Monday, December 16, 2013

Upcycled Pallet Coffee Table

A few weeks ago when we first started sharing our sustainable adventures online, Priscilla posted a picture on Facebook of one of my favorite DIY projects that I completed a few years ago:

My upcycled pallet coffee table

I had wanted to change out our old coffee table for something with more storage for books, magazines, and our laptops.  After perusing the local thrift stores and not finding anything that would work, I figured I might have to DIY a table – enter: Pinterest. 

With lots of inspiration (er, pinspiration) I came across the following pix:
http://www.caisak.com/
http://3girls1apartment.blogspot.com/
http://design-shimmer.blogspot.com/

Swoon worthy, right?!

I told my ever-thrifty sidekick (aka: Priscilla) that I was in need of a few pallets.  A week or so later, three, free, dumpster-bound, now-salvaged pallets showed up at my door (that girl Priscilla has some mad skills!) 



I read a handful of “how-to’s” – but not being one to follow directions, I just used the pictures from Pinterest as a guide.

Because I wanted two levels (allowing for 8 shelves: four shelves on one side for me, four shelves on the other side for Mr. MacGyver – my husband) I used two pallets for the table and one for spare parts.

I flipped one pallet over (the base) and set another pallet on top of it (the top).  Of course, being pallets and not perfect – I had to fill in the missing spaces with the spare boards from the third pallet.

Once I had the whole table figured out, I pulled out my handy-dandy hand sander and began sanding (80 grit to 100 grit to 150 grit to 220 grit)…Lots and lots and lots of sanding. 

After all the pieces were smooth, I primed everything (top, bottom, sides, inside and out) with Zinsser Water-based Primer.  After all was dry, I went over all the knotty areas with primer again to seal them in (FYI: over time, the primer has not stopped the knots from bleeding through the paint which kinda bothers me so I may at some point research how to fix this problem).

A day later, I lightly sanded and wiped down all the pieces and painted two coats of white paint (not sure which white, brand, or finish…sorry).

When all the pieces were dry, I assembled the table and nailed it all together matching the original nail lines on the pallets.  Once assembled, I used my hand sander again to distress the edges and then wiped the whole thing with watered down brown acrylic paint (my own version of antiquing) and quickly wiped off the excess.  I wanted a rustic and worn look but not too dirty or dingy.

Before attaching the casters, I had to fasten two extra boards on the bottom (double decker style) to reinforce the area where the casters would go (pallet wood can be very brittle and weak - third picture below, note the hairline crack on the bottom pallet). Oh and I orderedthe locking casters from Amazon. 

When it was all assembled, antiqued, and dry, I applied a light coat of Deft (non-yellowing satin brushing lacquer) to the top and as far inside the shelf cubbies as possible.  It’s not the most eco-friendly product but I needed something that wouldn’t yellow over time and would hold up to the use and abuse of a daily-used coffee table (read: propped up feet, many-a-meals eaten here, TV remotes tossed around, mail collection piled up, etc. etc.).

Here a few more gratuitous shots of our beauty…













This was an easy enough upcycled project that has more than earned its keep in our home.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lots-o-love,

Lexie

134 comments:

  1. How did you nail the top and bottom pallets together ?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great question, Pam! Do you see the holes in the top piece of each end? I predrilled a hole going in on an angle and then used long decking screws to attach the top and bottom pieces. I thought about filling the holes with putty, but my husband pointed out that I wouldn't ever be able to unscrew them and take them apart if I needed to. I could/should get the little wooden hole caps to cover them at some point. Hope that answers your question and thanks for checking out our blog!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Where do you get pallets - I know you didn't but where does your friend go to find them?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Typically we find them behind grocery stores. We are always sure to ask the manager first before taking any though.

      Delete
    2. Try the Free section on Craigslist

      Delete
  4. This is a fantastic garage! I love all the unique storage solutions in it. Great idea for the Table .


    Heavy Duty Caster Wheel & Locking Casters


    ReplyDelete
  5. I love this table! My husband and I are in the process of buying our first home now. I saw your table on Pinterest and we fell in love. We used pallets at our wedding and still have a few left over. Now all I need is the yard to build it in!

    ReplyDelete
  6. how long did you leave the brown acrylic paint on before wiping the excess off? Just wanting to know since that sounds like a much simpler way to do it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a bit of a trial and error process, but typically I bush on the acrylic paint and then wipe it off a minute or two after. It also depends on the consistency of the mixture and how much water to paint ratio there is...the runnier it is, the longer you can leave it on. Sometimes I wipe off too much (or too soon) and have to do another layer. Also, it depends on how aged you want the piece to look - the more "stain" showing the dirtier and aged it will look. Good luck!

      Delete
  7. Do you think using gorilla like wood glue would be fine for attaching the tables together?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hello Lexie! My question is where were you able to purchase the Heavy Duty Caster Wheel & Locking Casters? Any assistance you could provide would be very helpful. Thank you in advance.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hello Lexie, I was wondering if you could please give me your email, I am writing an article and would love to use a picture of yours - obviously giving you credit and a link back. I will send you more detailed information to your email address (this is so the company that employees me has a record of correspondence). Thank you for your time!

    Best Regards,
    Falesha

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never made anything out of old pallets before. It looks like they can be very versatile, though. I especially like the table with the spot to put books underneath.

    Nora Moore | http://www.churchillpallets.com.au

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  11. Nice blog! Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful information... coffee table

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  12. Yes, these are all swoon worthy! I like the lighter colored pallets! I think that adding a glass on top would give it a nice finish! I love all the different things you can do with pallets! http://www.bramptonpallet.com/pallet_products.html

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  13. I had wanted to change out our old coffee table for something with more ... coffeeroomset.blogspot.com

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  14. Did you sand pallets before painting?

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  15. I had wanted to change out our old coffee table for something with more storage for books, magazines, and our laptops. After perusing the local ... ccoffeetables.blogspot.com

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  16. Curious, what do you use for end tables along with something like this?

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  17. We've by no means produced something out of older pallets ahead of. The item looks like they could be incredibly functional, even though. My partner and i specifically just like the stand with all the place to place textbooks under. woodworkingbuddy

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  21. we was established in 1997 as a pioneer in maklon pallet plastik in Indonesia & Asia. Ordinary wooden pallets create a lot of problems in the field. They are not durable, non-hygienic & they use too many trees.

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  22. So many darling ideas! I love the idea of taking a pallet, putting legs on it, and calling it good. It's so cute, and such a simple project. It would be fun to be able to paint it any color. It would be pretty easy to repaint it down the road, if I felt like changing it up a little bit.


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  23. wow coffee table with a white color is very cool, I liked it, especially the design looks vintage ... it gives a new color to my room, I would make it at home, thanks your article really helped me :)

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  28. what is the height of your coffee table? We just made and mine looks a little short? Please let me know...don't know if all pallets are same dimension. thanks!

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