Pallet Board Wall

Remember back when I told you how to put a shelf on it and then said I'd be right back to tell you all about the wall I put said shelf on and then disappeared for, like, a month?   

Yeah, sorry about that.   

Guess what, though.  I didn't forget.  I'm finally back to tell you about that wall. 

It all started when I saw this picture on pinterest and the wheels in my head started turnin'.   You already know I love a good plank wall and all things distressed, so using old pallet boards on a plank wall was right up my alley.  I loved the muted colors in the wood in this picture and especially the grey undertones.  And it just so happened that we had a half bath that could use some sprucing up...


When I get an idea in my head that I'm really excited about, I develop a one-track mind and start moving full-steam ahead.  In less than 48 hours, I had a pile of pallets delivered to our house...for free!  Gotta love having connections.  :)  (Thanks, Kim!) 

Slight problem with the f-r-e-e pallets, though.  They were brand new.  As in, the wood wasn't worn at all.  They were also really, really rough.  So rough that I think I got a splinter just by looking at them.  So it wasn't going to be as easy as just taking them apart and slapping them up on the wall.  A little pre-work was required. 

My dad worked on pulling the pallets apart for me.  I pulled up at his house one Saturday just after he'd finished the first one.  It took him over an hour!  After watching some YouTube videos of how to correctly dismantle a pallet, we were able to hammer the other ones apart much faster.  Thank goodness or this project still may not be done!  

A couple Christmases ago, we gave my Dad a wood planer for his wood shop.  It doesn't get used very often, but this was the perfect project for it.  We were able to run all the pallet boards through it and turn them from incredibly rough to nice and smooth.  That made a HUGE difference.  I wasn't so sure we were going to be able to use the boards in their original state, so I was really glad running them through the planer worked. 

Even after smoothing them out, they were still brand new wood.  (In case you can't tell, I forgot to take "before" pictures of my pallets.)  I really wanted those grey undertones so I went shopping for some stain.  At Lowe's, I found a sunbleached stain by Rustoleum that was perfect!   My husband stepped up for the staining part.  (I'm quickly learning that I have to do a lot of sweet-talking to get projects done these days since someone always has to be on baby duty too.)  He put two coats of stain on all the boards and then we were finally ready to put them up in the bathroom!

I think it was the evening of July 3rd when we installed it.  I remember because we didn't have to work the next day (4th of July holiday) because we didn't really even start working on it until after I'd put Katie Wynn to bed for the night.  As we ate dinner, the three of us (me, Matt, Dad) talked through the plan.  We were pretty sure we were going to be able to remove the tank of the toilet but the leave the seat in place and still get the boards in behind it. 

We used liquid nails to glue the boards to the wall and then nailed them in with the nail gun too.  I think we were all really nervous when the first one went up.  It won't be pretty should we ever decide to pull these down!  It would probably require re-sheetrocking the wall so the boards are here to stay for a while! 

As the second board went up, Matt turned to me and said: 

When we got married, I didn’t really think we’d ever be standing in the bathroom together watching your Dad sit on the toilet.

Then shortly after he said that, I texted this picture to my mom.   No maintaining-three-feet-of-personal-space for this project!


After the first couple of boards were done, we really got into a groove and it started going up quickly.  My job was to cut the boards to length out in the garage (while fighting off mosquitoes and June bugs!)  and decide the pattern of the boards (we alternated between one full-length board across and two boards pieced together).  Matt then applied the liquid nails and then handed the board off to my Dad who nailed them in place.  All while never waking the baby.  :)


In the picture above on the far right, you can see that when we made it to the ceiling, we were left with a sliver of space too narrow for a full board.  We measured it out and then sent my Dad home to cut it to size on his table saw.  Waiting for him to come back was probably the longest part of the whole project and he only lives 5 minutes away!   

I guess I forgot to take a picture of just the wall by itself before putting a shelf on it.  Here's my side-by-side before and after pictures like the Pinterest inspiration above. 


It's been over two months now since we installed the pallet wall and I still love, love, love it!  More pictures of the complete bathroom redo coming next.  Promise.  :)