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Pallet wood boards are not always discarded. A lot of companies store their pallets outside prior to being returned or recycled.
You can ask a local pallet store or a factory to hand you some pallet for your woodwork project, or sometimes, you see a leftover pallet in your workshop, garage, or cabin and you can treat them for another use.
In this article, you will learn how to treat pallet wood for indoor use.
What You’ll Need to Follow This Tutorial
- power washer or garden hose
- cat’s paw
- pry bar
- wood stain
- wood finishing
- clean cloth
- disinfectant cleaning solution
- scrub brush
- bucket or pail
When sanding your pallet outdoors, you need to wear safety goggles and a mask or respirator.
Step-by-step Guide to Treating Pallet Wood for Indoor Use
Know the original source of the pallet wood you are planning to use for your woodwork project and never take the pallets inside your home. This is true whether they are new or used pallets, and they have been likely reused by different industries all over the country.
While you might get it from a food-grade warehouse, you’ll never know if it was also used somewhere else and the patina is really more than weathering. Many wood pallets sat next to trash bins, growing mold, and mildew, and had rats and cockroaches pooping on them.
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If ever you want to make a tabletop out of pallets, be sure to check the IPPC stamp to ensure it is safe to use and if you don’t, use it with extreme caution. Upon unloading the pallet from your truck or car, be sure to take time to wash and clean the pallets that you are planning to use indoors.
Pallets are good sources of E-coli bacteria and they are a well-known food contaminant for many years. Power-washing your pallets with a disinfectant cleaning solution is the best way to do it. This will wash away dirt and debris.
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Allow the pallet boards to dry thoroughly. Once dried, disassemble the pallets if desired using a hammer, cat’s paw, and pry bar to take pallets apart without breaking them.
If ever a pry bar does not finish the job, you can use a nail punch or a drill to drive the nails out. Also, you can cut the exposed nails with the use of an oscillating tool.
If you want to use the planks only rather than the whole pallet, you need to disassemble the pallet.
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Sanding the pallets is very important. Start by placing the planks or pallets between sawhorses. After which, rub the surface of the wood with the grain. Start with a coarse sandpaper and move up to a fine grade.
You need to sand the entire pallet to prevent causing splinter and for a smooth to the touch feel. Wear a respirator and safety goggles to avoid dust and dirt health problems.
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Scrub the wood pallet with a soap solution. Combine 5 parts water to 1 part dish detergent in a bucket. You can also use a solution of 1 part detergent, 10 parts bleach, and 20 water, and use a scrub brush to rub all wood surfaces with the solution. Scrub all notches and grooves. Never combine bleach with any ammonia-containing products.
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Rinsing the wood use a garden hose or a power washer ensures that all the solution are removed from the pallet wood. Clean the wood for the second time using the solution and scrub brush. Rinse the pallets for the last time, and leave them in the sun until completely dry.
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Pallets make good indoor wood projects. Now, you are more knowledgeable about treating a pallet wood for indoor use.
It is important to check the pallet for the appropriate markers to ensure they are safe to use, and even if you obtained the pallet from a seemingly food-grade establishment, you need to vigorously wash and clean it to ensure that no harmful chemicals or byproducts will cause health impacts in the long run.
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