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Can You Remove Paint From Pallets?

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Forum topic by wmgworks posted 09-22-2015 05:54 PM 1631 views 0 times favorited 34 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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wmgworks

193 posts in 445 days


09-22-2015 05:54 PM

I got this pallet at work today, but it’s got blue paint all over it. Is there any way to get the paint off? If I used it in a project I’d rather stain it than paint it so I’d like it as clean as possible. Of course, if I can’t I can always use it for jigs and other shop needs

Thanks!

-- Butchering wood since 2015


34 replies so far

View jkn09's profile

jkn09

49 posts in 774 days


#1 posted 09-22-2015 06:10 PM

I’ve learned that pallets aren’t typically coated in multiple layers of paint, so a random orbital sander with 60-grit paper does wonders. The end grain may not come off as easily, but I’ve had good luck with getting most of the paint off quickly this way.

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wmgworks

193 posts in 445 days


#2 posted 09-22-2015 08:25 PM

Great idea! My newbie woodworker brain was thinking about what strippers and chemicals I would need. Sanding it off is waaaaay easier!

-- Butchering wood since 2015

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Bill White

4448 posts in 3421 days


#3 posted 09-22-2015 08:39 PM

“waaaaay easier.”
Not! Use a stripper and a pressure washer. That’s WAAAAAY EASIER.
You’ll sand your brains out tryin’ to get the paint out of the pores of the wood. Paper, time, paper, more time.
Bill

-- bill@magraphics.us

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

2227 posts in 1907 days


#4 posted 09-22-2015 08:39 PM

As far as I know pallets are color coded based on their load bearing capacity, I remember blue and orange colors were regarded the best up here in Canada, they are the heavier and more expensive that the cheap light weight skids made out of scrap wood.

I believe you could remove that blue paint with brass wire brush followed with some light sanding. I just read Bill white’s post and he is probably right about using paint and varnish stripper,much easier.

-- Ken from Ontario, Canada

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AlaskaGuy

2406 posts in 1769 days


#5 posted 09-22-2015 08:40 PM

I’d find another pallet with out paint on it.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

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SignWave

316 posts in 2495 days


#6 posted 09-22-2015 08:41 PM

I’d use my cheap-o HF hand plane. Much faster, cheaper, and less messy than sanding.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

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wmgworks

193 posts in 445 days


#7 posted 09-22-2015 08:45 PM


“waaaaay easier.”
Not! Use a stripper and a pressure washer. That s WAAAAAY EASIER.
You ll sand your brains out tryin to get the paint out of the pores of the wood. Paper, time, paper, more time.
Bill

- Bill White

I don’t own a pressure washer unfortunately. Now that i look at them the paint doesn’t look to have penetrated the wood very much. A bit of sanding may get it. The end grain may be a bit harder though.

-- Butchering wood since 2015

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wmgworks

193 posts in 445 days


#8 posted 09-22-2015 08:47 PM



As far as I know pallets are color coded based on their load bearing capacity, I remember blue and orange colors were regarded the best up here in Canada, they are the heavier and more expensive that the cheap light weight skids made out of scrap wood.

That may be the case. I’m not sure. This pallet came from Costco and it was loaded with cases of water, soda, paper and other supplies

-- Butchering wood since 2015

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

316 posts in 2495 days


#9 posted 09-22-2015 08:48 PM

Just cut off the end grain.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

View wmgworks's profile

wmgworks

193 posts in 445 days


#10 posted 09-22-2015 08:49 PM



I d find another pallet with out paint on it.

- AlaskaGuy

It’s here. It’s free. I didn’t have to go hunting for it. And even if I can’t get it cleaned up I have several projects around the shop I could use it for

-- Butchering wood since 2015

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wmgworks

193 posts in 445 days


#11 posted 09-22-2015 08:50 PM


Just cut off the end grain.

- SignWave

Yep. Always an option. It isn’t painted very deep so I wouldn’t lose much

-- Butchering wood since 2015

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wmgworks

193 posts in 445 days


#12 posted 09-22-2015 09:16 PM



I d use my cheap-o HF hand plane. Much faster, cheaper, and less messy than sanding.

- SignWave

Another good option

-- Butchering wood since 2015

View MrUnix's profile (online now)

MrUnix

4204 posts in 1659 days


#13 posted 09-22-2015 09:42 PM

Just cut off the end grain.

Yep. Always an option. It isn t painted very deep so I wouldn t lose much

You are going to want to cut the ends anyway, unless you are working on something that will look really, really rustic :)

I usually pull off the planks, make sure there isn’t any nails or screws still hiding in them (using a little HF hand held metal detector), knock down most of the roughness with a belt sander and then clean them up and dimension them all the same using the jointer, planer and TS. Also, a pallet buster makes breaking them down much easier, although many people just use a circular saw to cut off the planks (resulting in shorter pieces, but less work and no nail holes).

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

View splatman's profile

splatman

557 posts in 859 days


#14 posted 09-23-2015 07:54 PM

Belt sander will make short work of all that paint. Plus, any dirt ground into the wood (especially on the bottom, which has had ground contact) will raise cane with your cutting tools, especially planer and jointer knives, so make sure you sand all that out before further processing. If you have (or have access to) a stationary sander, that’s even better.

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Rick M

7905 posts in 1840 days


#15 posted 09-23-2015 11:12 PM

Surprised no one mentioned it but the blue pallets are owned by a company that is not afraid of taking legal action, in fact they seem to relish it.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

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