Now all of you have seen pallets around the blog-osphere. You've probably seen them behind grocery stores...mini marts...in people's trash cans on garbage day. Why not pick these up rather than putting them in the land fill? You will have free scrap wood...BRIMMING with character and potential just waiting for you to unlock it. You could build shelves, frame out a cool piece of art, build your kids a fort, make benches for your deck, build a coffee table, etc. The possibilities are endless! Visit my Pallet Pinterest Board to see way more options for projects! I am kinda obsessed...I should just warn you before you click that link.... Ok so here's some more pics of my purty table. I'm gonna give you a VERY quick and VERY informal run down of my process.
Step 1-Leave pallet outside for about 6 months waiting for someone with tools to feel bad enough for you that they let you use them.
Step 2-Oooh and aaaah over all the extra rustic-ness that was added to the pallet from all the neglect.
Step 3-Take the bottom boards off the pallet frame. I used a crow bar and a large burly hammer. It really really helps if the pallet is wet by the way...makes the wood MUCH more pliable. I just put the tip of the crow bar between the base and the boards I wanted to remove and hammered it in a ways...and then just wiggled it up and down and back and forth until each board was free. SAVE THE NAILS that are in the pallet....all that rust will add MAJOR character to your piece of furniture.
Step 4-Once all the bottom boards are off you will be left with just the frame and boards on top. Most pallets have 3 or 4 (depending on the size of course) boards on top with fairly large spaces in between. I used the bottom boards that I had just removed...cut them in width so they fit in the gaps on top...and nailed them on (with my rusty nails of course...and some wood glue). I used a jig saw for this...and you'll want to too...you will most likely not be cutting a straight line. Pallets are not straight or square. You will have to just trim off a little at a time until you get the right width....but its worth it...they have SO much character!
Step 5- Once all your boards are on you'll need some legs. You could use whatever legs you want as long as they are the length you want but I wanted to use pallets for legs as well. I had another pallet that was kinda in pieces...and I used part of the frame cut into 4 equal pieces for the legs. The frame is made of 2/4's and is very sturdy so it worked great.
Step 6-Sand...sand....sand....oh...and sand! You will need to sand...did I mention that? Pallet wood is FULL of splinters and very rough...but once you get through all that yuck you find great wood underneath. I used about 8 sheets (yes FULL sheets) of 80 grit sandpaper and then a couple sheets of 220 to get the level of smoothness I wanted.
Step 7-Paint if desired. I opted to do a very subtle gray wash. A tablespoon of light gray paint mixed with about a 1/4 cup of water. Just slop it on and let it dry.
Step 8-Wax. I used Minwax plain furniture wax...and applied about 3 coats. Super smooth finish and has a nice sheen. WINNING. (Please tell me I'm not the only one that thinks of that when I hear the word SHEEN!!!)
This project took me two days to do but only because I couldn't work on it straight through without a couple toddlers needing me....and because I'm an EXTREMELY amateur power tool user. AND because I had to rip those friggin pallet boards off! That takes a while!
So this project cost me $0.00...a little time...a friend's power tools....that's it! Totally love how it turned out. I am on a furniture building kick now. I WILL be making a new dining table soon...stay tuned! Here's some more pics....
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