Here's the original wood headboard. It has this strange decoration in the middle: a clam shell with vines surrounding it. The vines are growing honeysuckle flowers. It is interesting.
I couldn't decide if I wanted to paint it black or white, so I called my mom. She suggested white because of the scroll-like carvings and the more country vibe of the headboard, so I did what she said.
I took the mattress and box spring off and found a golf club, an ax, three empty water bottles, movie ticket stubs and a book. My husband is weird. That's his nightstand on the right side.
I bought a quart of paint and primer in one at the advice of my dad. Actually, he told me to Kilz it and then paint over it, but I was overwhelmed by the Kilz options so I went to my standby of Behr P + P in Heavy Cream, a more yellowy white, but not dingy.
And a closer view:
I had to wait for Aaron to get home to paint around the bottom of the bed frame, which is why it's unpainted if you look closely. It only took two coats, although if any of the dark wood bleeds through I have enough to go over it again. I like the satin finish, and I'm happy with how the ugly brown has been transformed.
Total cost: about $12 for a quart of paint and two hours total, but about a 45 minutes of labor. I let the first coat dry completely, painted the second coat, and then let it dry. We had brushes and obviously the headboard. Totally worth it to transform something that stuck out into something we can live with.