DIY projects with pallets are always mega cannon, given their originality, simplicity, sustainability, and ecological commitment. The ideas of an outdoor pallet bar for the garden or a pallet patio as an extension of the house have thrilled you not long ago. Today, a close-up of a wooden pallet wall, the functions of which can be counted in the tens.
Why make a pallet wood wall?
When a wall seems quite mundane and boring, there are plenty of ways to instantly transform a room with an upholstered bedroom panel or a minimalist wooden wall panel. But how about if we focus on a pallet wood wall whose design is straightforward and inexpensive to DIY.
You’ve been scouring the internet to find out how to get enough pallets to build a pallet wood wall, and naturally, a bunch of questions has arisen in front of you. Where to find quality pallets? How many pallets will you need? How many trips to, how many places will you have to take to get the right number? How will you be able to transport them home? How will you be able to break them down without loss and without damaging them? Will all pallets be safe for home use?
Apparently, the answers will turn out to be clear at the free pallet collection locations. Most important is to find HT stamped pallets that are heat-treated rather than chemically.
Be warned that pallets are notorious for pesticides because they make long trips. So cleaning and sealing are essential.
What tools will you need to create a pallet wood wall?
You will need a crowbar for disassembly and a saw for cutting wood, a sanding pad and 100-150 grit sandpaper, work gloves, and safety glasses. A stud finder will also be essential, a drill, screws, fixing nails, and a nail gun.
How to clean and prepare pallet wood for DIY projects?
Pallet wood should be sanded to avoid splinters and cleaned thoroughly. You can use a pressure washer or a good brush with soapy water. After cleaning and rinsing the boards, allow them to dry before use.
Disassemble the pallet and, using a grinder with a metal cutting disc or hacksaw, cut the nails. You can also use a nail gun – but it’s much longer.
For wooden pallets to be good at work, it may require some sanding. Use 150-gram sandpaper with an orbital sander to sand the surface and edges so that debris is gone and the surface is smooth. The texture thus highlighted demonstrates the character of the wood, so long sanding is not necessary. Pallet boards that are ready to be attached to the wall should be dry and free of debris and dust.
Interior pallet wood wall: prepare the base
Hallway, study, living room, bedroom, even the bathroom are susceptible to pallet wood wall cladding. Either way, you want to infuse a natural vibe that won’t cut off the connection with the countryside and raw nature. We put on the pallets even for rustic weddings.
The hallway wall where you want to install the pallet boards is about 4 square meters. Not too big, so four whole pallets are enough for your DIY.
Before you begin, sand all the boards with 220 grit sandpaper for the safety of your loved ones. This way, you will smooth the material without fear of splinters to the touch. In addition, the pallets are not always perfect, and finally put on the wall, they will discover small gaps here and there, much to your disappointment.
To avoid wasting your efforts, paint the wall beforehand in black or brown, any color as long as it is dark. The dark color will make imperfections invisible.
How to install a pallet wall? – preliminary work
Prepare the wall where you will attach the pallet boards by removing everything. Move any furniture that is against the wall so that there is leeway to secure the boards. If you plan to mount the TV on a wall, attach the mounting block to the wall in the desired location.
A popular way to install a pallet wall is to screw 1 × 4 lumber to the wall studs first. The advantage is that you can use mounting nails and a nail gun to secure the pallet lumber to the 1 × 4s instead of screwing many pallet boards to the wall studs.
Fix the slats to the wall, which will serve as a basis for the subsequent fixing of the wooden cladding. Use self-tapping screws for the fasteners: 5 per meter will suffice.
Lay the channels for the wires if you are hanging the TV. Alternatively, you can lay plastic cable trays, after having previously placed the wire in them, for subsequent cables laying. It is more convenient to lay all the cables at this point!
Using self-tapping screws, start securing the slats of the pallets to the load-bearing boards. It will be enough to have 2 self-tapping screws in each connection of the board and the support. Do not try to line up the boards on the sides – you will cut off the excess after installation. Try to make sure that the boards do not have visible longitudinal slits, especially if the wall you are covering has a color that contrasts with the surface of the wood. Otherwise, the pallet wood wall will show the base and not create the desired effect.
Most likely, during the installation process, you will require a cut on the sides of the surface of the panels. Use a grinder with a wooden disc to remove any irregularities.
How to create a pallet wood wall in various colors?
If you want to have various wood planks in different colors, there are several ways to do it. The easiest way is to stain part of the wood. You can also leave the palettes in the sun. They will age in just a few days to a darker color.
The beauty of this cabin-inspired look is that the more distressed and damaged the planks, the better. After having dismantled each pallet slat using a crowbar, the nails must be removed and sanded. To fill a 3.5 x 2.5m wall, you will need about 17 pallets to make it happen. Remember to take waste into account, as some slats will inevitably be damaged in the process.
Once the slats are stripped and sanded, it’s time to prepare the wall for installation. Glue thin pieces of plywood to the wall, securing them with wood screws directly into the studs.
Place the first pallet slat at the top, in the center of the wall. Using a drill, screw each end of the slats to the wall with two to three screws. Repeat, working from the center outward, staggering each piece of wood.
Due to the unevenness of the wood of the pallet, not all parts fit perfectly. To avoid seeing random gaps in problem areas, stain the plywood behind the seams before attaching a wood slat over it to mask the gaps. The results are homogeneous and promising.
Building a pallet wall in industrial style in the bedroom
It would help if you had pallets, 2.54 x 5.08 cm, a table circular saw, a pin nailer, and a reciprocating saw for fans of the minimalist Scandinavian style. For an accent wall and a rustic look, you can also build a pallet headboard. Getting some color and breaking up the mundane appearance should be the goal of your DIY project. The necessary tools in order of importance are:
- Saw bench
- Reciprocating saw with a metal blade.
- Nail gun (usually air-operated, so you also need a compressor)
- Tape measure and pencil
- Stud detector
- 30 pallets
- Lots of pin nails
Follow the stages of the work
First, you need to find the studs on the wall. To erase everything on the wall and get a stud finder. (Interesting tip: If the stud finder doesn’t work, find a corner, then measure 16 “and 24” and check there. This is the usual distance between studs.) Put pencil marks on the wall. Try to put two marks at a good vertical distance from each other. These are for putting the nailers on the wall. Also, totally optional at this point, but pretty cool: find the vertical center of the wall at both ends, then tie a guide string. It will be handy later.
To install, cut the boards to the correct height, going from the baseboard to the ceiling. Just put them on the crampons. This gives you the best support just by using a nail gun, hammer, screw gun, glue, tape, or chewing gum. Make sure the (3.175cm) wood screws are level and properly spaced.
Arrange the boards according to the width. As you dismantle the pallets, you have probably noticed that the boards are not standardized. You have different widths, different lengths, and different thicknesses. Any thickness and length, but the width is to be taken into account.
If you use the crowbar, you risk breaking 85% of the boards. Unless you have a pallet breaker or are really good with this tool, don’t. To cut the nails between the boards, the saw is the best solution. If your saw is too large to cut the center nails, take a hammer and try to crack them.
Before you start sanding, check for nail heads in the path. This will pass but will dull your blade over time.
Secure the boards with a nail gun. Could you make sure they are tight and level? You can also use glue.
What can an exterior pallet wood wall be used for?
A pallet wall on the terrace or in the garden can have practical and aesthetic functions. Either as a DIY panel privacy screen and a garden decoration or made as a creative planter. Indoor or outdoor, the DIY steps don’t differentiate much.