Old metal headboards are often rough in appearance, with flaking paint, dents or dings, and patches of rust. The best way to refinish a metal headboard is to focus on planning so your new end will adhere properly. Metal headboards may be intricate in terms of detail and design, so removing old paint and rust may be tedious and time-consuming; but most folks can achieve this task themselves.

Safety First

Refinishing metal surfaces will make dust and flying metal particles and demands using products containing chemicals, so safety gear is required to protect yourself. Wear rubber gloves, safety goggles and a painter’s mask. You should also wear tight-fitting pants and shirts with long sleeves so the dust does not contact your own skin; a sturdy work apron is also a fantastic idea. If you guess that the headboard’s paint finish dates back to 1980 or before, it may contain lead, so ensure that your mask is labeled for use with lead paint. Work outside or in a place that’s closed off from children and pets, and cover the work area with plastic sheeting or drop cloths.

Removing Rust and Old Finishes

Disassemble the headboard if required and clean it with a mild detergent and water solution and a super-fine steel wool pad to remove residues such as oil, dirt and grease. Rinse with clean water and allow the headboard dry. Before you can refinish the metal, the aged finish and any rust patches must be taken off. Scrape off rust and loose paint with a wire brush. Be careful not to gouge the metal with the seams. Paint which can’t be scraped away may be taken out in a couple of ways. Heat guns may soften the paint so it is possible to scrape it from the headboard with a putty knife, but this can be cluttered and time-consuming. Two kinds of chemical paint strippers are available at most hardware shops. Nonmethylene paint strippers may be used indoors since they are less toxic than methylene forms. Strippers likewise don’t release lead into the atmosphere, so if the headboard is actually old, this is actually the safest way to remove the finish. Use the stripper and permit it a couple of minutes to soften the paint before wiping the metal with a rag to remove the paint.

Fix the Metal

When the end is eliminated, any harm and tenacious patches of rust will likely be evident. All these must be repaired before you apply your new end. Sand the whole headboard with fine-grit seams to eliminate remaining rust and to smooth the surface of the metal. Dents or holes in a metal headboard can be repaired by patching with automotive putty.

Prime and Paint

When the headboard is stripped of its old finish and rust, it needs to be primed so that your topcoat adheres properly and to prevent rust. Wash the stripped metal headboard with lacquer thinner to remove sanding dust, oils and other residues. These will inhibit adhesion if left on the metal. Wipe again using a cloth dampened with clean water and wipe dry with a clean rag or towel. Employ a primer formulated for use on metal, and apply a minumum of one coat using a paintbrush or a sprayer. Leave the primer to dry for at least 24 hours, and then apply at least two coats of a paint formulated for use on metal. These paints are usually formulated to inhibit rust, which ensures your headboard keeps its brand-new look.

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