How to paint a headboard on a wall

DIY lifestyle creative Geneva Vanderzeil shares an easy project to give your bedroom a fresh look.

Bunnings magazine, April 2020

Whether it’s upcycling vases or sorting out storage, stylist and lifestyle creative Geneva Vanderzeil loves sharing projects that add a personal touch to your home. If you’ve followed her renovation journey or read her latest book, Home Is Where You Make It, you’ll be familiar with her dreamy natural colour palette.

“I absolutely love paint,” she says. “It is such an amazing way to transform a space without having to spend too much or do something too drastic.” Keen to inspire others to pick up a paintbrush, she’s put together this simple DIY headboard project.

Colour crush

Choosing the paint colour is the first step and one you don’t want to rush. Because the bedroom is such a personal space, consider what colours you’re drawn to and the feel you want to create – fresh, cocooning, tranquil, cosy?

Most accent colours will work well with neutral white walls, just make sure you carry through the same undertone, whether it’s warm or cool.

Inspired by the new Porter’s Paints capsule collection available at Bunnings, Geneva selected sample pots in Timberline, French Green and Bayleaf to trial which shade of green would work best with her existing colour scheme and linen. I painted a small section of each behind the bed and loved how Timberline looked in the bedrooms natural light, she explains.

Shape shifters

Inspired by the arches that feature throughout her home, Geneva chose to continue the theme with a bedhead in the shape of a half moon. It was also a great fit between the windows on either side of the bed. Other options to consider could be a square or rectangular headboard, or even an oversized circle for dramatic impact

If you have VJ cladding like Geneva, cut in each of the joints so there are no gaps in the paint.

Tools and materials

Tape measure





Interior wall paint (approx. 1 litre)


Paint roller

Paint tray

Tools and materials needed to paint your headboard

1. Mark out your headboard

To mark out the arc of the headboard on your wall, start by measuring the width you want the headboard to be, approximately the same width as your bed (180cm for a king). Mark the halfway point (90cm) and tap in a nail at the centre point, approximately 20cm above the skirting board.

2. Draw the arc

Measure a length of string to 90cm. Tie one end to the nail and the other end to a pencil. Holding the pencil firmly and stretching the string taut, draw an outline of the arc. Remove the nail.

Expert tip

For a rectangular headboard, use painter’s tape and a level to get the lines straight. “Using tape will make painting crisp, square edges much easier,” says Geneva

3. Paint the first coat

Paint the outline of the arc with a cutting-in paintbrush. A good technique is to load up the paintbrush and then carefully draw along the arc. This part takes some time and it’s best not to rush it, says Geneva. Switch to a normal paintbrush to paint the rest of the first coat.

Using a brush to paint a semi circle shape on a white wall.

4. Apply the second coat

Allow two hours for drying, then use a roller to apply the next coat, doing the edges again with the cutting-in brush. The roller gives it a really nice texture and finish,” explains Geneva. Allow to dry overnight.

A woman using a large flat brush to apply a second coat of green paint

5. Style it!

Have fun styling your new-look bedroom with bedside embellishments to complement the headboard.

Cosy up to our range of stylish cushions and throws.

A woman in a white dress styling amber and dusty pink cushions on a bed

Warm shades like dusty pink and amber are a pretty contrast to the green bedhead.

Photography credit: John Downs

More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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