Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our Refined Pallet (Ceiling)

Hey, this is Mitch, Kathleen's (aka Kat) husband, resident carpenter, electrician, plumber, pretty much whatever I need to be to make our house more into the home of our dreams. (Pretty funny when you think about it, since we live in a two bedroom rancher.) Last week Kathleen posted pictures of Ryder's new bedroom with this pallet wood ceiling.


It all started several months ago, when she showed me some pictures on another blog where they made an accent wall out of recycled pallet wood. From the time that I first saw it, I loved the way that it looked and the whole idea of reusing old, weathered (and of course free) wood. It looks so warm and rustic which is right up my alley.

So last month, we were sitting in my son Ryder's room and looking at the walls and the ceiling. We have both hated the ceiling in his room for a long time and you can see why. Hello, 1980s!


It was so ugly, dated and dirty white. Not what a little boy wants to stare at while he lays in bed at night listening to his Lightning McQueen storybook CD (for the thousandth time I might add).  So anyway, as Kathleen and I were there talking about what we would change in the room, she suggested that we paint the walls. Then if we are going to paint, why not do something to that hideous ceiling while we are at it. We both thought of pallet wood and before we knew it we had a new project (like we didn't have enough to do already.)

Here is the room getting prepped to be painted after I pulled down the crown molding. 


The painting part was easy, but I wasn't exactly sure how I was going to secure the pallet wood to the ceiling. I did some online research and pinned some helpful pictures and websites (yes I am a man and I am on Pinterest, don't judge me). Although I didn't find anyone that had used pallet wood on a ceiling, there were a few that had done some accent walls.

The problem was that our ceiling had a layer of half inch drywall with another layer of bugly (butt ugly) half inch ceiling tile. Also, the joists or studs in the ceiling were 24 inches apart. I decided that my best bet was to get some cheap particle board from Lowe's and glue and screw it to the ceiling and ceiling joists. I think these 4`x8` sheets cost like $7 a piece. 


Next I brought home from work about 40 old broken pallets. Thanks Good Food, Inc. (shameless plug for our new website designed by yours truly) for the donation. Note: pallets are not really that hard to find if you ask around. You can even find them on Craigslist for free.


I bought a reciprocating saw from Harbor Freight for $29.99 and used it to cut through the nails to remove the boards from the pallets. I made a mistake and bought blades with 6 TPI (teeth per inch). The first day of cutting I wore out a lot of blades really quickly. After switching to more adequate blades of 18 TPI, the boards came off in no time. Cutting them off like this is easiest and leaves the nail heads in the boards which gives the appearance that they were actually attached to the ceiling with these nails.

Apparently, Ryder is very excited about this project and to have his picture taken.

I only cut off the boards that were in good shape and not badly cracked or warped. After the boards were removed, I sanded each board with 120 grit sandpaper to get the large splinters and dirt off.


The boys are loving all these loud power tool sounds.


Ryder thought this board that had "Product of Canada" printed on it was cool. And of course being a born and raised Canuck myself, I did too. That board went prominently right above his bed. 


I scrubbed each board thoroughly with a stiff bristled brush and soapy water and then rinsed them off. This got a lot of dirt off. 


And then I let all the boards air dry.


I then sanded all the boards again with 220 grit sandpaper to make them smooth and remove any lingering dirt or splinters before finally being ready to attach them to the ceiling. I decided to use both wood glue and nails. It may have been overkill but the last thing I wanted was for one to fall on Ryder's head in the middle of the night.


The first board.

Despite how this picture appears, I want to be clear that I do not have a Hitler mustache. I think it is a shadow on the wall or something.

Kathleen helped pick out each row by making sure they were all the same width and similar in color. I varied all the seams by randomly cutting a board to start each new row. The thing I realized as I went along was that the boards are obviously not perfect and there were occasional gaps and unevenness here and there but in the end its all part of the rustic character.


One of the many advantages of being 6`11``

 After all the boards were all up, I reattached the crown molding.


And this is how it turned out with the addition a new modern ceiling fan.


It was a lot of time-consuming work but totally worth it and actually really not that difficult. And the best part is that Ryder loves it and can enjoy it for years to come. I know that pallet craft seems to be all the rage right now and may be just a fad, but it really does look cool. So if you want something unique, why not give this budget friendly project a try? With the right tools, I am sure that anyone can do it.

To see more of Ryder's room, go here.
This room is now Finn's room...check it out here.

~Mitch 

43 comments:

  1. That is gorgeous! I love recycled wood and it's perfect on the ceiling! I too have those lovely err nasty ceiling tiles and I've been trying to figure out how to attach beadboard over them. With joists 24" on center I was worried the beadboard would sag. Your plywood idea is exactly what I needed for some strength under (above?!) the beadboard!! THANK YOU for sharing this and super job!!

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  2. This is one of my favorite parts of the room. Great job Mitch.

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  3. This ceiling is fabulous!! The modern fan against the old boards is the perfect match too!! I would love to figure out somewhere in my house to do this. :)

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  4. You did a great job! My sister is wanting to use pallet wood either on her kids' bedroom ceilings or in the man room at their new house. This will help a lot!

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  5. Ryder is one lucky kid! This is a fabulous transformation to cover those ceiling tiles! And I see you are Flyers fans - so you're ok in my book! New follower.
    Kelly

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  6. Coolest. Ceiling. Ever.

    Take 2.

    Sorry, but Katie right above me there on the page summed it up so perfectly!

    :)

    Linda
    itallstartedwithpaint@gmail.cojm

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  7. LOVE this ceiling!!!!!

