Monday, November 2, 2015

DIY Pallet Bench

After 11 months of storing a pallet in our garage hoping to make it into a DIY project, we finally bit the bullet and made it into a bench for our front porch!

Click below for the tutorial!
  • Sawzall and hand saw
  • Wood screws (1 pack of 25): #14 x 2.5 inches 
  • Paint (I used leftover white wall paint)
  • Pallet
  • 2x4 wood 26 inches length (5 of them for the legs)
  • 2x4 wood 20 inches long (2 of them for the armrests)
  • Electric drill
  • Electric palm sander

Find a pallet. I successfully coaxed Andrew to help me carry it across the street to our house. This informatic shows which pallets are safe to use and which pallets contain toxic chemicals. 
Treatment Codes for Wood Pallets - Upcycle DIY Home Projects

Saw the pallet in half. One half will be the bench that you sit on, and the other half is the backing to lean against. I also cut off the middle plank of the seat (see arrows) because I wanted 2 planks in the backing and 2 planks in the seat. 

Saw four of the 2x4 pieces of wood 22 inches long for the four bench legs and 20 inches long for the two armrests.

Pre-drill holes and use the power drill to attach the 4 legs to the pallet. I attached the pallet to the legs at 18 inches from the ground.


Optional: Attach a 5th leg to the center of the bench. Andrew suggested (read: insisted) that we attach a 5th leg to the middle of the bench because it bowed under his weight. I initially had misgivings about having an odd number of bench legs, but after we attached it and tested out the bench with our weight, I was definitely glad that he recommended a the leg.

Attach the backing of the bench onto the posterior bench legs.

Attach the armrests to the legs.

Sand the bench. As a total newbie to carpentry I watched this video on how to attach sandpaper to a palm sander. I wore protective eyewear (big sunglasses) and a mask while sanding. Andrew has seen too many traumatic eye injuries in the ER!

Wash the pallet with a high-pressure hose and air-dry. It was actually kind of soothing to hose down the pallet wood and watch the grime, clay, and dust disappear. 

At this point you can prime the bench before painting, but I had a lot of white paint sitting around in my garage so I painted 3 coats without priming.

 I almost decided to just go with the natural wood color of the bench instead of white, but a friend pointed out that white would match my front door trim.

And here it is with all my potted succulents, cacti, and poinsettia plant that has survived since Christmas! I'm loving how the white bench fills in the entrance area next to the front door.