A pallet wood ceiling and its descendants

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Project by BusterBrown posted 346 days ago 2426 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


3588 posts in 2209 days

#1 posted 345 days ago

All fine projects BB.
Nice work !

-- Having fun...Eric

View Cater's profile


14 posts in 354 days

#2 posted 345 days ago

Nice work using the pallets and reclaimed wood.

-- Reclaimed Wood blog

View David LaBolle's profile

David LaBolle

199 posts in 1305 days

#3 posted 345 days ago

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


1923 posts in 1654 days

#4 posted 345 days ago

Wonderful use of great looking pallet wood

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#5 posted 345 days ago

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

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

View Marty Smoley's profile

Marty Smoley

174 posts in 353 days

#6 posted 345 days ago

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

-- Marty,

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 809 days

#7 posted 343 days ago

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

View BusterBrown's profile


23 posts in 449 days

#8 posted 343 days ago

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


1309 posts in 1442 days

#9 posted 343 days ago

I like !

View JoeinGa's profile


3181 posts in 641 days

#10 posted 342 days ago

Neat concept on the ceiling. Looks good!

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

View Knothead62's profile


2364 posts in 1595 days

#11 posted 342 days ago

Nice! Hooray for using recycled wood!

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