DECOR & DIY, DIY, Home & Garden

DIY pallet wall – How we did it

You have all seen my white DIY pallet/shiplap wall in my bedroom right? You have now, since it’s my featured image! Haha! The rustic white wall contrasts so nicely against my beautiful (and comfy!) grey Coricraft upholstered headboard; I just love it so much!

Well, you wouldn’t believe the, um, differences in opinion and the changes that we went through to get here! So I thought that I would share a bit of the story, as well as how we did it!

I showed Hubs a few photos of clean, white shiplap and told him that this is what I wanted for the room. So, off Hubs goes and searches Gumtree to find some wood and, lucky him, he finds cheap wood on sale. That Friday afternoon (you will see that Friday afternoons are a theme here – he works until 1 pm on Fridays so sometimes uses that time to surprise me – sometimes it’s a good surprise and others…. not so good hahaha), off he goes and drives the 40 odd minutes to out to a farm in the middle of nowhere to buy the wood that we need. He called me on the way back, to tell me that he got a good deal on the wood and that he was on his way home with it. I was so excited!

When I got home, I found these piles of raw, roughly cut pallet wood boards lying on my stoep and I will admit, I was horrified! This was not at all what I wanted! This was not in line with the vision in my head!

When I told Hubs that this was not what I had in mind, he was surprised, because in his mind, it was exactly what I was looking for! I told him that he was talking nonsense and that I didn’t believe it, until I relooked at my Pinterest board…. most of my pins are of pallet walls. Oops! I had to accept it – I had communicated badly. He showed me how he would use it to create the look that I had in mind and I calmed down. I rearranged my vision. Everything would be okay.

Except it wasn’t. The next surprise…. Hubs wanted to char the wood with a blow torch and then seal it with a white mixed stain and sealer to create a rustic wood look. Ummm, what about the clean white look in my head??!! But, since it was his room too, I quickly got on board and rearranged the vision in my head for a second time. At this point, we installed the wall:

  1. Hubs measured out and cut the wood that we would need and I started the painstaking process of charring each board with the blow torch. It took forever, but I was determined to make it work!
  2. As I was charring the wood, Hubs started with the install. As all our walls are brick and plaster (this is how most homes in South Africa are built), we couldn’t just nail them into the wall, which is what most pinterest tutorials suggested we do. Hubs measured out where he was going to put the boards and then screwed battens into the plaster and brick, using wall screws with anchors, so that he had something to attach the boards to.

    DIY pallet wall - Sawdust and High Heels
    Hubs attached battens to the wall using wall screws and anchors; and then screwed the pallet wood into these battens. The purpose of the wall was to create a feature behind the bed as well as cover the wiring and piping to and from the aircon unit.
  3. Each board was cut to size, the longest being about 1.2 m, in order to create a staggered pattern on the wall.
  4. He then attached the boards to the battens, using screws.
  5. Once it was all done, it was a very dark, charred wall and I was panicking. Big time! Hubs then gave it a light sand with my trust little mouse sander, it looked better, but the dust! Oh the dust!!!

    DIY pallet wall 2 - Sawdust and High Heels
    The exact opposite of the picture that I had in my head! Help!!
  6. Then it was time for the painting/staining – this is where I stepped in again. I did the first coat, using Wondaseal wood stain & sealer in fresh white, followed by a light sand, and I quite liked the direction that it was taking.

    DIY pallet wall 3 - Sawdust and High Heels
    First coat of white followed by a light sand – I’m starting to like this look!
  7. I followed the first coat with another 2 coats of the Wondaseal, with light sanding in between, until I got to the look that I wanted. By the time I was done I was actually quite happy with the way that the wall turned out – it wasn’t the picture that I initially had in my head, but it was still beautiful, even though the edges still needed to be finished off.

    DIY pallet wall 4 - Sawdust and High Heels
    The rustic grey DIY pallet wall – I thought that it looked great!
DIY pallet wall 5 - Sawdust and High Heels
Look at that wood grain! Beautiful!

While all this was going on, I had ordered a headboard from Coricraft – a striking, comfortable headboard, upholstered in a beautiful light grey fabric. It took about 6 weeks from order date to collection date, so I was very excited to get it home and hung on the wall when they let me know it was ready! Hubs must have known, because we went to collect it with our trusty Land Rover Defender and he strapped the well-wrapped headboard to the top of the roof rack in the rain with not one word of complaint.

We got it home, I helped him get it off the Landy and we carried it up the stairs. He placed the screws where they needed to go, hung the headboard, and – taadaa – I could hardly see it 🙁 It blended so well with the wall, it looked terrible. I was heartbroken! I explained to Hubs that I had to paint his beautifully rustic, grey wall white, because the room couldn’t stay like that – it was just one big grey blob! Luckily he could see what I meant and agreed. So off came the headboard and I spent the next day painting the wall white. I didn’t even take any photos as I went, I just wanted to get it done! Thank goodness it was a long weekend, so I had the Monday to finish up.

DIY pallet wall 6 - Sawdust and High Heels
I love the grey against the white!

When I was done, I stepped back to admire my handiwork… And I loved it! Seriously loved it! The headboard hangs now proudly from it and just looks stunning! I also love that the wall is the perfect combination of Hubs and my visions for the room – he got his rustic and I got my white!

DIY pallet wall 12 - Sawdust and High Heels
We finished the wall off with quarter rounds in the corners, I like the way that it rounded the project off 😉

So that is my story, so many of our projects start out with one vision in mind (or two visions – mine and his!) and by the time we get to the end, the product is not at all what we imagined… It’s 100 times better!

DIY pallet wall 8 - Sawdust and High Heels
I love the texture that this wall adds to my room; now I just need to learn how to style a bed properly – I need more pillows! 🙂

What do you think? Do you have the same problem with different visions in your home, or is it just us?

9 thoughts on “DIY pallet wall – How we did it

  1. Beautiful! I really liked the grey rustic version but absolutely love the white and works so well with all the elements. Well done lovely, it really is beautiful!

    1. Haha I love that! Mine is a fitter and Turner so brings metal man glitter home with him all the time! Drives me nuts! At least if it’s made at home I know that there is a project on the go!

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