DIY Painted Headboard Towel Holder

Hey, ya’ll! This might be my favorite project ever because it is like nothing I have made before!


I showed you this picture on Tuesday as a little “tease”.


I found these at Goodwill. Aren’t they gorgeous? I feel in love with them and had to get them. It is a headboard/footboard set for a twin bed. There were no rails to go with it, but that was okay because I didn’t need them….I had other plans.

I happily paid $25.00 for the set and went home.

I have been trying to come up with a creative towel rack for my guest house bathroom. My guest house is a little more cottage-y, so I like to decorate with more of a vintage feel.

I was blog-surfing the night before I found these beauties, and I saw a post that got my wheels a turnin’.

Jenn, at Livin’ the Simple Life made a coat rack out of a headboard. She also made the bench below it. The girl is crazy crafty and you must visit her blog!

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I just loved her coat rack and thought it was super creative.

When I saw the headboard and footboard at Goodwill the next day, I knew it must be fate!

One of those babies were destined to become my towel rack for my bathroom.

So here’s what I did…

After holding both the headboard and footboard up against my bathroom wall to see which one “fit” best, I decided to go with the headboard.

My bathroom in the guest house is not very big, but this headboard was going to make a big statement!

First I had to cut the legs off the headboard, so I used my hubby’s Skil Saw.


She’s lookin’ good already!


Now some of you may think I am crazy for painting this beauty. I know some of you would have left her alone. But I’m not sentimental like that. I needed her to be white, so white she would be!

Now I needed to prepare the surface to paint. Instead of sanding it with sandpaper, I used a liquid deglosser to do the trick. It is soooo easy. Just pour it on a cloth and wipe it all over the wood surface!

IMG_5000I let that dry, and then I began painting. My paint of choice is this little quart of Valspar paint. It can be found over by the spray paint cans at Lowes. There is a sign above it that says something like “high performance” or “extremely durable” paint. The workers at Lowes suggested we use this on our kitchen cabinets and we did. We love it!

So I used a brush to paint in any of the grooves.



Then I used my roll brush to paint the smooth surfaces. (No I am not left-handed, I just needed my right hand to take the picture!)


Here she is after 3 or 4 coats…ahhhhh….


Here’s the hardest part of the process…

let it dry.

It’s very important to let it dry REAL good before sanding.

Luckily, I got something in the mail to distract me.

I have a special bloggy friend, Kim at My Domestic Bliss, who sent me this HUGE block of Hershey’s chocolate. She’s precious!


It was sooooo good!

(I know I’m looking a little rough in this picture, but give me a break girls, I’m in the middle of a project!)

That thing was bigger than my head!


The boys got into the action as well. Oh yeah, baby!


Let’s re-focus, shall we? After the paint was good and dry, I used my sanding sponge to sand the edges of the headboard.


There’s no rhyme or reason to this step. Just sand as little or as much as you’d like to get the look you are after.


When I cut the bottom of the headboard off with my Skil Saw, it left a raw edge that needed a little work. I needed to fill an obvious groove in with some wood filler.


I just pushed the wood filler into the groove with my finger and the let it dry.


Then I used my sanding sponge to sand it to a smooth finish, and it was ready to paint.


To get a more “aged” look, I like to cover my white paint with my favorite glaze, Valspar “Mocha”.


I used a paper towel to cover the headboard with the glaze.


Then I used a damp paper towel to wipe it right back off. (See left side of headboard.) I love the way the glaze got in the “groves” on the headboard and brought out so many of the details.


Now I needed to attach my hooks. I found these cute little hooks at Hobby Lobby for half off. I bought 3 hooks for $1.50 a piece. Total=$4.50! I also got these wood screws at Lowe’s for a buck or two.


I attached the hooks with the wood screws.


It’s getting pretty late in the evening at this point and well….


Yep! I did it. There goes my New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier! Thanks, Kim! ;)

Oh well. It was worth it.

As you can see, the silver screw does not look very good with my black hook, so I got a little black paint and dabbed it on the screw.




I bought some heavy duty mirror hangers at Lowes to mount the headboard on the wall. They were a dollar a piece.


Now I did make the headboard by myself, but my hubby helped me hang it on the wall. It was very heavy (like a large mirror).

When you are hanging something this heavy, you need to make sure that you hammer the nails into the studs in the wall.

My husband insisted he help me with this part, which was fine by me.

We found the
studs in the wall and measured the distance between them. Then we attached the hangers on the back of the headboard the same distance apart.

IMG_5095 We hung it on the wall and I feel in love.

It’s exactly what I wanted.

