DIY Pallet Wall
Free Pallets for the New Pallet Wall
My uncle was in town for the weekend. So like any good niece, I asked him to help me on a pallet wall. I’ve wanted to do a pallet wall for a long time, so I did my research and found that many people said pallet walls were easy to do. However, I find that attitude to be misleading because for me, easy means done in a few hours. This project took far from a few hours.
First you have to find all the pallets. Once you have all the pallets then it’s time to get out a sawzall and get chopping. At first I actually tried to pull each pallet apart with a pry bar and hammer. If I didn’t figure out how to improve that process then this wall would not exist today. Pallets are no joke. They are put together to never come apart. My advice is to use a sawzall to cut right through the nails. You will get a system going and will improve in speed as you go. Just think, right when you are really getting good you will be done.
Next was sanding each board. My uncle and I inspected each side and marked the side of the board that would go against the wall with a big red X. After marking each board we began our noisy dusty task of sanding with 60-grit sandpaper. The goal is to get all the splinters smooth. Sanding also removes unwanted dirt and makes them look clean. Don’t sand too much! You don’t want to lose that awesome authentic look of each pallet board. These pallets have gone through so much travel and hardship to give you that cool worn-look that everybody loves, so don’t clean them up too much.
Once every board was sanded we decided to relax for the rest of the night.
My uncle was leaving the next morning, so I was now on my own to stain every single piece of wood. I bought a quart of dark and light stain. I also bought a gallon of clear satin polyurethane. Staining was tough to start because you need to try to come up with a plan to make the wall look uniform but at the same time unpredictable. After the first hour I knew which boards would get what stain. A lot of the oak pieces got the clear poly because it made those boards look rich and old. After each board was done they were laid out in the back yard for drying.
I used my finish nailer to put the pallet boards up. Pallet boards are not uniform in thickness or board width, so it can be a bit of a puzzle putting them up. I kept like-sizes together and used the table saw to trimm if I had to. I moved the outlet for the TV to a higher spot on the wall so I don’t have to look at cords. When you cut boards to fit around all of the outlets I suggest using a jigsaw. I had just enough boards to get the job done. Once the wall was complete, I decided to take some of the extra pallet wood to make a shelf for the DVD player and AppleTV to sit on.
I love how the pallet wall came out.