What is a Wall Cleat?
A wall cleat (or French cleat) is a tool that many people use to hang items on a wall or other vertical surface. Cleats give you the ability very easily to hang things securely on a wall while also giving you the freedom to “scoot” the item a bit side to side to get the perfect alignment or quickly switch up what you have hanging in that spot. They can be used for headboards, mirrors, wall art, you name it. If it needs to hang on a wall, you could probably use a wall cleat!
How to Make a Wall Cleat
Typically wall cleats are made by cutting a piece of dimensional lumber in half at an angle – usually 45 degrees. You can use anything from a sheet of plywood to a 2×4. You just want to make sure that whatever you use will have the structural integrity to hold the item you are hanging. We would recommend a 1×4 for a headboard so that you don’t have too much of a gap once the board is hung and you have plenty of surface area to secure the cleat onto the headboard. The Handy Man’s Daughter has a great tutorial here!
Don’t feel like making your own cleats? Check out these listings or message us for a custom set!
Here are the steps we would use to hang a headboard using wall cleats:
- First, you will want to measure your space to get an idea as to where you want the headboard to sit on the wall. Make sure that you know where other furniture in the room (i.e. bed, nightstands, wall sconces, etc.) will go around the headboard.
- Mark on the wall where you want to place the headboard (just the top is fine). This will help you line the board up when hanging and help you to transfer your measurements for the cleats onto the wall.
- Measure the distance from the top of the headboard to where you want the cleat on the headboard and mark that distance on the wall from your previous marking of the top of the board. This is where you will secure the cleat to the wall.
- Find and mark the studs in the wall using a stud finder. It is very important that a heavy, wall-mounted item is screwed into studs so that it does not damage your wall or the headboard.
- Secure one side of the cleat into the wall. Take a level and place it on top of the cleat to ensure that it is level on the wall before securing the other side. If your cleats are not level, there is a chance that the headboard will move overtime or your cleats will not line up with each other.
- Attach the other cleat to the headboard. Make sure that the cleats on the headboard are level and parallel to any other cleats on the headboard. A good trick for this is to place the second cleat on top of the one attached to the wall. Then, place a bit of glue or toothpaste on the back of the cleat that will attach to the headboard. Press the headboard against the cleats ensuring that you are lined up according to the marks you made on the wall. Carefully lift the headboard from the cleat attached to the wall. The glue or toothpaste should transfer to the cleat and be ready for you to drill pilot holes and secure it to the headboard with screws. Make sure you clean any residue off of the board and cleat before securing them together.
- Hang your headboard and make any adjustments. Your headboard should be secure on the wall! The longer the cleats used, the more room you will have to adjust the horizontal placement of the headboard.
- Celebrate! Take a photo and tag The Lumber Shack so that we can see the finished piece in action!
If you are in need of a slab for your headboard, check out our website for an extensive inventory of live edge slabs. We would love to help you achieve the space of your dreams!