DIY Pallet Wood Wall for a Bathroom

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Here at Remodelaholic, we love projects that require little or no money to complete.  Better yet, if they use repurposed or reclaimed materials, we are all over that!  So, of course we can’t help but be excited by all the pallet wood projects we’ve been seeing lately.  Today’s guest blogger has one to show us:  a pallet wood wall in the bathroom.

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 1

We love the look of rustic wood, and we’re continually amazed by all of the different looks that we’ve seen coming from humble shipping pallets.  Here are a few of our favorites:

Design Dining and Diapers pallet wood media center

Media Center from Pallet Wood | Design, Dining + Diapers

Remodelaholic pallet ceiling

Pallet Ceiling | Maple Leaves and Sycamore Trees featured at Remodelaholic

Design by Heidi pallet headboard

Pallet Headboard | Home by Heidi

Remodelaholic pallet wall in nursery

Nursery Pallet Wall | Owen’s Olivia featured at Remodelaholic

Our Vintage Home Love pallet benches

Pallet Benches | Our Vintage Home Love

What we love about our guest blogger’s pallet wall is that she spent nothing on this project.  Everything she used was stuff that she already had on hand.  Impressive!  We also like the architectural interest this wall provides in a room that would be pretty ho-hum, otherwise.  Let’s take a look at how she did it.

Pallet Wood Wall

Submitted by Mandy Jean Chic

Hi!  I’m Mandy Jean.  I’m a law enforcement wife, mom to five “fur kids”, fashion loving, makeup wearing, 4×4 enthusiast, gun shooting, DIY project kinda girl.   We purchased our home in September of 2008. Yup.. that’s right… just before the real estate crash in Oct of 2008.  Regardless, we love our house!  We had our home built by DR. Horton.  It’s not the biggest house on the block but she is the fanciest, thanks to all of the hard work we’ve put into making her our own. 

During the 4 day weekend before Christmas hubby and I decided to tackle our 1/2 bath/water closet.  To add to the fun we decided to use only items and supplies we had laying around the house.  As renovators and DIYers know you always have extra paint and supplies.  After some thought we decided to use some pallets we collected from a 4×4 trip and create a focal wall.  

For this DIY you can use fence slats, barn wood, or old pallets.

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 1

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 2

Some rooms because of their size or general purpose can be a challenge to add that personal touch to. From the day we purchased our house we have been brainstorming ideas to of how to remove the mass-produced almost hospital feel in the water closet of our master bathroom. Some time back, when out on a 4×4 adventure, we came across some old pallets just thrown out. We decided to pick them up for two reasons. First it is simply not right for people to leave waste just tossed about but secondly, look at the character of this wood!  Who would toss this out? 
 

The hardest part of this project by far was taking the pallets apart without breaking them. Be sure to use your safety equipment, and try to save a few of the old nails to reuse to help the wall look authentic. Gloves and eye protection are a must for this project! 

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 3

You will need to find out the square footage of the wall you are going to cover. To do that you take the height and width of the wall in feet rounding up to the next foot and multiply them together. Then we laid out the boards and took measurements to ensure we had enough to cover the needed square footage for this project. Laying them out also gives you a chance to get an idea of how it will fit together.  

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 4

We painted the water closet before starting the wood project. You may need to do touch ups after your wood is on the wall because you will have some scratches here and there.  Also it is important to paint the wall behind the wood because in this application there will be cracks and gaps that add to the rustic look. We could have used different colors depending on what look we wanted to pull from the wood. A blue gray or silver would have enhanced the blues and grays common in sun bleached weather exposed wood. Browns can make the wood look more used but not as old. We used black to get the look of a space or emptiness behind the wall. No matter the color you go with it is important to use a flat to limit any shine, it should look like an old wood wall not a new shiny wall covered by old wood.   

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 5

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 6

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 7

Using a good adhesive (liquid nails) and a few of the old nails we started at the top and worked our way down. We liked the look of having the boards staggered in no real order. So with a jigsaw we cut some at different lengths. Being sure to pair up matching widths. Very few walls are perfectly square so length measurements were taken for each row as we went this is important because wall measurements can very from ceiling and floor level. You will find it is very possible that each row could be a different enough length to affect the final cut. It is also important to be thinking a few steps ahead and have your next few boards planned because some of the boards may not always be the same size (width and thickness). Thickness is not very critical in this application because changes in thickness will add more texture to the wall, however width is a little more important. If the next board you place is a lot wider or thinner than the one you are pairing it to the next row will have a very uneven gap. Some gaps look good but to large of a gap and it can look poorly thought out. If you are going to go with a staggered look keep in mind that a few full length or longer boards will add to the total stability of the project.

