Tuesday, 15 November 2011


we've got a large open space in our living room. the room is shaped in such a way that all the furniture needs to go on the edge of the room, i know, it's a design no-no, but really we're not able to do much else. so the centre of the room needs something to fill it. i have a love of reclaimed things, (which is awkward when combined with my love for ikea) but rarely do i approve of the price tag associated with such items. so when i saw this on one of my favourite online shops i thought - i can do that...

and so began my obsession with pinterest and pallets. my pallet board is here. and i found some ideas i liked.

but how does one find a pallet?

firstly, i should say that pallets are pretty big, about nine square feet, so one wouldn't fit in our car. but when you start looking, suddenly pallets are everywhere. i've seen at least five in people's trash in the last couple of weeks. what is most fortunate is that we live down the street from a carpet warehouse (bizarre, i know, but that's london for you) and i was pretty sure if we asked nicely they'd let us have one. so i dispatched le boy one morning, and indeed, he was allowed to take his pick!

and this is what we started with.

it was in pretty good condition, considering it's former life as a warehouse storage item. but pallets are made from rough wood and have some not so nice parts (read: big splinters). i'll outline what we did but i didn't take step-by-step photos because, well, i wasn't planning on a tutorial and i'm a bad blogger and i had paint all over myself and it was cold and really we all know how to sand and paint, right?

pallet transformation:

materials needed:
wooden pallet
sandpaper (coarse and fine)
paint for interior wood & brushes
pre-painting wash solution


  • start by wiping down pallet with wash solution, we found some handy wipes at the hardware store, but even just rag with some water and vinegar would do the trick, allow to dry 
  • sand entire pallet with coarse sandpaper, this will take quite a bit of time, but is worth doing well so that you get a good finish 
  • wipe down again to get rid of all the dust (very very important!) 
  • paint your first coat and allow to dry. because the wood is untreated it sucks up quite a lot of paint, consequently we painted it on quite thickly - if you are going for a fully professional look it's better to do light coats and more of them, but i'm ok with (and indeed want) a slightly more rustic look, so as this gets used, i'll be happy for paint to chip etc. 
  • sand with light sandpaper (this allows the second coat to bind well to the first) 
  • paint second coat and allow to dry 
  • attach wheels, we used castors from ikea, 2/£10, easy to attach and they have brakes so the coffee table doesn't go flying across the room! 

total cost: £35

paint & supplies - £15
castors - £20 
pallet - free! 

pretty great savings. and i LOVE LOVE LOVE it. a lot. 

i'm linking up to take it on tuesday.


  1. ooohhhh...what a great idea!!!! I still haven't joined the Pinterest bandwagon, but ideas like this make me want to!! Love it!

  2. Such a fabulous idea! I'm so impressed, and it looks fantastic in your living room.

  3. What a great idea and it came out beautifully!!

  4. Fantastic. I love it. What a great idea. I might make one too! Maybe out of a beer crate. Found you through take it on Tuesday,

  5. Love it!! Looks great in your living room!! Thanks for sharing this idea. I've got a couple pallets in my basement that I haven't done anything with.

    Thank you for linking up to Take it on Tuesday!

  6. Not that you will have time to be on your feet, but I invested in a belt sander this summer (electric sander) and it changed my life in terms of re-doing furniture. And, they are really reasonable and so well worth the investment (mine was 20 US dollars!). So easy!

  7. Ooo, I will be making this! I love recycling! I noticed in one of your recent food pics that you were reusing jars... I do this and think it looks super! Very shabby chic (and French, for some reason). My current two loves are jam jars for yogurt pots, and a glass ketchup bottle for salad dressing.

    Re: the sand belt advice from Lindsay - I second that, such a useful tool for restyling old things.

  8. Love Pallets!
    I was just playing outside with the kids pallets.
    Please come to our parties: