How to Prepare Pallets For DIY Projects

Pallets are great for woodworking and DIY. They are usually free or very inexpensive, and they work well in numerous DIY projects. But make sure that you know how to prepare pallets properly – some pallets may not be suitable for DIY without some work.

How to Prepare Pallets For DIY Projects

Find out how to prepare pallets for use as furniture, shelves, decorations, décor, and more. You can get such a lot out of a simple pallet. But the first thing you need to do is make sure the pallet is safe and easy to work with.

Here are some tips for preparing pallets for use in any kind of DIY or woodworking project.

Choose the Right Type of Pallet

Many people believe that all pallets are exactly the same. But there are actually different kinds of pallets that are suitable for different purposes. Choose the right type of pallet in the first place in order to avoid problems. Check the types of pallets available and make sure that you choose the best for your project.


Choose a Safe Pallet

Pallets are used for transporting materials. Therefore, some pallets may be stained with materials that could be dangerous. Look the pallet over to see if there are any visible stains, spills, or patches of discoloration. Does the pallet smell strange, or like chemicals? It is best to choose a clean pallet without any staining. This will help avoid the possibility of coming into contact with dangerous chemicals. Check the pallet to see if there are any stamps or markings on the sides. Pallets that are marked with warnings are obviously not the best ones to choose. Pallets do not generally have marking if they are used to transport safe items. Avoid colored pallets as these may contain dangerous chemicals. Choose your pallets from a supplier that you know deals with safe, non-contaminated pallets. This will make your job a lot easier.

Prep Your Pallet: Removing Nails

Use a cat’s paw, a hammer and a pry bar to gently break apart a pallet into the components you need for woodworking. Use a nail punch to push the nails in if you are stuck with nails that you cannot remove easily without breaking the wood. If you cannot do this, and the nail will not budge, use a drill but to remove nails. Or, if all else fails, cut the wood so that the nails are attached to the discarded portion of the plank.How to Prepare Pallets For DIY Projects

Prep Your Pallet: Cutting, Shaping, and Sanding

Cut and shape your pallet pieces before you are ready to transform them into a new item. Shaping and sanding before assembly is much easier than trying to do it after you have constructed the item. Pallets are generally very rough so shaping and sanding takes some time. Pass the planks through a wood planer if you want the look of new wood. Or sand gently to retain some of the character of the natural pallet. Many people love the rustic look of pallets and try to retain it as much as possible. Use beeswax to prevent harmful splinters making an impact while keeping the natural look of the wood.  Sand your pallets outdoors in a well-ventilated space. Breathing dust can be harmful, so wear a mask. Use a hand planer instead of a sander if you want to avoid any dust problems.

Pallets are so versatile you can really use them to make a big difference to your projects. Make sure that you know how to prepare pallets, and then let your creativity run wild. Build furniture, shelves, and more – pallets are excellent for cost-effective DIY.

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