But I am bummed at how my pictures turned out. There is no window in the bathroom, so I had no natural sunlight in which to take the pictures.

Notice the beautiful natural light right outside the bathroom.


This is a piece of the bedroom furniture that I painted this summer. I’m storing the towels and blankets in there. I found the adorable locker room basket at a yard sale for $5.00. It’s perfect for storing the little wash cloths. My sweet mother-in-law bought me these new white towels for our guest house.


Now into bathroom…


I love the way it turned out. (Though I don’t think these pictures show it’s true beauty. My walls are a pretty tan, not mustard yellow!))


And now for a parade of pictures…


IMG_5136 IMG_5124




I loved this project because it was a little “out of the box” for me, which made it tons of fun. And it brings the uniqueness I was looking for in a towel rack.

Now I still have the footboard…hmmm….

I will also be linking this post to

Transformation Thursday at Shabby Chic Cottage,

Furniture Feature Friday at Miss Mustard Seed’s Creative Blog,

Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors, and

A Home Accents Party at The DIY Showoff,



  1. Traci, Your towel rack is amazing. I just LOVE it. How creative. I stumbled across your blog while visiting "Between Naps on the Porch". So glad I did. You are now one of my favorites and I will visiting often. Tina (Posting anonymously was the only way I could figure out how to post a comment.)

  2. I absolutely love it! It turned out gorgeous and don't worry…your walls looked a very beautiful tan on my computer :-) Way to go…the hard work paid off. Any guest will be honored to use that bathroom. I think it would take me a little longer to get ready in that bathroom with all the things to look at!
    We are having to move soon, so I'm storing ideas up and this is a great one.
    Blessings on you.

  3. Your towel rack came out amazing! I wish we had space in our bathroom on the walls for that (tiny townhouse bathroom = no wallspace :( sad) But you've got my wheels spinning!!

  4. This turned out great, Traci! I think you made the right decision using the headboard instead of the footboard. I think I mentioned on one of your other posts that I have that same armoire {still in its natural state}. I've been thinking of painting it black this Winter.

  5. OMGosh, I am gonna have to stop reading your blog(not) because you make me want to do to many things I don't have time to do, and my wheels in my brain keep spinning. I love it, I'll be lookin at headboards differently now! Thanks for (again), another wonderful idea!!

  6. I want to LIVE in your guest house :) You have done such an awesome job fixing it up. I'm always anxious to see what your latest project is. Great job!!

  7. How amazing! I love it! I was a little skeptical about you painting over that beautiful wood, but after you put the glaze on and it brought out that gorgeous detail, I know it was the right thing to do. :D

  8. Traci!
    O my goodness Kid!!! You're great!!!
    Luv this idea and want to use an old headboard for a similar project. Who would have thunk it?!?!
    The Goodwill Shop didn't know what they had on their hands. Appreciate you sharing this
    cute, cute project. It's darling.

    God bless,
    d from homehaven

  9. Inspiring project! I must get a skill saw soon! (Say that 5 times fast!) I really wanted to post to the "Made it without my hubby party" but alas….no skill saw….no project! I'm still going to do the project…I just need a hand from the hubster! Great job thinking outside the bos!

  10. You did a perfect job! I love it.

    I picked up an old window off the side of the road and would love to think of something neat to do with it. Any suggestions?

    Hope you are having a great week. God bless you.

    And, I agree, it does matter. Thanks for the reminder. What a precious lady you are and I know that your mom was.

  11. Wow! Your towel holder came out wonderful! You did a great job and it looks great in your bathroom! Good thing you had that chocolate bar!

  12. Wow.. just simply stunning… I want to thank you so much for explaining it all in details.. ya know, with me being Deaf, I am a very visual gal, I need everything in details right down to the wood nails. I am filing this into my faves and be on the hunt for a beautiful headboard! Thanks again!

  13. Great job! It makes a great statement!
    p.s. Try using the Hercules Hooks next time.
    They are designed to hold very heavy objects and they go into drywall. They're awesome. I have 'em all over my house!

  14. Wow, that is just great!! I don't have room on my wall for that but I am truly inspired to find something smaller and make a coat holder for my wall in the foyer. Thanks for the inspiration.

  15. Beautiful,Tracey! I want one! What a great idea! We are starting my remodel in my guest bath this coming week end. We are having to replace the floor first. But I'm ready to decorate it! I would love to make one of these towel racks! I'm gonna have to pay a visit to the thrift store tomorrow! Thanks! It turned out beautiful!

