Custom wood headboard

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I am planning on creating a new headboard for my bed and have a couple of questions.

What is the correct wood type? I've seen different types on Selco and Wickes, but I'm not sure what the correct one is. Plywood seems the closest to what I need but I am not sure what the current material is either. The final finish will be gloss black.

The current headboard is 4.5cm thick. I can't find any wood with this thickness. Will it be a problem to use a smaller thickness? A smaller thickness would be ideal to maximise space in the room. The bed is a king size ottoman.
 
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18mm mdf will give a nice smooth finish if you want it simple and plain , your current if not solid timber will be hollow panel made like some doors.
 
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Thanks both. I'm going for something simple so it will be just a piece of wood cut to size and painted. I'll probably use a thicker piece of MDF to be closer to what it is there now, although I reckon most of that is to support the large storage space in the headboard itself. The new headboard will not have any storage
 
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As headboards usually sit against a wall you could an a 50mm rip cut of MDF to back edge , top and sides to give appearance of thicker material.
 
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