These days, our planet is greener than ever. By upping our recycling game, we’ve inspired resourceful innovation and spared wasteful landfills from tons and tons and tons of trash. One of the latest clever trends is building dining tables out of wooden pallets. Yes, despite a rough start—abandoned behind a building or ditched inside a dumpster—these tables are far from trashy. With a little elbow grease and ingenuity, salvaged pallets can be turned into chic, eclectic dining tables you’ll love to gather around. Just follow the simple steps below.
- One Large pallet
- One small pallet
- Sanding paper
- Cloth to apply varnish (or a paint brush)
- Table legs
- Nails and screws
Step 1 – Clean It Like You Mean It
First, remove any loose dirt (or dead bugs) from the entire pallet with a large, dry paintbrush. Any stubborn, stuck-on grime will need to be cleaned with a cloth. Remember, you’ll be eating on this!
Step 2 – Size It Up
Decide how big you want your table to be. You might need to use an electric saw to cut the pallet down to size. Or get out a handsaw for an added arm workout.
Step 3 – Fill In The Gaps
A lot of pallets have large gaps between the planks, so if that’s the case, you’ll need to fill them with extra planks from the smaller pallet. It’s okay if they don’t match perfectly—different colors and textures add interesting appeal. Once you’ve cut the extras to the proper size, nail them into place. Now your food won’t fall through to the floor.
Step 4 – Get Gritty With It
Start with a low grit sandpaper and sand, sand, sand until the entire pallet is smooth. Then up the grit and repeat to ensure it’s splinter-free.
Step 5 – Wipe It Good
Wipe the entire pallet with a wet cloth and let it dry completely.
Step 6 – Protect It
Apply varnish or heavy-duty matte polyurethane with a paintbrush to prevent future spills from soaking into the wood and spoiling all your good work.
Step 7 – Give It Legs To Stand On
Once it’s completely dry, turn your table over and attach your legs-of-choice (traditional, contemporary, with wheels?).
Step 8 – Enjoy It
Plan a special meal with friends or family and set your new table with a lovely centerpiece or flower arrangement. Then sit back and watch everyone admire it. Don’t you love a beautiful bargain you made yourself?