18 Apr 2012

Project Pallet: Part 2

When we left you last time we had acquired the pallets, beat the crap out of them, and sanded all of the boards. If you need a memory refresher you can read Part 1 here.

The boards were looking good after the sanding but they didn't have as much character as we hoped they would (they must have been 'gently' used pallets).  To add a bit of depth we used old rags to rub Tunge Oil into each board.

Tunge Oil ASPTD

Apparently I only snapped a shot of the French side of the tin! For those of you reading outside of Canada, most things here have both French and English on them and I picked the wrong side. Anyhow, it says Minwax Tunge Oil on the English side.

The oil did exactly what we wanted it to; it enriched the tone of the wood and made it look just a little bit more sophisticated.

Oiled Pallet Boards ASPTD

Once all the boards were oiled we arranged them a bit like a jigsaw puzzle trying to find the boards that fit together the best and left the least amount of gaps.  Gaps were inevitable as the boards are pretty knotty and warped, but we didn't want any gaping holes.  

Once arranged we measured the total height and then used the saw to cut two more planks down to the right height to use as backing strips.  Then Mr. Swell got to pull out his air nailer (he's totally obsessed with it and will use any excuse to pull it out) to nail the boards onto the two backing strips. 

Nailing Pallet Boards ASPTD

This should really go without saying, but if you are new to an air nailer please be careful to make sure your hands are out of the way before you go on a nailing spree.

Here's how the back looked after all of the boards were nailed on:

Pallet Backing ASPTD

At this point I think just leaving it as is and hanging it on the wall would have been ok. We decided though that we'd like to be able to put some pictures and nic knacks on the wall as well, so we went about adding some shelves.

During the 'destruction of the pallet' phase we had a board split down the middle so it was too small for the backing, but would make a perfect shelf. We sawed the board (just eyeballed it, no exact measurements needed here) and decided where to place the 2 shelves.  Then ensued a lengthy debate on how to attach them.  If we had been thinking ahead, we would have sandwiched the shelves between the boards before nailing them onto the backing strips.  That way the boards could have just held the shelves in place. But, we weren't that smart. I didn't want to see any brackets, and glue wasn't going to be strong enough, so we finally decided to just nail them in on an angle and pray to the heavens that they would be strong enough. We picked out the two thickest boards from the backing (so that the shelves would have something to rest on) and then used way more nails than we probably needed to secure them.  

Pallet Shelves ASPTD

I sprayed the whole thing with a wood varnish to protect it and give it just a hint of sheen.

Rona Varnish - ASPTD

The last thing we needed was a way to hang this sucker.  We nailed on another little piece of plank at the top and attached a picture hanging strip.
Pallet Hanger ASPTD

Then it was ready to make its way into the house and adorn our wall.  

Pallet On Wall ASPTD

And get dressed up

Dressed Pallet ASPTD

Pallet Close Up ASPTD

Pallet 1 ASPTD

Pallet 3 ASPTD

Very happy that my butterfly pictures have a new home and don't look lost on the wall any longer.

Would you believe that it all started with a pallet laying in a lumber yard for free?

Update: 2 days after the pallet went up it feel down! Thankfully nothing broke, but the wall did get a bit banged up. It didn't have anything to do with our construction; it was the hanger that failed.  The little gold nails that came with the hanger strip weren't strong enough to hold the pallet. We've added another strip and used some longer nails and all is now good.

Linking to:
Not Just a Housewife
The Shabby Creek Cottage
Funky Junk Interiors


  1. Way cool!! Totally love it (:
    Please teach your daughter to be that creative so that in kindergarten it can rub off on Emily!

    1. Thank you. I just hope the girls get to go to Kindergarten together!

  2. Kelly - that looks awesome!!!

    1. Thanks Patrice. Hope all is well....

  3. Very interesting wall decor! Rustic-inspired.

  4. What an awesome idea, love it! Better add this to my list of projects :)

  5. I LOVE this! You guys did an amazing job with the finishing, too! Thanks so much for sharing this with us this week! Have a great weekend!

    Take care,


  6. Was thinking about doing something like this for a backdrop of some of my pieces! Now I am inspired. Your newest follower from Uncommon.

  7. Thank you for all of the lovely comments!

  8. Featured this tonight at our link party! stop by and grab a button! LOVELY!! ;)


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