Upcycling: Pallet Coat Rack Update

Last week I posted the first installment of my new Recurring Series, Upcycling, featuring the coat rack you see here to the right. Made from a reclaimed wooden shipping pallet, I found it via Shelterness.

Well, I managed to move from inspiration to implementation in what was almost certainly a new personal record for any endeavor other than blogging. In just five days, I took this idea, ran with it, scavenged a pallet, removed the bottom boards, cleaned it, primed it, painted it with dregs of varying age from our embarrassingly large store of paints from projects past, mounted the hooks (from Ikea, the only non-recycled items in the project), and, finally, mounted my new coat rack in the mudroom. (It should be noted that I was generously assisted in the painting and mounting phases by my wife, who was probably wondering what had gotten into me, but who also knew that she shouldn’t question the newfound productivity, else it might disappear as quickly as it arrived.)

Since I know you’re dying to see my finished product, here are two photos, and then I’ll finish up with some notes on the project that I think could be helpful to anyone else who might give the idea a try:

As promised, if you choose to attempt this at home…

  • Before you go pallet hunting, have an idea of what you want your pallet to look like and how big the space you plan to put it in is, since pallets come in many shapes and sizes, with the configuration of the boards varying greatly. Some have wider slats than others, some have beefier bottom boards, some have slats close together without any gap, others are wider apart, like the one I used.
  • Be prepared for the fact that the hardest part, by far, is the removal of boards from the bottom. Nails can be many in number and in varying stages of rusting away. Also, for me it proved utterly impossible to not split and break the boards as they came off.
  • Apropos the first bullet, because of the variations in pallet construction, be warned that the method of mounting can be tricky depending on the type of pallet. In the project I tried to copy, the construction of the pallet makes it easy. The horizontal boards look to be 1″ x 3″, with the 3″ side flush to the wall, and so screwing them into studs was probably easy. In my project however, those boards are 2″ x 4″, with the 2″ side flush to the wall. So, since I didn’t want to have to countersink screws deep into the 2×4 and then into the studs, as you can see in the photos, my wife painted a spare 2×4 that we had, we mounted it flush to the wall, hung the pallet on it, and then I drove some screws down through the 2×4 of the pallet into the 2×4 on the wall.
  • Finally, unless you have a powerful belt sander and a good supply of sandpaper, don’t bother with sanding, as the instructions at Shelterness suggest. You will never get a fully clean, smooth, like-new surface, the paint hides a LOT, and the ragged edges here and there just add to the shabby chic charm of the piece.

10 thoughts on “Upcycling: Pallet Coat Rack Update

    1. Thanks, Karen!

      As I mentioned last week, we’re having a music jam at our house at the end of the month, it’s been known to happen that wine is consumed at such gatherings, and I most certainly will be keeping the bottles!

  1. It came out great! And I do have to say when I was driving around the neighborhood I saw a house that had a variety of pallets stacked up outside and I thought about asking if they were going to keep them all or recycle them.

    1. Thanks, Tom!

      It’s tempting to grab them, but probably best to identify the exact project first, or else they might sit around taking up valuable space on your property instead of someone else’s. 🙂

  2. I am seriously impressed…lots of people say they are going to do something and then they don’t ( me definitely included !) so hat’s off to you ( and hung up of course!)

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