Building your own garden furniture from pallets is trendy, not expensive and, with a little craftsmanship, not too difficult. We explain what you need to pay attention to when making pallet furniture yourself and show inspirational examples for your own garden.
Reusing seemingly useless materials creates products that are as good as new: That’s “upcycling.” If you want to build garden furniture from pallets yourself, you create unique pieces of furniture with a very personal touch in an inexpensive and environmentally friendly way. If you want to buy pallets: Just google pallets for sale sydney, you should find a good selection there.
Garden furniture made of pallets in the form of benches, lounges and armchairs are popular, but with a little creativity many other pieces of furniture are conceivable. For example, have you ever heard of a raised bed made of pallets or a swing made of pallets? We will show you great implementations of them in this article.
Build your own garden furniture from pallets: The right preparation
What many do not know: In the “raw state” pallets are not suitable for living areas. On the one hand, wood splinters harbor a risk of injury that should not be underestimated, and on the other hand, it is more than difficult to get dust off untreated pallets. In addition, already used pallets are often scuffed or dirty and they can be full of moisture or brittle.
So, you should weigh up whether the amount of work is worth it for you because of the problems mentioned. However, if you have stable and dry pallets in front of you, nothing stands in the way of further work steps in the form of cleaning, sanding, painting and glazing.
Our tip: Make sure that your pallets have not stood permanently on a damp surface before processing. Pressed planks in particular do not like this because they soak up water and dry more slowly. As a result, they quickly become rotten and ensure that the wood around them also decays more quickly. Better: solid wood blocks
The right pallets for your pallet furniture
The most popular pallet shapes are Europool pallets and one-way pallets. The Europool pallets (short: Euro pallets) have a standardized uniform size (80 x 120 x 14.4 centimeters, 25 kilograms, load capacity of 1.5 tons) and are usually pre-treated. Due to this, they are most suitable for outdoor use. Disposable pallets are not standardized and due to their lower pollution level they are well suited for furniture in living areas.
You can purchase pallets at construction or supermarkets, garden centers, various construction companies or on classified ad portals. The average cost of a pallet is between 10 and 20 euros, with high-quality pallets up to 40 euros.
Our tip: Browse the Internet. There are always offers where pallets can be picked up by the customer free of charge. However, make sure that the wood is not too badly damaged or dirty.
Cleaning and sanding pallets
For those of you who have a pressure washer at home, cleaning pallets shouldn’t be much of a hassle. However, everyone else can get by with a root brush, enough water if necessary, and some scrubbing. If the pallet is only superficially dirty, a rough brushing is often enough. Allow the wood to dry completely.
Before you start sanding, check the surface for protruding nail heads, screw heads or other irregularities. Sand them off if necessary to avoid unnecessary damage to your sanding tool. Round off the angular edges slightly during the subsequent sanding process and smooth the remaining surfaces as best you can. This minimizes the risk of injury later from protruding wood splinters. Pay particular attention to the areas that will be directly accessible later. Use a brush attachment or an angle grinder for gaps or inside rough joints, as you won’t get far there with ordinary sandpaper.
Our tip: If you already know that you only want to use certain parts of a pallet, saw them to size before cleaning. This will save you a lot of time and effort in the coming steps.
Painting pallets weatherproof
The most popular color option to paint pallet furniture in the garden is in white or leave them in natural wood look. With proper pre-treatment, it is enough to paint the pallets twice. Please note that wall paint, wax and linseed & olive oil are not weatherproof and so are only suitable for indoor pallets. Use a paint brush for difficult places like cracks and angles that you can’t reach with a paint roller.
Our tip: Avoid latex paints or varnishes so the wood can still “breathe” under the paint.
After any paint treatment, you should also coat your pallets with a transparent, water-based outdoor wood stain to give them the best possible protection from outside elements. This includes natural weather conditions, as well as food stains. When glazing, be a bit too overcautious rather than too careless. After all, if moisture (and possibly dirt) seeps in even in one spot and cannot escape due to the otherwise applied glaze, the wood will become damp on the inside and will not be able to dry completely.
You can, of course, think about colored preservatives. But please take into account that if you use different types of wood in your furniture, that the appearance of your glazed surfaces may differ due to the different substrates and the applied thickness of the agent.
Tips for building pallet furniture
Building pallet furniture yourself can be done by (almost) anyone. From the beginning hobbyist to the professional. Usually all you need for building pallet furniture yourself is jigsaw, hammer and cordless screwdriver. Moreover, ready-made building instructions are rarely available – much more you need to rely on your own creativity and experience. But in this you should see the chance to be able to implement your very own ideas.
Below we have compiled some pallet furniture creations for your own inspiration.
Pallet bench and pallet lounge
Depending on how large your garden is, a pallet lounge could do very well and serve for wonderfully relaxing hours with your loved ones. However, for smaller gardens or if you want to put your craftsmanship to the test first, a pallet bench will do for starters.
Do you want a simple coffee table without much chichi? Then just round off its edges using sandpaper or a sanding machine. For the first rough sanding, you should use an 80 grit. The final sanding should then be done using a 120 grit.
Then coat the wood with transparent paint or glaze to protect it from external influences. This way you will have something from your pallet table in the garden for as long as possible.
Our tip: If you mount castors under your table, you can move it without much effort if necessary. It’s best to use swivel casters with locking brakes so it won’t move without you wanting it to.
What works for a pallet bench, of course, works for a pallet chair. Quite straightforward and classic was built the following armchair, which has an additional centrally placed piece of wood for seat weight reinforcement.