French Country Headboard Makeover

Today, we’re sharing the French Country mantel makeover we recently completed for the bedroom as part of the One Room Challenge.  This makeover is one of those makeovers that is simple to complete and can be achieved with moldings and appliques found at your local home improvement or craft supply store.

Of all the pieces of furniture we finished for the One Room Challenge, the headboard we made from an old mantel, underwent the biggest change.

We bought the mantel and repurposed it as a headboard back in 2014. You can learn how to make a headboard from a mantel here . At the time, the mantel was a chippy farmhouse pink.

Then in 2015, I painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen and Pure White and the headboard has basically stayed that way ever since.  Once we decided to give the bedroom a makeover though, I knew the headboard was going to need a makeover too.

I started out by painting the headboard using DécoArt Chalky Finish Paint in Primitive because it’s the same color I used to paint the bed crown.  It’s also the same color I painted the dining room hutch and one of our main goals for this year is create a more consistent color palette in our home.

Honestly, we could have left the headboard without any embellishments or appliques. The combination of the French inspired gray paint paired with the nubby drop cloth canvas fabric had a really pretty farmhouse feel.

But given the bed crown was ornate and we were using 16 yards of floral fabric for the bedroom curtains and the bed crown panels, we decided to add a few pieces of leftover bed crown molding and a few appliques to jazz up the headboard.

It took a little finagling to attach the molding to the headboard.  In fact, we had to make multiple cuts to get all the pieces of molding to fit right.  In the end though, we were able to use a nail gun and liquid nails to secure both the molding and the appliques to the headboard.

I thought at first, we should paint the embellishments the same color we painted the headboard.

But after seeing how much it blended in, we decided to create a whitewash with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White, distress the moldings and appliques with a fine grit sandpaper and allow the moldings and appliques to stand out a bit.

I think the whitewash added to the patina of the headboard without making it look like it had been freshly painted. It also gave us a sneaky way to hide the big wood screws we had to use to secure the headboard to the wall.

Keep in mind, if you don’t feel comfortable making the special cuts to add the molding (I swear, it’s almost an art form) you can always just add the appliques.  They have all sorts of different size and style appliques online, in craft supply stores and in home improvement stores too. They also make appliques in different materials from resin to wood.

Some of them even come in kits which makes it easy to lay out a specific design detail or French Country inspired pattern. I think you can embellish your headboard as much or as little as you want to just consider the rest of the elements you have going on in the room.

Adding the moldings and/or appliques along with a fresh coat of paint really is an inexpensive way to give a boring mantel a French Country headboard makeover. And the bonus is that this project can usually be completed in an afternoon depending on the drying time of your paint and glue.

Have you guys used wood appliques or molding on any of your projects lately? I kind of want to add them all over now ?Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,


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  1. What a big difference adding the appliques made Coco. It really gives the headboard a vintage vibe. I love the change.

  2. CoCo…this is the most insanely wonderful project you have ever posted (in my eyes!). What a unique idea and you pulled it off so great. I love it. Patent it! 🙂

    Jane x

  3. Gosh CoCo – this is truly a beautiful transformation! We love using mantels as headboards for the size and drama that they add. Using the appliques was a genius idea! Much love!

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