Wow...this headboard was not as simple as I thought it would be! Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. But I am really happy with how it ended up...so I guess it was all worth it! ; )
I started out by sanding and priming the whole thing...which turned out to be a waste of time because I changed my mind about the way I wanted to refinish it.
Here's how it turned out:
This is what it looked like before:
Originally, I was going to paint the whole thing, then sand the edges, and then rub stain over them. But then I realized that would ruin the crispness of the white paint. I remembered seeing a post about this cool headboard turned coat rack...and I loved the way it ended up. So I went ahead and spray painted all the edges brown and let it dry.
At this point, my kids came home from school and they all thought Mom was crazy! ; )
Then I painted my white over it all. I tried the method she shows on that post (wiping the wet paint off with a paper towel) and it just wasn't working for me. I was using regular paint, not spray paint, for my white and it just didn't look right. So I gave up on that and went ahead and painted the whole thing white. When I started sanding, I really liked the brown edges, so I ended up doing more than I originally planned.
And this is how it looks in their bedroom. I love it. It really compliments their bedspread and their wall color. (The bedspread color is a little off in the picture. It is less candy-apple red in real life!)
I think it really gives a lot more character to the plain white look. I had more success sanding with firm strokes in ONE direction instead of going back and forth. I loved how the white sort-of chunked off in some parts, revealing even more brown.
Funny how one project always begets another....because now I am going to refinish this bench that is at the end of their bed to match the headboard. Now that I've gotten all the kinks worked out of the process, it should go smoother the second time around!