How to Install a Pallet Wall {Part 1}

by Chris on November 15, 2011

Thanks sooo much for the supportive response to my son’s when will this room be done still unfinished room! It’s by no means a difficult project to take on, but I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the quickest—unless you have no kids and no job, and a husband with no kids and no job.

pallet wall decor

Believe me when I say the internet (Pinterest, anyone?) provided lots of inspiration for this wall. However, when I saw this one…it. was. on. I drooled. I swooned. I knew it had to be mine.

pallet wall


~Disclaimer~ I know some of you are suspect about the whole pallet-turned-furniture/decor issue. That is just a hot mess that I’m not going to get into. If you don’t like it, that’s ok. If you like it, that’s ok too. Moving on…

Onto the tutorial… First things first. Do NOT pay for pallets. In my research, I actually had a couple of companies quote me for pallets. I now know how ridiculous that was because so many companies are looking to get rid of them.


how to build a pallet wall

The #1 question I had (that I could NOT get people to answer me about) is where to get them. I looked all over, and then I finally stuck my mom in the car with me to just drive around in an industrial part of our town. I think we’ve all got them-factories, shipping companies, etc. I drove up to a company that had a pile of them outside their building and asked them if I could have some. I’m pretty sure the guy said, “Take what you need. We’re always dumping them.” So I did.

I was only picky about two things. 1. I didn’t want any from a grocery store or landscaping place. The idea of food or pesticides was just more than I was willing to get into. 2. I found a bunch of pallets at a tombstone manufacturer. Two words: evil spirits. No joke. Creeped me out, I tell ya! 

pallet tutorial

The second most important question I had? HOW do you get these suckers apart?? I researched. I read. I watched Youtube videos on it. Let me make the work easy for you. Get a reciprocating saw and a hot husband. Stand back and take a picture of his muscles at work.

pallet tutorial

In all seriousness, that was the way to go. Some of the wood came off like buttah, some not so much. It was definitely a job I needed him for. To be honest, he needed me too! I had to hold the pallets still while he ran the saw through. While it was fairly easy, it took some time. Not all pallets were in good enough condition to be used. Some were warped, some didn’t have just the right stain, etc.

pallet diy

We tried to keep track of how many pallets we used, but it became impossible. I’d say we used around 20-25. Keep in mind that we didn’t use all the wood from each one, and there are several slats left over.

diy wood pallet

Once the pieces were removed, I laid them out on a work table to scrub down with a brush and sand, sand, sand. Be careful, though. Sometimes I was sanding the “aged” finish right off. I wanted them smoothed out, but the whole point in using the pallets was to get that rustic look. Again…lots of wood, so it took a minute.

wood pallet decor

When the wood was finally all prepped, I went through and stacked according to width. This is imperative. Don’t worry about color or shading at this point. Just get pieces that will run along the wall at the same height/level, and you can worry about placement according to shade later.

wood pallets

To see part 2 of how we built a pallet wall, click here! You can also see other updates I’ve made to the room here and here



Rachel Tatem November 15, 2011 at 8:07 am

That’s awesome! I don’t know that I would have ever thought to do that but it is great.

Lisa November 15, 2011 at 9:20 am

Looks great, it took a lot of work but the outcome is so worth it!

Kristen @ More Than Mulberries November 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

I LOVE THIS!!! It looks SO amazing. There is no way I would be that patient for this project, unless you come out to Utah and I will drive you around while we look for pallets. Then I might since that would be fun. The sanding? The cutting? What a pain, but the results look SO worth it! Amazing Chris! You are one talented lady!

Katie November 15, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I love this! Seriously, one of the best pallet projects I’ve seen. Your son is lucky to have such a cool room!

Skye @ Neathering Our Fest November 15, 2011 at 1:35 pm

I have about 12 pallets sitting in my backyard waiting for something to be done with them. i think this will be it! i love it! i can’t wait to see part two!!

ps – i hear you on the “hot hubby & reciprocating saw”. those things do not come apart easily!!

Janet November 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

This rocks out loud. Both my sons would love that wall in their rooms.
I love the cool tones in the pallet wood. Nice job pairing that with orange!

Becca November 15, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Oh, I just love it! Your son’s room was to die for!

Debbie November 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm

Looks fab, and you and your hubby are a great duo…..could I suggest one tiny, enormous thing?
Where’s the safety gear……no eye protection, and I see your hubby’s toes…..can’t tell about the ears….. I know, I know, I don’t like to wear stuff either, but I can be “klutzy” at times.
My hubby is a safety “geek” as his profession, and we hear and see all that happens to people with accidents. Next time……maybe?????

Stacy @ {share&} November 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm

That looks great! I’d love to tackle something like that.

