is gorgeous! The colors that are in the room are very restful... love everything! Cindy

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  42. It's beautiful and timeless! Anxious to see the rest!

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  43. Love, love, love that headboard! How beautiful! :) It looks so rich with the rest of the bedroom set.

    http://modernchristianbride.blogspot.com

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  44. So lovely....and I appreciated getting coolio's waxing tips for our table...which...ahem...perhaps because of user error didn't turn out quite as fab as your bed...but better than it was!

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  45. That headboard is gorgeous! Glad Dan went covert and learned that technique (thanks for sharing that)!! I do think Europeans are good at still using old, tried and true techniques and being masters of their trades. Just something we enjoyed living overseas. I like that you reuse and recycle so much. Wish I could do it with such style! :)

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  46. Hi Joan
    Like everyone else I have to say it's all beautiful. Once again your attention to detail is amazing. I love it all the bedskirt is beautiful. I want one. Can't wait to see the rest. You must work pretty hard and consistently everyday to accomplish what you do.
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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  47. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. It's amazing to see the "birth" and story behind the headboard.

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  48. I stayed up waaaay too late reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog and your bed looks very inviting! :) Enjoy that beautiful headboard, it sure is nice when a piece of furniture has significance to you.

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  49. I love visiting you. It does my soul good.Everything is so meaningful and beautiful. I walk around and take it all in ( eye candy) as we chat and then I give Ella a few kisses and depart. Ahhhh, the perfect day!
    xoxo Dianne

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  50. it turned out fabulous!! i would never want to leave the bed haha!

    thank you for your comments yesterday regarding our twin tables. i bet we could easily sell these for a ton of money! haha. i love that yu scored the base for free as well. definitely a trash to treasure item! my husband took soap and water to get all the debris off the rust, and then put a coat of poly on it. i have no idea if that is what you are supposed to do with rust, but it worked out and looks pretty clean. if it starts to wear off i just may email you for your husbands technique. hope you have a wonderful upcoming weekend! xo grace

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  51. I absolutely love the look of the repurposed wood. The headboard is just amazing - know you and Dan are thrilled with all of the hard work.

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  52. Joan, Your headboard is gorgeous. Isn't Briwax amazing? I've used it for projects for years. I adore your bed linens. So elegant and understated. LOVE it.
    Babs

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  53. Please give more detail on how to use the steel wool...how heavy a rub down etc. AND Thank you for this post!
    Sincerely,
    Wanting to wax eloquent

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  54. Love it! It is so beautiful! Hey if you get a chance stop by my new blog. http://thededicatedhouse.blogspot.com/

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  55. Love the headboard and thanks for the waxing tip! The wax does make a big difference.

    The room is lovely - now hurry and show us the rest!

    tina
    tinam61@yahoo.com

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  56. What a beautiful project and future heirloom! beautiful alone, gorgeous in your bedroom!!

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  57. I've been a frequent visitor and now your newest follower. Come by
    MAY DAYS, my blog sometime. http://ritamay-days.blogspot.com/
    Rita

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  58. It is perfect arrangement of each and every stuffs. The shape of every furniture attractive. For me It is very inspirational.

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  59. Your headbaord is gorgeous! I use wax regularly on my furniture and still I'm amazed at the difference in these photos!

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  60. Joan, to be able to create such a truly wonderful piece that wll be used and loved daily is a gift! You are both so talented. Looking forward to seeing the rest...I know it's all going to be stunning!
    xo J~

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  61. Gorgeous headboard! I will have to try the wax technique next time I am finishing a piece. I never thought to heat the wax!!! Can't wait to see the rest of the room....your home is stunning!
    ~Des

    www.peekingthruthesunflowers.blogspot.com

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  62. Gorgeous! The wax really did make a difference! Does clear wax produce a similar effect?

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  63. hi Katie!
    yes, clear does give a similar effect, and we do use clear, but I find we use waxes tinted with brown (light or dark) more often as it adds a depth of color that always seems to enhance the piece.

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  64. I posted a comment a few days ago... I guess it didn't go through but, I truly love the headboard! I think it's awesome! And I love your inspiration for it. Looks just like it but even better!

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  65. Pamela- I'm so sorry about your first comment, blogger has been a real pain lately. I can not tell you how much I appreciate that you came back and left your comment again.... Thank You! And thank you about the headboard!!

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  66. I love, love love your headboard. I want to make one ( or attempt to ) as soon as I find, a) suitable posts, and b) a boyfriend with a saw. I also drool over your startburst mirror in your bathroom. Antique stores here *never* carry stuff like that!!

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  67. I was finally brave enough to try this super secret French waxing method, and oh my gosh, it works so well! I just did a coffee table from Pottery Barn because I didn't dare experiment on my antiques - and now I can't wait to do something else! I will save my antique cherry farm table for last, when I am a real expert :) Thanks so much for sharing this magical method!

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    Replies
    1. Pamela- I am so happy to hear that the method worked so well for you. Thank you for telling us- Dan was thrilled to hear too!

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