DIY a Wood Pallet Accent Wall

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  • 48-72 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 150-400
What You'll Need
Protective eye wear
80 Grit sand paper
Old rags
Stud finder
Outlet extensions

Wood walls have come a long way from the paneling of the '70s. One of the best things about this DIY project is that the material can be sourced for free by asking stores or searching around town for pallets. They give impressive results no matter how big your accent wall is.

Finding Your Pallets

Check with your local stores for leftover pallets that might be available to you at no cost. Each pallet will provide around ten boards that are about 3 feet long and 3 inches wide. This information will help you to calculate a rough estimate of the number of pallets you will need to fill your wall, along with your measurements for the space you want to outfit.

Cleaning Your Pallets

Wood pallets are used to transport a variety of items, so be sure to check through them before you take them home. Clean them carefully before your bring them into your house.

Disassembling Your Pallets

A sawzall will work better than a pry bar for separating the pallet pieces. The blade on this saw is great for cutting right through nails and getting the boards apart. It’s a good idea to get a friend to help you do the work. One person can hold down the boards while the other person operates the sawzall. Be sure to put on the necessary protective gear to prevent any possible injuries while you are working.

Sanding Your Boards

Once the boards from the pallets have been separated, smooth out the wood with your sander. Be careful to smooth off only the rough areas. You don't want to remove too much from the surface or else your boards will not have the desired rustic look.

Staining Your Boards

Visit the paint department of your local hardware or home improvement store and speak with a professional about your project to get the best stain product for your boards. Most stain products are available in a wide variety of color tones, making it possible to match almost any color scheme in your home. Read all of the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the stain before you begin the application process. Use your old rags to apply the stain. Be sure to apply the stain to all of the sides of the boards including the ends and edges. You can also try to find boards that are multicolored from their manufacturing process and leave them that way for an artistic touch.

Finding Your Wall Studs

Use a stud finder to locate all of the studs in your walls. You will need to secure the boards through the walls and into the studs. Use a pencil to mark the location of the studs on the walls.

Planning Your Installation

Lay out your boards on the floor and arrange them so that they will fit together well once you secure them to the wall. Stagger the boards so that ends do not line up vertically from one row to the next.

Extending Your Electric Outlets

Contact a local electrician about your project. Schedule an appointment to have your electrician extend the outlets out from the wall so that they will line up properly with the boards once they are installed.

Installing Your Boards

Use a level to draw lines onto the walls where you place the boards. Begin at the top of the wall. If you need to trim some of your boards to fit them at the end, it will be easier and look better if you do that at the bottom of the wall. Do not begin nailing a row until you are certain you have enough boards with the same width to finish it. Work from the left side of the wall and place the first board onto the line. Use a hammer and nail or nail gun to secure the first board to the wall. Once again, have a friend help you with the installation. One person can hold the board so that it is level while the other person secures it in place with nails. Continue the process until the first row of boards is attached and then work your way down the wall.

Photo Credit: Yortw