Pallet Accent Wall

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Introduction: Pallet Accent Wall

I built this wall to add some warmth and character to a wall in my bedroom. It was fashioned out of pallets that I picked up at a local business that I buy my tools from. It was fairly simple to do, but be prepared as it is rather time consuming to take pallets apart without destroying the boards in the process.

Step 1: Find and Dismantle Pallets

This was actually the most difficult part of this project since I needed quite a few pallets to complete it. I found out that a local place that I buy a lot of tools from had a pile of them in their yard so I grabbed my trailer and brought them home. Obviously the amount you need will depend upon how big your wall is. Mine is about 8'x12' and I needed about 40 pallets.

Dismantling them is quite a labor intensive project. You can look all over the internet and find suggestions on how to do this. I found that a prybar and and hammer... with an occasional need for my reciprocating saw worked the best. It may not have been the fastest, but it was the most effective at removing the timber without breaking it.

Step 2: Straighten and Square Your Boards

Once you have your pallets dismantled, it's time to begin straightening them. You're going to want the boards in each row to be the same height. Keep in mind you don't need the each row on the wall to be the same height, row 1 could be 3 inches and row 2 could be 4 inches, but you don't want 3 and 4 inch boards in the same row or you'll wind up with some gaps.

To accomplish this I just used my table saw and rip fence. It takes 2 passes for each board. The boards are rarely straight, so I just placed the inside of the bow in the board against the fence and set the fence so it would cut off just enough of the board to make it straight, this is typically about the width of your saw blade, but really depends upon how badly the board you're working with is warped. You could use a jointer and planer for this, but this way will give you a good enough result with a lot less effort. For a project like this, good enough is probably better than you really need.

Once you have your boards straight it's just a matter of squaring the ends with your miter gauge. I cut different lengths off at this point so that the ends wouldn't line up when I put them up on the wall. It's pretty arbitrary, but you could make it into a science if you wanted to make a pattern or a shape of something.

Step 3: Put Up a Backer Board (Optional)

I decided to put up some 1/8" MDF in front of my drywall in case I ever wanted to remove this in the future. It's fairly straight forward, find your studs and put some screws in. I don't have any photos of this, but you can see it in the next step.

Step 4: Put Up Your Boards

Start at the top and work your way to the bottom. If your walls aren't the same height on both ends (mine had a difference of 1.5" from the left side to the right side), you'll be able to hide it better if you leave the the tapered cut on the bottom, especially if put some stuff in front of the wall... carpeting helps as well.

I used some construction adhesive on the backs of the boards and then a nail or two on each end to hold it in place so it wouldn't move as the glue dried.

I had some outlets located at the bottom of the wall that wanted to keep. I purchased some outlet extenders which essentially brings the outlet out to the new wall thickness. They can be purchased and any hardware store/orange or blue big box store.

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First Time Author Contest 2016

Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

Second Prize in the
Reclaimed Wood Contest 2016

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    37 Discussions

    0
    coolguy891
    coolguy891

    4 years ago

    If you like this please vote for it in the reclaimed wood contest. Thank you!

    0
    TysonDevlin
    TysonDevlin

    8 months ago on Introduction

    Going to do this In my daughters room. Thanks for the Inscrutable!

    0
    MarioL111
    MarioL111

    1 year ago

    It looks great, but I'm wondering about acoustics and sound quality with the new wall. Any thoughts?

    0
    coolguy891
    coolguy891

    Reply 1 year ago

    I didn't notice anything different between drywall and the boards.

    0
    Abuamer
    Abuamer

    4 years ago

    Love this and voted....thank you.

    0
    ty520
    ty520

    4 years ago

    I would offer one bit of advice:

    sometimes, the pallet wood can be pretty rough and snag your sheets.

    I opted to sand my pallet headboard

    0
    TomT35
    TomT35

    4 years ago

    The easiest way to get boards like this is to find a lumber mill that is making the boards for pallets. They use the cheapest trees available locally, often too small or the wrong species for commercial lumber. It is not kiln dried or planed, so the cost is comparatively low. I found a place that was cutting cherry and sycamore which made a nice alternating wainscotting.

    0
    ty520
    ty520

    Reply 4 years ago

    not many people will live near a mill.

    alternatively, you can often get the pallets for free from construction supply yards: especially brick yards. Just give some local places a call and ask if they have some available - sometimes they re-use them, but may be willing to give away ones that are getting too worn out to safely re-use again

    0
    coolguy891
    coolguy891

    Reply 4 years ago

    I'll have to look into this, I've built quite a few things from pallets and taking them apart is such a PITA.

    0
    ydlv
    ydlv

    Reply 4 years ago

    Now that is good info. I have been using pallets for the past 5 years around my property and it is almost impossible to dismantle them without breaking a few pieces. I just count the breakage in and really, in the end have resorted to using pallets in their entirety for this very reason. They make great flooring for the chicken coops and other structures that require a hardy base. I must say, pallets are quite well made for the most part and are the handiest shortcut for construction around the garden and backyard.

    0
    GabrielA122
    GabrielA122

    4 years ago

    Hi, you painted different shades of wood or simply went by the old state of wood?

    0
    coolguy891
    coolguy891

    Reply 4 years ago

    There was no painting or finishing of any kind in this project. I just put the wood up as I found it. I just alternated the weathering and wood types.

    0
    DIYwithCaitlin
    DIYwithCaitlin

    4 years ago

    This is beautiful! I really love it. Nice job!!! :D <3

    0
    DIYwithCaitlin
    DIYwithCaitlin

    Reply 4 years ago

    Also, voted!

    0
    coolguy891
    coolguy891

    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you for the compliment and the vote, I really apprecitate it

    0
    roger b
    roger b

    4 years ago

    All pallets have a stamp, check to see if it's been treated with pesticides before using in a living space.