    Lee Laurie

  16. Wowzers Traci it looks AWESOME! I have to admit I was a little pained to see you cutting the legs off (painting it is FINE with me) but it turned out gorgeous and is a great idea! Can I come stay in the Guest House??????? :)

  17. This turned out gorgeous! Makes me want to do a headboard project (like I need another project!) so I'll be on the hunt for one. I have no idea where I'll put it but I'm sure I could find an empty spot.

    Happy New Year!

  18. So, I know you don't need another comment telling you how amazing that looks…but it looks amazing! I was a little unsure of how it would turn out until I got to the end of the post! What a wonderful idea!

  19. I wish I had found that at my goodwill, but I would have used it to make a cute big girl bed for my three year old!! What you did is great though! It turned out awesome!

  20. Wait.a.minute….you SHARED your chocolate with your kids??? You are a terrific mom! I don't share. Well…sometimes I do…but only if it's a big bag and they happen to find it hidden in the pantry. :)

    I love, love, love the towel rack/headboard. Gorgeous!!!

  21. Oh. I. Love. This!!! The towel bar in our main bathroom is falling off the wall, so I would LOVE to do something like this to replace it. Thanks for the step-by-step instructions.

  22. I love it! Our kids (four of them!) have an L shaped bathroom and I struggle for somewhere for them to hang all their towels. This is perfect for that llloooonnnngggg empty wall. I can't wait to go thrifting to find a headboard and get this a try! :) Thanks for the inspiration!

  23. Oh, you can bet I smiled all the way through this one! (you GO with those tools!) It's gorgeous! Those lines on that headboard… are you kidding me?!? The hooks are the perfect match!

    Thanks for linking up to SNS!

    FJ Donna

  24. Hi Traci,

    Love this project, too–just awesome! You have said before that you love the Valspar Mocha Glaze and I just bought some! I have a tooooooo white pine cupboard/hutch in my dining room and that glaze is just the thing to vintage it up a bit–so, thank you for sharing :).

    Also, I think the chocolate is a blessing in disguise :)yes, yes I do–just what a girl needs to get through a long, tough day of creating! Chocolate is good for you and. . .and. . .you know, it's not just for breakfast anymore :)!

  25. Love, love, love the towel rack! If that chocolate bar had arrived at my home we would have had the peanut butter jar out in a flash. yum. I just found your blog and can't wait to start from the beginning and soak in your inspiration. I am currently working on the Ballard knockoff black shelves for my kitchen. Thanks for inspiring us gals. Blessings!

  26. That looks awesome, Traci! I was horrified at watching you take a saw to that gorgeous bed and then seeing the white paint go on, but you were right. It needed to be white and it looks fantastic in it's new home. Nice job and great find!

  27. I have been awake for an hour surfing the web about glazing. We just bought an old cheap $35 dresser and washed it. It was recently painted white so I just need to do some cool finish. I haven't glazed before so I have been researching how to do it. Thanks for the fun post.

  28. I love the towel rack. I am thinking of how to use it in my bathroom. My bath is tourquoise with "flip-flops" as my decorations. I have got to do this though—love it!!! Thanks for sharing your design. Judy

  29. Oh! I am seriously lacking places to hang towels in my new house and I think this will do the trick!

    And I love you for eating all that chocolate!

  30. Oh my heck! I am totally doing the SAME thing. I promise I didn't steal it, I bought a headboard for ten bucks at a thrift store in November that I plan to paint white and hang near the from-the-garage entry of my house. I'm going to use it for my purse though. So almost the same. I love how yours turned out. It is a fabulous contrast to the wall color. What fun.

    And chocolate makes everything worthwhile. Right?

  31. I am so in love with the idea here! I have a twin footboard and headboard in the barn stored. And…I was just thinking over the weekend, "what could I do with those pieces?????? I don't need a towel rack but my mind is going 100 mph now! TFS. It turned out precious!

  32. Oh my goodness, I am finding so much to look at on your blog today!!! ABSOLUTELY LOVE this headboard/hook combo. Deep sigh. Worth the transformation!

  33. Job well done, and I like the fact that you are using a deglosser instead of sanding the towel rail. I am a builder / designer in London, and today it is a question of work smart, not hard which is the way forward. You’ll be surprised by how many professionals still insist on sanding.

    Nice result indeed… But hey, you’ve gotta stop, you’ll put everyone out of business with your tips. ;)


  34. Hi…came across this while i was browsing the net randomly……….loved what you did :-). Its fantastic….. – Sheetal

  35. This is such a GREAT idea! Ive been looking for a cheap, easy idea of how to make a new place to hang coats before the fall rolls around. And that chocolate bar is HUGE! I hope yall had fun finishing it off!

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