Repurposed Mid-Century Modern Headboard Faux Fireplace

Would you believe this used to be a headboard? You know, the mid-century modern headboards with sliding doors on the top. When I saw that lovely stained glass peering from behind several other headboards at our local thrift store, I didn't see a headboard, what I saw was a fireplace and it had to come home with me.

It was a lot of work digging it out from behind that deep pile and it was a struggle fitting it into the trunk of our Ford Taurus sedan, but we managed it and I'm so glad we did because now it's a gorgeous repurposed mid-century modern headboard faux fireplace.

Repurposed MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace

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Repurposed Mid-Century Modern Headboard Faux Fireplace

To retain the vintage charm of the headboard I gave it a distressed finish with hints of the original color peering along the edges.

White Distressed Faux Fireplace

The sliding cubby doors are perfect for hiding media components if you were to hang a television above the fireplace.

Headboard Faux Fireplace Stained Glass Sliding Doors

We trimmed the old headboard to replicate the trim around the sliding doors.

Vintage Headboard Faux Fireplace

We installed a mirror in the fireplace opening to reflect whatever is displayed in front of it. For the photos, we used a trio of mid-century modern looking candleholders.

DIY Faux Fireplace With Mirrored Back

What can I display in the fireplace opening?

You could use candle holders like we did or several flameless candles at varying heights would be lovely too.

But then we had an idea for another option using real logs. Here is a link to the DIY Faux Fireplace Insert With Real Logs tutorial. Here are some readymade real log insert ideas as well.

DIY Faux Fireplace With Reg Log Insert

This is what the headboard looked like before...

Mid Century Modern Headboard Fireplace Before

Remember those? My sister and I had one similar growing up but without the pretty stained glass. She used to hide wads of chewing gum in the cubby on her side while mine was full of V.C. Andrews books.

Ahem...back to the fireplace.

And this is what the headboard looks like now...

Repurposed Vintage MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace

Here's how we made it

Step 1 - Build Fire Box

The first thing we did was mark the center opening on the front support and carefully cut it using a jigsaw. Next, we framed in the box using good one-side plywood and added a bottom plate the same width and depth as the existing top.

MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace Box

Step 2 - Decorative Trim

We added MDF trim to the front of the fireplace echoing the trim on the stained glass sliders, gluing it with wood glue and attaching it with a brad nailer.

MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace Wood Trim

Step 3 - Replace Backboard

Initially, we kept the original backboard behind the cubbies and added a piece to the back of the firebox. We changed our minds because I plan on selling this piece and wanted a finished look on the back. Instead, we added one large piece of 1/8" hardboard to cover the entire back.

MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace Back

Step 4 - Prime The Wood

Because of all the different wood finishes and to avoid sanding the original headboard, the fireplace was primed with my go-to primer.

MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace Primed

Step 5 - Paint

The headboard was painted with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in the color Old White. The edges were distressed to reveal the original wood underneath using a sanding block.

The paint was sealed with Annie Sloan Clear Wax. If the fireplace had a heat source, I would have used something like Tough Coat or Polycrylic to protect the finish because the wax would not withstand the heat.

Step 6 - Add A Mirror

We found a mirror that fit the opening perfectly for $17.00. To have something to support and glue the mirror onto, 2 x 2 lumber was attached to all four sides on the back of the firebox opening.

The mirror was glued using silicone. After it cured MDF trim was ripped on the table saw into 1 3/4" wide pieces to frame the front of the mirror and attached with construction adhesive.

MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace Mirrored Back

As you can see, it really wasn't that difficult to turn a Mid-Century Modern Headboard into a lovely Faux Fireplace. Because of its size, these make the perfect faux fireplace for a small living room, bedroom, or dining room.

MCM Headboard Faux Fireplace DIY

This wasn't my first faux fireplace rodeo, we built this DIY Faux Fireplace With Handy Storage from scratch for our daughter's home. We also made a Repurposed 80's Wall Unit To Built-In Fireplace.

Here are some more ideas for Repurposed Headboards that you may like.

If you have any questions about this headboard transformation, please leave them in the comment section below or press the Contact Me button at the top of the blog to drop me an email. I love hearing from you!

Repurposed Mid-Century Modern Headboard Faux Fireplace

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  1. This idea is awesome, Marie! I've never really had a vision for these, and have seen plenty on the side of the road. This is a great repurposing idea! Pinned!

  2. Thanks Lora! The stained glass sliding doors was my inspiration for the fireplace. I have another similiar headboard set waiting on the queue for Fall.

  3. I like your idea of turning the headboard into a fireplace. It is so cool.

    1. Thank you Debra! I was tickled pink with the results because it turned out better than I had envisioned. I was thrilled when a young family purchased it for their rental home to enjoy during the holidays.

  4. You did a beautiful job, It looks so much nicer as a fireplace. And your logs are gorgeous.

    1. Thank you very much, Anita! It sold really quick too. I'm on the hunt for another MCM headboard to do another.


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