Introduction: DIY Pallet Sign
This Instructable walks you through making a pallet sign. You'll need a pallet (obvious right?) and a few basic tools.
Check out the full blog post at: https://woodshopmike.com/diy-pallet-sign/
- Drill (review here)
- Table Saw
- Reciprocating Saw (review here) or Prybar
- Wood/Metal Freud blade (this blade rocks!)
- Claw Hammer
- Countersink Bit
- 1/8″ Drill Bit (or something close)
- Detail Paint Brush
Affiliate links above are provided as a convenience to help you purchase items I used for this project. Purchasing through these links does not cost you a thing and supports woodshopmike.com by helping to fund future projects!
Step 1: Breaking Down a Pallet
My initial efforts of breaking down my pallet were less than fruitful. The approach of prying the boards off left me with a lot of split pieces of wood. So maybe don’t go this route…
What I ended up doing was using a reciprocating saw to cut through the nails that hold each board to the cross members.
Step 2: Layout
I didn't want this sign to be gigantic, so I picked just a few pieces from the stack to give me the look I was after.
To keep with the theme of rough pallet wood, I chose a piece for the top and bottom that was split and then a full width piece for the center. I played with the arrangement until I was happy with the look.
Step 3: Assembly
Before I screwed the pallet sign together, I broke out the sander and smoothed off the edges and sides of each board. Just a few quick passes with a 120 grit disc was all it needed.
I cut two strips from some extra pallet wood to roughly 1" wide and screwed each of the boards to them. I pre-drilled and countersunk the holes to prevent the screws from splitting the wood.
3/4" flat head screws were used to assemble this sign.
Once things were assembled, I hit the entire pallet sign with the sander. I only used 120 grit and gave it a scant sanding so that most of the "character" is retained.
Step 4: Stain + How to Hang
I used Minwax's Jacobean stain for this sign. I applied it liberally, and once the stain had soaked in for a few minutes I blotted the surfaces. This helped to create an uneven finish. After that, I followed up with the sander to remove some finish around the edges and across the surface.
There are a few ways you could hang this sign. I kept it cheap and simple by using fishing line tied through 1/8″ holes I drilled in the strips on the back.
Step 5: Graphic Transfer
There are many options for transferring your graphics, with the most popular being a vinyl overlay; I don't have the equipment for that so the method I chose was a graphite transfer.
Since I couldn't find my carbon transfer paper, I achieved this by rubbing the back of a paper print out with a pencil and then traced the pattern. With the design transferred I ready to paint the logo. You can barely see the outline I had to follow here.
Step 6: Paint!
I used some detail brushes from my wife's painting supplies (with permission, of course) to do the lettering. I used Behr paint that was color matched to Benjamin Moore's Simply White.
Let me say that while I'm very meticulous and detail oriented, this kind of painting is not my forte. The texture of the boards didn't play well with my lack of paint brush mastery. But by the end of painting the word "process" I was into a rhythm of accepting "good enough" and "that doesn't look half bad."
This project wasn't too difficult and I think it turned out great!
Thanks for reading y'all! If you want to see more content like, find me across the web!
Blog - www.woodshopmike.com
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