Pallet Wood Furniture and Feature Walls
Using wood from pallets for furniture and feature walls has been a Pinterest and Youtube rage for some time now. It is often seen as a way to save money and being environmentally friendly. I love old wood and a sucker for a rustic look, however, before you start tearing apart pallets and building that awesome piece of furniture there are a few things to consider.
The number one issue with pallets is that it is almost impossible to know where they have been and what they have been used for. Avoiding pallets that have mold or toxic contamination is paramount to your health and safety, particularly if you intend to leave the wood raw (not seal it). The same is true of barn wood and salvaged wood in general. You need to take safety precautions such as dust control when working with the wood. When in doubt, wearing a respirator is always a good idea. So before you mount that pallet on the wall to hold your dishes, make sure it isn’t going to make you sick.
That said, once pallet wood is cleaned up, it can be beautiful in its rustic charm. You never know when you will find some delightful hardwood too. A couple further cautions are warranted. Inspect the wood carefully for cracks and nasty splinters. When disassembling a pallet, make sure you remove all the nails or cut the wood clear of them. Circular saws and nails do not get along. A reciprocating saw with a nail cutting blade is a good alternative for the initial tear down. If you want the nail holes left, take your time with a crowbar. Wear safety gloves and eye protection…always wear safety glasses.
Bottom line, be creative. Reuse. Be nice to the environment. Save some money. Most of all, be safe doing it.