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Shabby Coffee Table Made from Pallets

Furniture made from pallets is a great DIY project. In addition, there is the charm of the imperfect surface in the shabby chic look. All of this can be done with paint, sandpaper and pallets so that it almost looks like the new coffee table has been behind it for many years.

Shabby chic doesn’t always have to be in pastel shades: with colors in brown, red or blue tones, such a piece of furniture goes particularly well with an industrial-style interior.

This is how the shabby chic look is created:

An individual coffee table can be created in just a few steps from two whole pallets, three colors and four castors. Euro pallets can be bought in hardware stores, but used pallets are also available from some dealers. They can look used, but they shouldn’t be broken! So that nothing wobbles or falls through on the table, the gaps between the individual boards are closed with strips.

Synthetic resin colored lacquer was used for the surface design. This viscous lacquer is opaque with normal use – if you only apply a little lacquer, the structure of the wood shines through. This creates opaque and more transparent areas, which has the effect of a chipped shabby paintwork. The alternative that is often shown: Sand down the opaque paint in places. The more paint jobs you do, the more time the project will take. With three colors you have to assume about two days. In this way, the coatings can dry properly overnight from the first day and final assembly can take place on the second day. Of course, the areas that will not be visible do not need to be painted.

Material and tool list:

  • Two Euro pallets (size approx. 120 x 80 cm)
  • Wooden strips
  • Four furniture castors, possibly two with brakes
  • (Synthetic resin) colored varnish and brush
  • Sandpaper and sanding block
  • Screws
  • Flat connector
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • Possibly. Grinding machine

Sanding pallets

Regardless of whether they are old or new: Euro pallets are mostly made of rough sawn material and have many protruding wood splinters. They have to go so that nobody gets hurt. In addition, sanded wood absorbs paint better. A sanding machine (here, for example, a multi-sander from Bosch) is particularly careful; narrow areas are best worked on manually with sandpaper. Then remove the wood dust from the pallets.

Tip: grinding makes a lot of dirt! This is a job that you do outside or in the workshop or garage if possible.

Surface painting

First color: Do not use a lot of color here, so that the structure of the wood can still be clearly seen in some places. The already prepared wooden strips, which will later be screwed into the spaces between the pallets, can already be primed.

Second color: after four to five hours the paint is dry enough for the second coat to follow. This time only apply paint in spots, which creates an uneven surface.

Third color: The third color can be used to set additional accents, including on the wooden strips. Ideally, these are already in their future place so that the color accents on the palette also extend over these intermediate pieces. Then let the wood dry overnight.

Screw the strips together

So that nothing can fall through the cracks, the matching wooden strips are screwed between the pallet boards.

Tip: It looks classy when you put a glass plate on it later. The price for this is expensive, but it also makes the table easier to maintain.

Connect pallets

Now the two Euro pallets are screwed to the “blocks” from the inside using several flat connectors.

Fasten rollers

Finally, screw the four rollers to the corners of the underside of the table. The rollers should match the weight of the two pallets and if possible two of them should have brakes – otherwise the table will roll around constantly. But it is also easy to move and transport.