Not Your Grandma’s Ironing Board

DIY Ironing Board MakeoverAs a quilter, I iron A LOT. I had an ironing board, but it rocked back and forth whenever I used it. When I told my Mom I wanted to buy a new one, she insisted that I take the extra one that was collecting dust at her house. I reluctantly accepted, because although it was indeed sturdy, it was old…and ugly.

When I got my “new” old  ironing board home, I decided it needed a makeover.  Judging by the interesting shade of gold, I think it was probably older than I am. The cover was stained too, so  if I was going to paint the ironing board I figured I would take a stab at a new cover as well. Not being thrilled with the ones sold in the local store, I decided to get my craft on and look online. I knew I could find something good on Pinterest!

Here is what you’ll need to paint your ironing board:

  • One quart of your favorite Rust-Oleum paint
  • Paint brush
  • Stir stick
  • Drop Cloth

To get the color of paint that I wanted, I made a trip to my local Home Depot. You could use spray paint for your ironing board, but you’d likely need two cans to get good coverage. At that price, it was cheaper for me to buy the quart and have leftovers. I love the look of the Hammered line of Rust-Oleum paint. Also, hand painting the board was my best option so that I could do the makeover inside. It’s cold outside in my neck of the woods! I already had the brush and drop cloth on hand, so my cost at Home Depot was about $15 for the paint. Tip: If you do not already have a drop cloth, you can save big bucks by substituting a plastic table cloth from your local dollar store.

Grandma’s board looked like she forgot about the iron at some point because there was a rusty area on the top about the size and shape of an iron. I used a medium grit sandpaper on it to smooth it out a little. If you have rust on your board, the sanding job does not have to be perfect. The paint will do a good job of covering it up and will help keep it from rusting further. The picture on the right shows how the rust covered after just one coat of paint.

DIY Painting Old Ironing Board

When painting inside, make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Either open a window/door or turn on a ceiling fan to get the air moving. The paint I chose was potent, so I set up my work area in a large room with a ceiling fan in my basement. Don’t forget to put a drop cloth down to catch the paint that drips through the holes of the board.

DIY Sew A Ironing Board Cover

When you have finished painting the top of your ironing board, use your brush to rub in the excess paint that is on the underside so that it doesn’t glob up around the holes. You need to do the same when you paint the underside. I stood my board on its side to make painting the underside easier. By the way, when you are at this step you should put your hair in a pony tail if it’s long. Ask me how I know this…

DIY Sew A Ironing Board Cover

I chose to put one coat of paint on the top of the board and two on the underside and legs. Your mileage may vary depending on the type of paint you use.

I allowed my paint to dry overnight. I took the stir stick with me to the fabric store the next day so that I could find a fabric that looked good with the silver paint. Brilliant, right? I found a pretty black and white damask that coordinated perfectly. I did not have elastic on hand, so I was off to the notions aisle. I found that it was best to purchase the elastic from the bulk rolls to get the best price. Just take the box to the cut counter with your fabric when you are ready. I used a 50% coupon on the fabric, so the total cost for supplies there was about $10. Yay!

When I got home, I pre-washed my fabric and got to work on this great ironing board cover from How Does She – Iron In Style!

I just love how this project turned out. This is so much sturdier than the “T” leg ironing board I had before and the colors look great in my sewing space. For around $25, I got a custom look without the custom price and I’m proud to have done it myself.



  1. Barbara Bagley says

    Great job, Emily! Makes me wish I had my Mom’s old ironing board back.
    Love the fabric, so new style. I love to iron, so old-fashioned, but
    very rewarding.

  2. Chloe says

    I’m impressed that you kept the vertical pattern absolutely straight up and down. Not so easy with that irregularly shaped object that it’s covering. Bet it makes it much more fun to iron!

  3. Sarah says

    So fabulous, I just made a thrift store purchase of a heavy duty ironing board for under $2. I noticed the padding was dryrotting to the underside, but I bought it anyway. SO glad. Got it home, tore off three(!) damaged covers to get to the padding, and it was just the paper part on the bottom was rotten, it peeled off the frame easily. I took a scrub brush to the whole thing, some steel wool to the surface rust and I plan on spray-painting it watermelon pink and making my own pad and cover for it. A quick question though; would this pattern work well with a drawstring closure instead of elastic?

  4. connie says

    Thanks for this. I have the material already to redo my cover to match my craft room but never thought about painting my old ironing board first. You have inspired me for a total redo to my grandmothers ironing board.

  5. Ruth says

    I was worried that the rustoleum might bleed off on the cover when it was heated when steaming or fume. Did you have any problems long-term? You did a great job and I want to do this too!

    • Mom says

      I saw Emily’s made over ironing board recently and there was no problems with the rustoleum bleeding, Ruth.

  6. Mark says

    I was just wandering about online trying to find suggestions on painting an ironing board as I have my grandma’s and discovered today that it is rusted. I stumbled upon your site and have the same exact board as you in that lovely gold color!

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