Painting a metal headboard requires paint remover, a sanding implement, primer, coating and either spray paint or another type of paint put into an aerosol can. Paint the headboard in a well-ventilated area. Wear safety glasses, a ventilator mask and gloves. Work on each side separately, allowing the headboard to dry before turning it over.
Disassemble the headboard
Remove the headboard from the bed and take out any screws or decorations.
Apply paint remover
Cover one side of the headboard with paint remover. In addition to removing older layers of paint, the paint remover also removes dirt and grime to provide an even surface for the new coat. Allow the remover to sit for half an hour and then remove it gently to avoid scratching the metal. Repeat the process on the other side.
Sand the metal
Using a sander, even out any remaining rough spots on the metal.
Prepare the surface with a primer
Applying primer also helps even out the surface. Apply it carefully to avoid pooling.
Spray on the paint
Paint the headboard by holding the spray about a foot away from the surface. Fix any drips as they occur.
Finish with a clear spray coat
After the paint has completely dried, apply a final clear coat to protect the painted metal.