Before we moved into our home, our second and fourth kiddos fought over who got a pallet wall. The second won (at least first), because his room is bigger, and because he’s flying the nest sooner. (Thoughts on this parenting moment to follow.) I thought after our rapid-fire experience at building ours, others might benefit from the experience of how to build a pallet wall. I know we aren’t the first, but we love our final result, and I think the method we tried worked out well.
We scoured Pinterest for ideas, and this technique inspired our system. I wasn’t sure (and didn’t want to be overly concerned about) how much white wall would show through, so we used leftover paint from another room to prime the wall first. (It was a grey tone that I thought would “disappear” if it showed through between boards.) We were blessed by a selection of pallets already broken down by a youth group who used them for a retreat backdrop, and some of the boards had already been painted in a color scheme that coordinates the direction we were going with our decor.
Because we didn’t want to destroy our drywall for future use, we used strips of wood, nailed vertically for the full height of the wall, into the studs. Then we measured and cut the pallet wood to overlap the vertical strips, using just one nail in most places to secure the boards. In a couple spots, the wood didn’t quite reach to the next stud/strip. In this case, we actually did nail a couple boards directly into the drywall, anchoring them with the next board to go up.
Because I wanted to add dimension and color variety, we added a third layer with an additional board in several places. I think it adds to the “haphazard” nature of the wall. *Note: it’s important to make sure each row is made up of boards approximately the same width so you don’t go all wonky on the way down. Any – ahem – failure to do so can be disguised also by the random “third layer” boards.
(Hot, helpful husband optional, but definitely inspirational. Especially when you, ahem, tend to get all excited about a project and somewhere in the wee hours burn out, and need a partner-in-crime to rescue you. Also helpful when you’re the “creative type,” and need someone who believes in things like measuring and levels. Because, full disclosure: I was all “show my muscles, proud to use the nail gun and chop saw,” but 3/4 of the way through this wall, I went to bed, and my man picked up the slack for the strong finish. Hours before our sweet out-of-town guests arrived. Bless the man.)
I have seen many DIY’ers put in trim and really “finish” their walls, but we liked the look of the rustic edges, and the wall slightly overlapping the baseboard at the bottom. We’re super happy with the end result, and now we’ll probably have to consider doing a similar treatment for the next child in line.
Do you have frugal or fast ideas for using reclaimed wood, or for building a pallet wall?
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