Throw Away Chic: Council Clean-Out Headboard


Finished Headboard. Photography by Eclectic Kate

I’ve been searching for the perfect headboard for quite a while now and had been scouring Ebay for an upholstered version. I found this wicker one in a council clean out and it’s a project that cost me less than $30 to complete.

When we picked up the headboard it was in OK condition, the varnish had mostly worn off and it looked a little tired.

Found Headboard. Photography by Eclectic Kate

As I already had cane side tables in my bedroom I didn’t want it to be too matchy matchy so I decided to paint it out in white. I gave it a quick sand first and then used White Knight spray paint in gloss white. I didn’t use a primer so I would get a grey-ish, faintly mottled undertone.

It took three cans of paint to complete two coats and painting the cross-hatching was the most difficult part. I found if you paint in one direction on one side and the alternate direction on the other side you achieve a good finish.

Spray paint dries in 10-15 minutes so this is really a project you can complete in an afternoon.

Headboard half painted. Photography by Eclectic Kate

I’ve found a lot of great pieces during council clean out, here are my tips for optimising finds:

– Contact local councils for clean out days, they happen twice a year in most areas.

– The best areas are more affluent suburbs or suburbs going through rejuvenation i.e. older population leaving and newer one coming in

– make friends with someone who owns a ute

– speak to the owners of the furniture if possible. They may have more like it, or at least a story to tell. It’s also always nice if you ask if you can take something

– use gloves and watch for spiders, splinters and nails

– Look for items such as kids backyard toys, they’re often found in great condition, if a little sun-faded

– garden pots and picture frames are other good finds.

– look for sound structure and interesting shaped furniture. The more damage, the more cost it will to repair it. Sanding and painting is easy to do, reupholstering is a little harder as is fixing broken arms and legs

– Only pick up things you can use or have a place for and if the piece doesn’t work, put it out on your foot path for someone else to collect.

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3 thoughts on “Throw Away Chic: Council Clean-Out Headboard

  1. Chez says:

    Hi Katie, had one exactly the same as this about 10 years ago. It was white. Not sure what happened to it but I suspect it was one of my garage sale items.. If only I’d known you could have had it but then you would have been deprived of your exciting find. Love your tips and blogs and always look forward to the latest. xo

  2. THANKS CHEZ… it’s here to stay until I find an upholstered one that I like!

    • Chez says:

      Hi Katie, why don’t you make your own upholstered headboard. You’re so clever I’m sure you could do it. You might have to get someone to cut your timber to size but am sure either Dom or your Dad could do that for you. That way you could choose your own fabric and design. I’ve seen it done on those DIY programs and it doesn’t look that difficult. Maybe you could even convert the cane one with a touch of your marvellous flair and creativity. xo

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