How to Prepare Used Wood Pallets For DIY Projects

5 July 2016
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Wood pallets are excellent materials for DIY and crafts projects. They are appealing to DIYers as they are cheap, easy to obtain, and simple to use. You can easily transform their look just by painting them. Before working with wood pallets, especially the used ones, it is essential to prepare them. Doing so will ensure that the pallets are viable and safe for use in your DIY project. Here are some of the essential steps you should take when preparing wood pallets for use.

Sort and inspect

Not all wood pallets are suitable for use in DIY home projects. Pallets that have been used before should be sorted to select the ones that are viable. Follow these tips:

•    Avoid pallets previously used to transport and store food and perishables. Such pallets may be loaded with bacteria. Avoid any pallets that show signs of the presence of dangerous contaminants which could be harmful to your health.

•    Inspect the pallets to ensure they are not rotten or molded.

•    Look out for pallets which have an HT mark for heat treatment. They are usually kiln dried and are suitable for use.

•    Look for any other marks of stamps which indicate what the pallets were used for, and whether they had been subjected to any chemical treatments. Depending on the application, you may want to avoid from chemically treated chemical, for example, if you want to make a coffee table.

Disassemble the pallets

Once you find the ideal pallets, disassemble them, making sure not to damage the surface of the wood. Also, ensure you do not get splinters as you work. You can use any DIY tools that you are skilled with, such as a hammer, crowbar, or a jigsaw and other power tools. Start by loosening and removing the nails, then work on separating the pieces of wood.

Cleaning and sanding

Pallets are rough, and you may need to sand them to level the surface. You can use a hand or electric sander, whichever is available in your workshop. After the wood's surface is smooth, you need to clean it. Depending on the previous application, it may contain material residue, for example, pallets used in construction may have cement residue. Use water, non-soap detergent, and a scrub sponge.

Priming and painting

Porous pallets can make your paint job look uneven; therefore, they should be primed to achieve an even finish. However, if you are going for a rustic look, you can skip the priming. Ensure that the wood is dry and the surface is not oily.

Wood pallets are cheap options for simple DIY projects. Once you have prepped your wood, you can get down to creating the beautiful furniture or another decorative item you have in mind.