A pallet wood ceiling and its descendants

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Project by BusterBrown posted 09-18-2013 03:35 AM 5888 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife wanted a barn wood style ceiling in her studio. There aren’t any old barns nearby so we broke down a punch of pallets and distressed some new fenceposts to create the same effect. The contractors assisting us with that project grossly overestimated the amount of material needed so I have a mini lumberyard of pallet wood. I’ve used it in a few ‘upcylcing’ projects.

The first is small shelf the previous owner left on our porch. The shelves were decomposing MDF covered in tattered vinyl but the frame seemed salvageable. I resurfaced the frame and built new shelves from pallet boards.

The second is a larger MDF shelf originally mounted on a bedroom wall and then banished to the garage. In this case I resurfaced the shelves and clad the ‘carcass’ in pallet boards. I also added a new top made from distressed pine boards. In the end it would have been easier to build a new unit from scratch but you never know how these things are going to turn out when you begin.

The last is a printer cart I build from ‘garbage’ wood. I used a reciprocating saw to cut nails when breaking down the pallets. It’s easy enough to tap the nail heads out of the boards but the cross members are left embedded with the nail shanks. I wondered if I could carefully cut around the nails and use some of these pieces. The answer is ‘yes’ but I don’t think I’ll try it again. Most of the nails are driven in at angles so you really don’t know where they are and I ended up hitting a few of them. Next time I’ll try prying the pallets apart when there’s something good like an oak cross piece I want to work with.

11 comments so far

View Woodwrecker's profile


3964 posts in 3120 days

#1 posted 09-18-2013 04:53 AM

All fine projects BB.
Nice work !

-- Eric, central Florida / Utor praemia operibus duris

View Cater's profile


14 posts in 1265 days

#2 posted 09-18-2013 04:59 AM

Nice work using the pallets and reclaimed wood.

-- Reclaimed Wood blog

View David LaBolle's profile

David LaBolle

207 posts in 2216 days

#3 posted 09-18-2013 06:29 AM

Try one of these for breaking down pallets.

-- When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for

View Hawaiilad's profile


2948 posts in 2565 days

#4 posted 09-18-2013 08:09 AM

Wonderful use of great looking pallet wood

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Ken90712's profile


17173 posts in 2733 days

#5 posted 09-18-2013 08:23 AM

Nice work using the pallets and reclaimed wood always a great save…..

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 1264 days

#6 posted 09-18-2013 12:44 PM

All very nice. Love the ceiling and heavy duty table the most.

-- Marty, Ohio

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 1720 days

#7 posted 09-20-2013 07:47 PM

Wow! You make pallets look good. They are great looking and functional projects. Great job!

View BusterBrown's profile


24 posts in 1359 days

#8 posted 09-20-2013 10:11 PM

Thanks for all the kind words. Working with reclaimed wood has really helped me learn about joinery, sanding, finishing and, perhaps most importantly, working through unforeseen challenges!

View cabmaker's profile


1520 posts in 2353 days

#9 posted 09-21-2013 01:10 AM

I like !

View JoeinGa's profile


7627 posts in 1551 days

#10 posted 09-21-2013 12:25 PM

Neat concept on the ceiling. Looks good!

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2505 days

#11 posted 09-21-2013 11:47 PM

Nice! Hooray for using recycled wood!

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