    I just started a brand new themed link party just for rustic and shabby chic projects. I would love to have you share this - http://rustic-crafts.com/?p=5388

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  8. Love, love, love it! I just recently pinned another pallet ceiling and am hoping to do this in my boys room sometime soon.
    Thanks for the GREAT tutorial!!
    Blessings,

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  9. Seriously amazing!!! I LOVE this!! I am your newest follower : ) -Sarah

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  10. Also one of your new followers. This make over with the ceiling has me dreaming of doing it in my master bedroom now. Or maybe my office. Oh the possibilities! Thanks for sharing this amazing project.

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  11. KAT,
    Can u tell me where u bought Ryder's fan/light?

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    1. Yes, we got it at Lowe's. Here's the link.

      http://www.lowes.com/pd_144477-29369-3MVR44BSD_0__?productId=3283952&Ntt=modern+ceiling+fan&pl=1&currentURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dmodern%2Bceiling%2Bfan&facetInfo=

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  12. Thanks for linking this project up to my link party! I featured you at this week's party - http://rustic-crafts.com/?p=5569

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  13. So so awesome!! LOVE this idea!! My friend just bought a house (an older home) and in the kitchen dinette area (it's a room of itself in the kitchen!) the walls and ceiling are all wood just like this...that's my favorite room in her house:D Love your wonderful idea...so if I ever get my own home, I can recreate the same look in a more economical way...now just where to find some free wood pallets:D Thanks for the tutorial...off to pin it!

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  14. I LOVE this! No other place for wood pallets to go but up! It's beautiful!

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  15. i love this...so cool for a boy's room! & 6'11" - whoa - that's what i call tall! :) Esther

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  16. wow that looks awesome I love it!! I'm going to have to show the hubby this!! :) Have a great week!

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  17. This is a fabulous idea for a boy's room or a mud room or a back hall in a rustic house. I love it.

    BTW - my husband uses Pinterest too, so your guy isn't the only one.

    Found you through the Inspired Room on Facebook.

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  18. question for the handy hubby... If you wanted to replicate this for a basement bedroom, would you need the plywood? Could you attach the planks (perpendicular) to the joists? Or would you need some kind of furring strips? We have been looking for a creative/economical solution for the basement ceiling and I LOVE what you have done here!

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    1. Megan, I suppose that you could attach the pallet boards directly to the ceiling joists. The only problem would be that you would be limited to how you vary the joints of the wood since each end of the boards would need to be nailed to a joist. Also, the boards will not line up perfectly so there would be some gaps where bugs and spiders would love to live. The plywood I used really isn't that expensive and I would say that it would be the best way to go but I am sure that furring strips or directly to the joists would work if that is what you preferred.

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  19. That ceiling looks so fresh and perfect for a boys room. It always amazes me that the creative souls out there can take an idea and give it a new twist! You guys do great work!

    Small House/Big Sky Donna
    http://smallhouseunderabigsky.wordpress.com

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  20. Hi Kat and Mitch, I have a question about washing the wood. I just bought a rally cool and huge rustic box for a boy's room I'm redoing. I want to wash it with soapy water and maybe add a tad bit of bleach to the water before I put it in there, but am afraid it will discolor/bleach out the wood. Any ideas?

    Thanks!
    Camille

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  21. Whoa, 6'11! That would come in handy.

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  22. Really really gorgeous results. I have one question, I've read that some pallets are chemically treated and not suitable for use indoors as they leach chemicals into the air. My question is what is one looking for whilst driving by bunches of pallets on the street? How can you tell which pallets are treated with chemicals vs. heat/pressure?

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    1. Hi Kaitlyn, most pallets that are used, especially for food companies, are heat treated. Usually the pallet will be stamped somewhere with the initials HT. So if you are really worried about it,look for those initials. You can also spray some kind of clear coat over the wood to seal everything in.

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  23. Looks amazing! We've been thinking about adding a wooden ceiling to our office room, maybe we'll give it a try!

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    1. Go for it! Can't get much cheaper than free pallet wood:)

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  24. I love it. We have ceiling tiles all over the 1st floor of our house--ours are held up by wood beams nailed into plaster, so we took the tiles down in the living room, leaving the beams for fear that taking them down would destroy the plaster. We might just have to do a wood ceiling. Thanks for all the great pictures!

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  25. This looks so good! SO impressed! And is Mitch really 6'11"? Whoa.

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  26. saw this on crookedbrains.net and thought it looked cool... am pinning it! Patricia

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  27. Love it. the texture and the colors are beautiful...and the whole family was involved, awesome! Feel free to post on my Upcycling FB page: https://www.facebook.com/upcycled101..that would be awesome!
    Keep up the good work!

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  28. Thanks for the thorough explanation. This is on our bucket list of DIY projects for our basement remodel.
    diydomesticdivaintraining.blogspot.com

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  29. really you have good site and provide unique article, we wish more, thanks

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  30. this is the first time i visit your site but i will be one of your permanent visitors because you provide good topics and ideas

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  31. It looks like a nail gun he is using to attached the pallet boards to the particle boards. Did he use screws or nails or am I just mistaken?

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    1. Hi Carolyn. You're right--Mitch used nails (via a nail gun) to attach the boards to the particle board.

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  32. What was the square footage of the bedroom?

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    1. Hi there, Rob. It's approximately 120 sq feet.

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    2. Of the 40 pallets how many did you need for the 120 sq foot area? We want to do the same. Thank you

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  33. Just love this room. It is perfect.

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