How to Prep Wooden Pallets for Outdoor Living Projects

1 June 2018
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

Using wooden pallets for DIY projects usually consists of indoor projects. When you work on these projects, there is usually little to no prep of the wooden pallet itself. This changes when you decide to move your pallet DIY to an outdoor living niche. If you have some outdoor living DIY pallet projects, here are the steps to take to prep the wood for the environment.

Remove Nails and Staples

The first thing you will need to do is look along the pallets for unnecessary nails and staples. Sometimes the wooden pallets have been used for multiple warehouse projects, loads, and services. This could mean that extra nails and staples were used for those specific loads. You will need to remove these to ensure that you get a smooth polished finished and that you are not snagging the nails on anything outside. If the nails or staples catch on anything outside, it may damage the area of the wood. This can lead to pests and water damage which can result in wood rot.

Sand Down the Wood

Sanding down the wood helps with the DIY project process. The first thing it does is ensure that there are no rough spots that can cause splintering. Splintering can cause damage to the finished project, but it can also cause harm to people who are using the finished project. For example, you may have a rough spot on the pallet. If it goes unsanded and is used for seating, it can splinter off onto hands or legs and cause painful injuries. To get an even smooth finish from the sanding process, consider using a hand sander with rough grade paper, followed by a softer grade to polish the wood.

Weatherseal the Wood

When you have an outdoor wood deck, patio, or other area you generally have it weather sealed in some way. This is usually done with a paint on or brush on water seal made specifically for wood. You will need to do this to the finished DIY project in order to keep it safe and ready for outdoor use. You can also find the water seal in a stained option to give the wood some color as well.

These are the basic steps to take in order to prep wooden pallets for outdoor living projects. Keep in mind that wood pallets may already be treated in some way. Make sure to ask the manufacturer if possible. If you can't receive confirmation on treatments done to the wood pallet, assume that none have been done and do them yourself.