There has been a lot of buzz about reclaimed wood and pallet furniture going around on Pinterest lately, and I have been excited to get my hands on some pallets and see what all the craze is about. The first project I wanted to do was create a simple headboard for my apartment bedroom. As you may have already seen here, my apartment has white textured walls and in order to make a cozy space I needed to add color as well as more visual interest.
My goal with this project was to not spend any additional money, and I also wanted a piece that I wouldn’t feel bad trashing once I moved out of my apartment. A pallet is the perfect fit because you can find tons of them for free, and by upcycling them they are already getting an extended life.
To begin any pallet project you need to make sure they are safe to use. This post helped me learn what the different markings on a pallet meant, and which markings meant a pallet was unsafe to use. Below is a picture of the stamp on my pallet:
The label marking on the left side is the stamp of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) and this stamp means the pallet is up to the IPPC’s standards (read the linked post above for more details). The upper right marking MX 1255 is the country code (Mexico) followed by the registration number of the supplier. Below that HT means the pallet was heat treated opposed to MB – being treated with Methyl Bromide. Do not use pallets with an MB stamp!
After making sure my pallet was safe to use I began using a palm sander to smooth out the pallet. Using that thing didn’t last long! I’m not sure if there was something wrong with it or I’m just a weakling, but it was bouncing all over and made my hand tingle way too much. So instead I decided to switch over to the good old fashion non-electric sanding block. A headboard doesn’t need to be baby butt smooth either, so a regular sanding block worked just fine. I sanded it just enough to make sure I wouldn’t get any slivers. This is how my pallet looked to start:
To add color to my pallet I decided to use leftover Howard Restor-A-Finish in Dark Walnut from this project instead of buying a stain. To apply the finish you can just use an old rag or use steel wool. Fine steel wool is typically used to buff out scratches in wood that is being restored, but I used it in this project since I had quite a bit of it and I didn’t know if the Restor-A-Finish would stain my rag or not. We don’t have a lot of crappy rags around our house and I didn’t want to risk it ;).
Above is a close up of the contrast between the wood with finish and without. I really like how the finish emphasized the grain in the wood which will add visual interest for my room.
You can especially see in the board on the right in the above picture that there are little holes and imperfections in the wood. I couldn’t really get into the holes with the steel wool pad, but I wanted all of the pallet to have finish on it so I used Q-tips dipped in the finish and got into the little crevices. it worked really well, but I went through quite a few Q-tips because the finish drained out of them really quickly.
Here is a farther back picture of the difference between with and without finish.
Here is the finished product up on my bed! This project was so simple I really could not have asked for it to go any smoother. To get it up here I pulled my mattress out a little, and realized the frame stayed put. At first I thought this would be a hassle since my bed is on risers but it actually made things a lot easier. All I had to do was set the headboard on top of my bed frame. Once I pushed my mattress back the pallet was still a little wobbly so I stuck two command strips on the back of each side to keep it held against the wall.
Now I will share some complimentary glamour shots 😉
As soon as I got the headboard up on my bed I was so giddy. I can’t believe how easy this project was and it looks great! I am obsessed with how the wood looks worn in some places, and it has a rustic barn feel to it. I have two more pallets at home and I already have ideas for them! Not sure how soon I’ll be able to tackle those projects, but I’m definitely excited to get started.
See You Around!
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