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 8

Once we reached about half way we changed direction and worked from the bottom up. The reason this was done was because we knew it would be a possibility that we would be cutting a board down the middle to fit the last gap, and by placing this thinner board behind a fixed object like the toilet it helps to blend it in with the surrounding boards. In the picture above both boards on top of the visible black wall and below it are cut 2 inches thinner than the others but because they are separated and distracted by the toilet it is not as noticeable as one board would be cut 4 inches thinner. The last boards were secured in place completing the wall. This took about six hours including painting and the dismantling of the pallets. 

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 9

Mandy Jean Chic pallet wall 10

If you have any questions regarding creating your own pallet wall please feel free to send us an email at mandyjeanchic@gmail.com or leave a comment below or on our facebook page. 
 
Love this look?  Click on the links before to check out more reclaimed wood projects we’ve featured.
Remodelaholic Pallet Collage

Comments

  1. Midsommarflicka says

    Oh, how I love such wooden walls. At some day in the future, I’l have one! ;)
    Love especially those, which are painted or only glazed in white. Darker wood can sometimes be really “heavy”, but in white it look so Nordic/Scandinavian – love that!

    Love, Midsommarflicka

  2. Lisa E says

    Absolutely love the look and the idea of using pallets, especially if they are just being thrown away. My only concern is the chemicals in the wood.

    • Mandy Jean says

      Thanks for liking our bathroom. Our pallets were branded “HT” which means heat treated. These (as far as we know but we are not experts) are not chemically treated. I would recommend looking for pallets that say “HT”

      Take Care,

      Mandy Jean

  3. Jay Harris 4 The Home Depot says

    A great project to really take advantage of re-purposing items that otherwise would have been thrown out. One persons trash is another persons trendy I guess we could say? = ) It looks great Mandy Jean, I’ll pin it up on our pin-board for our fans to take a look at!

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  5. Ann says

    Hi. I love the reclaimed wood wall shown here, and I have a question about preparing the pallets. My husband and I have a bunch of wood pallets that were exposed to the elements over several years, and we want to use them to panel the walls in our great room. Right now, the boards are a gorgeous light brown/gray with some really lovely, warm blue/gray tones on many boards. My husband is a very talented DIY guy and he says he thinks we need to seal the boards in some way–like with clear polyeurathane–so they don’t flake and get dusty in the future. But the poly, obviously, makes them darker and changes what I like best about them. What do you think? Can we just leave as is, or is there a way to seal them (or otherwise minimize the problems he’s concerned about) without changing their color and character? Thank you so much for any advice you can share.

    • Justin says

      Ann, I don’t know of any thing that could seal and keep the dry color. You might have to test some things or just go with the color change. I wish you luck!

    • Mandy Jean says

      Most sealers we tried for other projects in our house darkened the color. The only one that didn’t darken the color to dramatically was matte sealers.

      Hope this helped!
      Mandy Jean

  6. ivan says

    Hi there

    I really like the pallet wall that you have done.
    I have a similiar space in my apartment.maybe slightly wider.
    do u suggest that i cured and oiled the pallet first?
    and the wall behind my toilet is tiles so can i stick them on rather than nailing onto the tiles?
    Also, the gaps between each pieces, does it collect dust/spider webs so it needs to be well maintained?

    anyways, thanks in advance if you can give me some pointers.
    I am a newbie in diy. I have 3 projects lined up that i have yet to begin.

    • Mandy Jean says

      We didn’t cure of oil our pallets because they had such great patina but if you are using pallets that don’t have the deeper color or the color you want you may want to sand, paint, seal, etc before. It is easier to do this before you put them on the wall.

      We nailed our to the wall. I am not sure how you could attach them to tile. :( Maybe build a support and attach that to the wall. You could place your pallets on the support box?? I am not a contractor so that may or may not work.

      The gaps in the wood don’t collect much dust but I also wipe them down when I clean the bathroom with cloth. :)

  7. Karl says

    We are planning a similar project using fence pickets. Did you clean, sand power wash or seal the board in any way before using them? Thanks

    • Mandy Jean says

      Hi! We were fortunate that our pallets were in great condition and we just gave them a light wash. I would recommend sanding down any areas that are sharp and I wouldn’t power wash the wood. If you power wash the wood it may remove some of the patina.

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