Doylene Brents November 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm

That is so beautiful. I plan to show it to my husband. I would love it in my bathrooms.

Pamela Manes November 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Okay, you are amazing. Don’t think I will ever do this, only because I have the attention span of a gnat. Can’t wait to see your outcome.

Debbie November 15, 2011 at 7:37 pm

Absolutely awesome! Can’t wait to see the next part. Wonder if I could tackle this!!!

christine mcmasters November 15, 2011 at 8:15 pm

the real housewives of bucks county blog have a great pallet wall and some great ideas of what to do with the leftovers. Love yours as well

Lisa November 15, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Wowzers!!!! You’ve gotta have some serious energy for this one and I am impressed!! I LOVE how the wall turned out and I can’t believe how you transformed it with free wooden palettes. So cool that you saved all that wood and turned it into such awesome architectural detail in your home. Bravo!!

Kirsten November 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Very cool! I’d love to this at some point.

Kenya November 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm

I love it, and it’s not even on the wall yet!!!

Carrie November 16, 2011 at 4:27 pm

Maybe I’m being impatient, but I’d love to know if you treated or sealed the wood in any way. Any health concerns with not knowing the source/treatment of the wood?

Shirley Corwin November 16, 2011 at 6:49 pm

A great little tutorial you have goin’ there. Love it.

Barbara Grooms November 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

What a wonderful teen room redo. Jackson’s room is really cool! It went from a kid’s room, to a way cool teen room. Love the paint color you used with the pallets, good color combo’s. Plus you used his school colors too. He’s one lucky kid to have such a great mom. The ideas you come up with just knock my socks off. You did a great job Chris. This project was quite extensive and you really put in alot of effort. I like his bedroom furniture better this new color. Love you, Mom

kelly@refresheddesigns. November 16, 2011 at 9:01 pm

I LOVE a pallet wall. Repurposing and making something this beautiful at the same time is brilliant. So glad you are highlighting this and giving a tutorial. Thanks!

Lolly Jane November 16, 2011 at 11:18 pm

love love love!

Tanya H. November 19, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Woohoo on help from the hubs!

lindsay December 1, 2011 at 3:46 am

Wonderful idea… but please do check that your pallets have not been chemically treated or fumigated for insects/fungus etc.. Or have been used to store/carry toxic materials. These pallet boards have the potential to out-gasss in your own home atmosphere. Go ahead and do this great make-over but be careful.

pallet supply March 15, 2012 at 9:52 am

wow it’s such a good idea, it looks BEAUTIFUL on this wall!

Chris March 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Thank you!!

Gwen Eversole May 24, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I love it!!! I also saw your inspiration wall and fell in love. It’s rustic but clean. Great job you and hubby did!!! Can’t wait for the 2nd part!!!

Doris Schmucker June 29, 2012 at 10:42 am

Please finish your description of the installation of the wooden pallets to the wall! You did a great job and it looks beautiful!!!!

Chris June 29, 2012 at 2:41 pm
LauraC71 September 12, 2012 at 9:42 pm

LOVE IT!!! I saw your wall and had to visit your blog. Great job!

Chris September 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Oh, thank you, Laura! So nice of you to stop by!

LauraC71 September 14, 2012 at 7:23 am

Oh! I just realized I didn’t say where I saw your wall! In BHG! Congratulations on the story by the way. :)

Nancy September 21, 2012 at 3:46 pm

I saw you in the new BHG that came today and that you’re practically a neighbor. :-) Nice job on the wall and congrats, neighbor! How exciting for you!

Chris September 21, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Thank you, Nancy! And yes…looks like we’re pretty close to each other!! Enjoy the fall weather we have coming. :)

Letty Hill October 8, 2012 at 1:24 am

Wow, I feel in love with the wall as soon as I seen it in the Better Homes and Garden mag. I am going to do my dining room wall next year some time. I found quite a few places close to my home in Phila, Pa. area that offers them free. Thanks to for free stuff. One thing I am worried about after reading different comments on wood pallets is how do u treat it to be safe from any type of infestation or germs lurking inside the wood?? Any info. will be appreciated. THANK YOU!

David November 7, 2012 at 10:56 am

Excellent idea i must say,in the right setting it really does create and ideal texture.
I really like the way the bedroom has been coordinated and also the headboard
fits in nicely.

kim November 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

I saw you in BH&G a few months ago, after having your blog tagged because I too wanted a pallet wall. Mine is finally complete and it is even better than I dreamed. Thnaks so much for your step by step instruction. My bedroom wall is so gorgeous I now wish I would have done it in my frontroom so everyone can enjoy it! Thanks again for teaching me how to do it.

Chris November 15, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Oh I’m so glad, Kim! That’s great news! I hope it was pretty easy for you too! We just love it. Thanks again!

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