A pallet wood ceiling and its descendants

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Project by BusterBrown posted 308 days ago 2273 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


3559 posts in 2172 days

#1 posted 308 days ago

All fine projects BB.
Nice work !

-- Having fun...Eric

View Cater's profile


14 posts in 316 days

#2 posted 308 days ago

Nice work using the pallets and reclaimed wood.

-- Reclaimed Wood blog

View David LaBolle's profile

David LaBolle

199 posts in 1267 days

#3 posted 308 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


1860 posts in 1617 days

#4 posted 308 days ago

Wonderful use of great looking pallet wood

-- Larry in sunny and warm Hawaii,

View Ken90712's profile


14821 posts in 1785 days

#5 posted 308 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

156 posts in 316 days

#6 posted 308 days ago

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

-- Marty,

View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 772 days

#7 posted 305 days ago

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

View BusterBrown's profile


23 posts in 411 days

#8 posted 305 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


1282 posts in 1405 days

#9 posted 305 days ago

I like !

View JoeinGa's profile


3088 posts in 603 days

#10 posted 305 days ago

Neat concept on the ceiling. Looks good!

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

View Knothead62's profile


2342 posts in 1557 days

#11 posted 304 days ago

Nice! Hooray for using recycled wood!

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