One of my favorite things we’ve done in our home, is build a pallet wall in our bedroom! Honestly, it really wasn’t that hard [in comparison to gutting our bathroom, ha ha]. It took us about 2 Saturday’s to do, and it only cost us about $20.
- Jig saw, reciprocating saw and if you want, a circular saw.
- Saddles & clamps (for said saws)
- 1 Box of Nails (we used 3″ nails)
- 2 Hammers
- 1-2 Sanders (hand or electric) & Masks
- 1 Can Polyurethane Sealer (we used the $10 in a spray can)
- We got ours for free from a neighbor and used about 12. Check to make sure they aren’t sprayed with pesticides. You can find a lot of businesses giving broken ones away for free (grocery stores/retail stores) or can search your local craigs list/ksl.com if you’re in Utah. You can also buy them, they’re just a bit pricy.
Step 1: Wash your wall!
Here’s a terrible iphone photo of our wall before. I like that it makes it look even worse than it was! [But it really was bad]
Step 2: Cut up pallets.
You can choose to do this however you’d like. On a pallet there are to bottom pieces and then about 4-5 pieces that go across them. You’ll use your reciprocating saw to cut through the nails. I would generally hold the pallet, and Brandon would use the saw. You find a little gap and go to town. Here’s a great youtube video clip on how to do this. [“The Fastest Way to Break Down a Pallet”]. This is what we did… except we were a lot slower. Apparently I don’t quite have the muscles that the guy in the movie clip does.
Hint: When cutting through, try to only cut the nails. It goes A LOT faster than if you’re sawing wood.
Step 3: Sand pallets
Yes, do this AFTER cutting. Some of the pallets will break during said cutting, and you’ll just have wasted time sanding unusable pieces. Some people are really intense about the sanding. We weren’t. We sanded each piece a little bit, and then started hammering them into the walls. After we were all done with the wall we took the electric sander over the whole wall. It was much more efficient.
Step 4: Group pallet pieces by WIDTH.
We alternated our rows by width. It makes it look a lot better, and takes a lot less sawing down of pieces.
Step 5: Put up the bottom row and the top row
This is the fun part! You finally get to start putting things on the wall! We did our very top row and very bottom row first so that if the pallets didn’t match up perfectly (which they didn’t), you couldn’t tell. We would put the wood on the ground (on the carpet) right next to the wall to see how many pieces we’d need/how it aligned. Then we’d cut off any extra. After that, it’s pretty simple: put the wood on the wall, hammer in the nails. We did about 2-3 nails per piece. [We didn’t want the wood falling on our faces as we slept, that would be troublesome.]
Step 6: Row by Row
Now you can start filling in the wall row by row. We would alternate the wood (width) on purpose so that every row didn’t match up perfectly. As we went along we’d trim pieces that were too wide, long, etc with the jigsaw or circular saw. When we got to the electrical outlet, we simply used the jigsaw to cut it so it fit. This part was pretty simple, it just took forever. We didn’t use a nail gun (apparently others have) but we didn’t mind.
Step 7: Fill in cracks
There were pieces of our wood that didn’t match up perfectly. We actually took broken pieces (like slivers) and shoved them in the holes. They haven’t fallen out, and they covered up some of those patches. Be creative!
Step 8: Sand and Spray
This is where we used the electric sander. We pretty much went over the whole thing, and smoothed it out. That being said, it is pallet wood so it will never be completely “smooth” like a table might be. But it’s smooth enough no one will get slivers if they accidentally rub up against it. Then use the polyurethane spray to seal the wood.