Dumpster Diving for a Headboard

Yup, that’s right.  I went “dumpster diving” for a new guest room headboard.  Well that’s sort of a lie… At our complex we have a semi-enclosure around the dumpsters & people place furniture they no longer want next to the trash, but inside this area.  I’m assuming the logic is, either someone will take it, or the garbage truck will pick it up.  Long story short, Andy calls this “Donating to the Universe”.  The Universal Donation Center has been very good to us over the last year of living here, but this has to be our best find yet!

Guest Room - Furniture Fixup Headboard - #thissarahloves

On Thursday I took Penelope out for a walk & noticed what could only be a West Elm headboard leaning up against the dumpster.  It looked like a twin & I knew there would be no way I could get it home, so we didn’t even look at it very closely.  When Andy came home we wandered back out there & decided to lug it home.  It was HEAVY (and definitely NOT a twin size)!  We got it home & after a little googling & measuring we realized it was the headboard piece of the West Elm Stria Bed & it was a queen size – exactly what we need for the guest room!

Guest Room - Furniture Fixup Headboard 3 - #thissarahloves

I can’t believe how great it looks in the guest room!  There’s just one little problem.  Notice the bulkhead above the bed?  Well that means the fabric covered canvas is too tall to be centered over the bed.  And the room looks ridiculously naked without something over the bed.  Oh the challenges of finding awesome free things. (That was sarcasm by the way).

Guest Room - Furniture Fixup Headboard 2 - #thissarahlovesThe headboard is a little beat up and it was FILTHY!  I literally swept it down with a broom while it was still outside & then scrubbed it with a magic eraser.  Grossness.  Unfortunately it’s also a little beat up in some places – there’s some split wood on the headboard itself & it got a little scraped up on the top and one of the sides (probably from being dragged across the cement pad at the trash enclosure by the original owners).

Guest Room - Furniture Fixup Headboard 4 - #thissarahloves

It looks fine with the pillows covering most of it, but I’d love to fix it up a little.  Apparently it’s made from old railway ties from India, so its supposed to look a little distressed, I just don’t want a guest getting a splinter!  I’ve thought about sanding and painting it navy blue, but I really like the richness of the wood, so perhaps a little sanding and some stain to re-seal everything instead.  Any advice? For now I’ll just look at my free-find and smile.

*Update*: I promise I will not paint this headboard.  It was a fleeting idea & as I mentioned above, I really love the richness of the wood.  Plus it’s real wood, so I have to respect that!

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41 thoughts on “Dumpster Diving for a Headboard

  1. That is gorgeous, and I’m 100% in agreement about your decision to leave the wood finish! I think everyone’s first inclination these days is to paint it, but that particular finish is perfect. Great find!

  2. Gorgeous! What a lucky find! So glad to hear you are not going to paint over that gorgeous wood. Stain might be slightly more work, but it will look so wonderful. Could you move your large canvas to an opposite wall and buy or make smaller frames for over the bed? Quite the dilemma!

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  7. Beautiful headboard. The fact that it is beat up and saved from entering a landfill is what makes it amazing. There’s a story and experience behind this piece, something you could not have said if you bought it from West Elm yourself. 🙂

  8. That is awesome, what a great find. Crazy that they were throwing it away. You’d think they’d at least try to sell it. I agree, don’t paint it, it is so beautiful as is.

    Manda @ Our Wolf Den

    • It’s like these people have never heard of Craigslist. And if you don’t want to use Craigslist, at least call Goodwill/Salvation Army to come pick it up. I’m sure they’d like to sell it!

    • It’s strange how the neighborhood can really have an impact on what you can find. We don’t have good garage sales around here, but I’m thinking I know what the problem is….

  9. I cannot believe you found that in a DUMPSTER! I love it just the way it is! Don’t paint it navy! 🙂 Also, did you make the fabric covered canvas above the bed? Because I really love that. Pass some of that crafty DIY gene my way, will ya? 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by Monday’s Nugget!!

    • Thanks Lana. And no worries, I’ve decided that I LOVE the wood in this room and I won’t let paint near it now.
      Yup, the fabric covered canvas is a DIY project. It’s a 36″ square canvas from the local art supply store (bought with a coupon of course!). The fabric I got in Sierra Leone and then I just stapled it on! I promise it’s super easy 🙂 The hard part is finding large scale print fabric for a reasonable price.
      Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Wow Shari – you are so lucky! It looks so nice in the room! [ek dink nie ek sal dit verf nie – die donker hout is pragtig! Laat vader Hennie kom afskuur, dis al! Of Andy!!! 😉 ]

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