I'd always wanted to create a project using pallets and found the opportunity to make one a couple years back. I needed a desk for the office and was disappointed in the lack of style and design in desks at retail stores. This gave me an opportunity to be creative, which l relish.
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Step 1: Sanding and Painting
The pallet was very old and some pieces were falling apart. I intended to take the pallet apart with the pry bar, but it was a lot of work and often broke pieces, so I switched to the Sawzall. I cut the bad pieces off boards and then laid the pieces out like a puzzle to see if I had enough usable pieces to complete the desk.Typically people have a design and measurements when they start, but I created my measurements as I went along based on how much desk top I had. Once I had the full measurements for the top I cut a piece of .75 plywood to sit under the pallet as a base.
I sanded each piece on the top and then started painting them different colors.I didn't worry about painting them perfectly and intentionally left spots without paint or light paint to give them the appearance of being aged.
Step 2: Staining
After painting I applied a Walnut stain on top of each piece and wiped if off immediately after. This gave the paint and wood the aged look after being sanded.
Step 3: Acrylic Top and Trim
The pieces of pallet wood weren't uniform in depth, so I decided to top the desk with an acrylic sheet. This made a nice, smooth, and easy to clean surface for working. I considered glass, but it's expensive and hard to get just the right size. The acrylic I used was about .25" thick and purchased at Lowes. They are able to assist in cutting the sheets while you're there, so keep this in mind if you don't want to pay for a cutter yourself. Once I had the full depth of the desk top including plywood, pallet and acrylic I chose the trim I wanted the nailed it to the plywood and 2x2's I braced around the under side of the desk with.
Step 4: Legs and Bracing
Next I determined the height I wanted and cut legs to that height, minus the depth of the 2x4's on the bottom. I also braced with boards between the legs for extra support. I used 2x2's for the legs and 2x4's for the bracing pieces. I liked the way it looked with smaller corner legs.
Step 5: Final Steps
I painted the legs and trim white and added a 2x4 along the back from side to side. Make sure everything is sanded well since people will touch it often and don't want splinters. Then sit back in your office chair and enjoy your hard work.