How to Create A Pallet Board Wall-Tutorial

February 15, 2018

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Fearless DIY. Sharing building project tutorials and interior design tips. Let’s build something beautiful together. For more projects, design tips and behind the scenes, follow me @designtobuild.nicole

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Pallet Board Wall Tutorial

Last summer a friend of mine posted that he had a bunch of old pallet boards he was wanting to get rid of. He had big plans to turn them into a wall treatment, but time had gotten away from him and they were just taking up space. Having played around with pallet boards before, when I built an industrial farmhouse coffee table out of them, I jumped on the offer and knew they would come in handy at some point. And last week they did. I drug them down, from the top shelf I had stored them on in my garage, and went to work.

My mind is constantly reeling with ideas of what project I want to tackle next. I walk through my house and all I see is potential for new projects. Of course, I can’t start them all at once. So the next one on my docket was the short hallway that goes from our main living area to our kitchen. We have this small wall that I knew would be perfect for a unique wall treatment. I love adding board and batten and shiplap wall treatments, but I have never tried my hand at a pallet board wall treatment…

Blue wall with trim removed

As you can see in this picture, the trim is missing. I have been changing out all of my trim throughout my home to craftsman trim. It has been a long process, but I love the final look.



  • Pallet boards or barn wood
  • Miter saw
  • sander
  • nail gun
  • stain
  • paint


Measure your wall to determine how many boards you will need. (Knowing I had more than enough boards, I skipped this step. But, if you’re limited on your boards, you’ll definitely want to do this).


Sand boards. They don’t have to be super smooth. In fact, you’ll probably want to keep them somewhat rough, depending on the look you’re going for. The primary goal with sanding is to clean your boards. You’re getting rid of any dirt that may be on them…after all they are pallet boards. (Disclaimer: Make sure you choose pallet boards that are safe to use. There is a lot of information out there on how to determine if a pallet board is safe–be sure to do your research).

pallet boards with a Ridgid Orbital Sander on top

SAFETY FIRST: Even though you have chosen pallet boards that are safe to use, it is very important that you wear a mask when sanding and cutting your boards. 

Lady with a safety mask on to avoid breathing in sawdust


Clean boards. Of course all of that sanding creates a ton of dust. Be sure to wipe down your boards before starting the painting process. I like to make things as simple as possible for myself, so….I use a leaf blower to blow all of the dust off of my boards. Powerful, fast and works great!!

Pallet boards sanded and clean


Stain boards. Now you’re ready for the fun part. Be creative with this step. I wanted a variety in color for my boards. So, I alternated between 3 stains…I stained one board with General Finishes Java Gel Stain. The next board with GF Gray Gel Stain. The next board with GF Black Gel Stain. And Repeat…

Gel stains used on pallet boards

Pallet boards stained with General Finishes Gel Stain


Paint boards. If you want to just keep your boards stained and not add paint, then skip this step. Again be creative. I wanted to distress my boards a bit, so I dry brushed different colors on each board. My paint colors of choice for this project: Bungalow 47 Clawfoot Tub (off-white), Repurpose Paint Stone Age (gray), and Junk Gypsy Rebel Child (Black). I used these colors on all the boards very sparingly. It’s a good idea to use some of your pallet boards as scrap boards to test out different painting techniques.

Pallet boards stained and dry brushed

Pallet boards stained and dry brushed with chalk paint

Now you’re ready to apply the boards to your wall…



Start at the top left corner working your way to the end of the wall. Repeat this all the way down. NOTE: Cut your first board in half…the goal is to stagger your boards all the way down–so as not to line any of them up perfectly to one another…

Pallet board wall 1/4 of the way finished


Leave a thin gap horizontally as you work your way down the wall. For example, each row of boards should have a thin gap before starting the next row of boards.

Pallet board wall 1/2 way finished


Cut your bottom row boards to fit. Often times, your bottom row is going to be more narrow than your other rows…so you’ll need to rip these boards to make them fit. You can do this by using a table saw. Or if you don’t have access to a table saw, a jigsaw or circular saw will work well too. If you look closely in the picture below, you’ll see I have not yet done this step. Add it to my list. 🙂

This simple wall treatment adds so much character to any room…

White Mini Goldendoodle puppy sitting in a metal basket on top of blankets. In front of a pallet board wall


Of course an adorable puppy always adds a lot of cuteness too. 🙂 (After Harley’s photo shoot was over and I took her out of this basket, she kept trying to figure out a way to get back in the basket. Those blankets are pretty cozy. 🙂

I love how the pallet boards are not all flush to the wall. They have a lot of dimension, with some of them being thicker than others. This wall is definitely a conversation piece. I am very happy with how it turned out. 🙂

Pallet board wall treatment

In the above picture, you can see that I had another project going on too–I added a board and batten wall treatment in this hallway also. I love how the white walls kind of soften the pallet board wall…

Two white Goldendoodles in front of a pallet board wall. The smaller dog sitting on fuzzy blankets in a metal basket

My pups were extra photogenic on this photo shoot day, so I of course had to capitalize on that. 🙂

Here’s a view of the pallet board wall from the family room. It all flows together so nicely…

Family room view of the pallet board wall treatment

Such a fun wall!! I still need to do some shopping to find a sign or wall decor of some sort to display on the pallet board wall. Looking for something very simple. Since the wall itself is already the focal point, I don’t want to take away from that. But for now this vase will work…

Large turquoise glass vase sitting in front of pallet board wall

Until next time,

Happy Building!!

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