DIY: How to Build a Pallet Wall

Pallet walls have been trending big time in the Project Nursery Gallery, which had me dreaming of endless design possibilities the moment my eye caught this eclectic wood-paneled inspired nursery.

So when it came time to create a big boy room for my little man Chase, I showed my husband Josh a few samples of pallet walls created by adventurous parents. Part of me thought there was no way Josh was going to agree to this. To my surprise, he took it as a challenge and jumped at the chance to make his own pallet wall. After two weekends of some serious elbow grease, we made it happen.

How to Make a Pallet Wall

It starts with the hunt for pallets. I’ve gotta admit that it was kind of a thrill driving around town and throwing abandoned pallets from the back of stores into the car. Some places charged five bucks per pallet while others said, please take them away!

Building a pallet wall

The beauty of this cabin-inspired look is that the more distressed and wrecked the boards, the better. My father was in town one weekend and helped with sanding down each board after Josh used a crowbar to disassemble each pallet slat and remove its many nails. I am not going to kid you—this part was crazy time consuming. We filled an 11 x 8 foot wall and required approximately seventeen (17) pallets to make it happen. You must remember to account for waste because some slats will inevitably get damaged in the process.

Once the slats are stripped and sanded, it’s time to prep the wall for installation. Adhere thin pieces of plywood to the wall by attaching them with wood screws directly into the studs.


Place the first pallet slat at the top, in the center of the wall. Using a drill, screw each end of the slats to the wall with two to three screws. Repeat, working from the center out, staggering each piece of wood.

Due to the unevenness of the pallet wood, not all pieces will perfectly match one another. To avoid seeing random gaps in trouble areas, simply stain the plywood behind the seams before securing a wood slat over it to disguise the gaps. The results are seamless, promise.


I think it’s important to note that we did not lay out the boards and plan in advance. I’ve seen other DIYers lay the boards out perfectly and number each one prior to assembly. Quite frankly, we didn’t have the patience for something like that.

Pallet Wall and Arrow Light.jpg

And in the end, my pallet wall dream became a reality in the form of an industrial-chic growing boy’s room.

Boys Pallet Wall Room

Check us out over at for sharing more pallet wall ideas.

Check out our roundup to see how wood accent walls look in a variety styles.

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  1. 1

    I love this!!!

  2. 2

    Cute…but not very safe. Used pallets are dangerous to use. Those that have been heat treated are generally used for food. They may contain food based diseases. I worked in a grocery store and saw everything from meat juice to rotten produce leaked on the pallets. Then there are pallets that are treated with chemicals. I know a woman who got arsenic poisoning from using these. Cutting and sanding bring all the bad that might be in used pallets into the air. I love the idea of reusing pallets but would never do it…especially in a child’s room. Not safe!

  3. 4

    sorry to burst your bubble….
    pallet wood is NOT free….it belongs to various companies that pay to have it made, use it to move their products….and someone steals it and
    then makes a profit by selling it as their own. The result is that ALL consumers pay more for products because of the thief.

  4. 5

    If you go on craigslist there are lots of people giving palettes away– they actually want people to come haul them away. Look under ‘free stuff’!

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