DIY: Wood Pallet Tabletop

At first glance, this mid-century sofa table seemed like a great find …

woodpallettable_before… until I noticed the big hole and the awkward patch job.

DSC_0022

That would be a deal-breaker for most people–but not for me!

The more beat-up, banged-up or awkwardly patched up a piece of furniture is when I find it, the more determined I am to make it beautiful again.

Here’s how I upcycled this old table from hole-in-the-middle-ugly to rustic-chic using a trendy–and free!–material (and my dad’s power tools).

The hole had been patched from the bottom, but did not line up evenly with the tabletop. Instead, it left a crater where the tabletop dipped down into the patch. I thought I might be able to sand away the edges enough so the crater would disappear, blending the patched section into the rest of the tabletop when I painted it.

That didn’t work.

I went ahead and painted the entire table anyway in a color called Born on the 4th, the darkest shade of blue in American Paint Company’s rainbow of all-natural clay, chalk and mineral paints. Then I sealed the legs with American Paint Company wax.

Here’s what the table looked like at this point:

woodpallettable_APCbornon4thI decided that if I couldn’t camouflage the hole, I would cover it up instead. I knew just the material to use: an old wood pallet!

Wood pallets are really popular right now. They are being upcycled into everything from coffee tables to headboards to herb gardens. The wood is lightweight and–best of all–it is free. Check Craig’s List where businesses frequently give away used pallets or look for them near Dumpsters in industrial parks. (Personally, I draw the line at diving in!)

I happen to know where to find a huge stack of wood pallets right now–behind our shop, All Things New Again.

My dad has been collecting wood pallets all around town for the shop renovation. He cuts them apart and reinvents them for all kinds of new uses, including a basketweave wall, baseboards, and framing around the interior windows.

woodpalletsThe next step was to pack up the table and head to Leesburg.

I explained my idea to my dad, but I wasn’t sure how to achieve it. The tabletop measured approximately 18 inches by 44 1/2 inches. Wood pallets come in different sizes, but the pallets in my dad’s stash were averaging about 3 inches wide by 32 inches long.

We agreed it would be easier–and look great–to have the pallets overlap the table on all four sides instead of cutting them to an exact fit. My dad measured the table, jotted a few numbers on the back of an envelope and sketched out the design in less than five minutes. It was perfect!

We cut six boards at 30 inches and another six boards at 18 inches using a mitre saw.

woodpallettable_cutting

Then we arranged the boards on the tabletop in six rows. Each row has one long and one short board, but we alternated the pattern so the vertical seams do not line up exactly.

woodpallettable_layingoutpallets

Once the boards were in place, we secured them with my dad’s nail gun. This is a project that sounds really easy to do–and it was–because my dad had the right tools for the job. I would have been hammering away all afternoon, but with a few pa-ching, pa-chings of the nail gun, I was finished in just a few minutes. (Now I TOTALLY want my own nail gun for Christmas!)

Here’s what the table looked like at this point:

woodpallettable_tabletop

I took the table back home and sanded the tabletop again. It still is not perfectly smooth–it is pallet wood after all–but I knocked off some of the rougher edges. Next I stained the tabletop with a dark walnut stain followed by two coats of polyurethane.

Here is a close-up of the tabletop. I love the rich tones where the wood soaked up the stain in some spots and not in others.

woodpallettable_tabletopafter

Here is another closeup of the corner. Pallet wood has a lot of flaws, but that imperfection is all part of its rustic charm!

woodpallettable_closeup

And here is the finished table!

woodpallettable_final

What do you think? I created this wood pallet tabletop to cover up a huge flaw, but do you think it would look good on other pieces of furniture? Would you use a lighter or darker stain on the wood pallets? What color would you paint the base?

Please let us know your thoughts as we consider future projects for All Things New Again.

And if you try this project at home, please share a photo on our Facebook page. We would love to see how you do it!

Thank you!

~ Courtney

6 responses to “DIY: Wood Pallet Tabletop

  1. It looks perfect!
    I couldn’t realize the size of the table at first, so I wondered why don’t just take the patch away and make it a perfect little computer table – where all the cables can fit through the hole. But you made it look amazing anyway!

  2. Thank you! The hole looked like it was carefully cut. I believe that was the intent to make it a computer or tv table but it seemed like an awfully big hole for a few power cables. I’m glad you like what I did with it! Thanks for reading my blog! –Courtney

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