Have you thought about making a pallet wall as a feature? The look of reclaimed wood fits so well in a rustic environment. In our barn, the chipboard dividing wall lent itself to screwing in the pallet strips quite easily, and made it possible to use any variety of lengths. If you have a plastered wall you would need to fix uprights to the wall, to nail or screw into. First the wall was painted black, so that the inevitable gaps between some of the strips wouldn’t be too obvious.
You can get quite creative staining your pallet strips to give them an aged look with various stains, paints and colours. One way is brushing them with a solution made from teabags, which increases the tannin content of the wood, then with vinegar in which wire wool – or any old iron such as rusty nails, has been immersed for a day or so. This reacts with the tannin, giving the wood a greyish hue. You can save used teabags, and when you have a few, pour boiling water over them and leave to brew. You can also use coffee, diluted paint – the possible tints are endless, but do mix up enough to finish the project as it is hard to replicate the exact results, and do test first on a scrap piece of wood. The vinegar solution may appear to have little effect at first, but wait a few minutes and you will be surprised! More information here: http://www.apieceofrainbow.com/make-wood-stain/
Firstly however, before getting to the fun part, you need to collect your pallet strips. I used approximately 100 strips for a wall measuring approx 12 square metres. If you are dismantling pallets yourself, there are usually around 7 strips to each side of a double-sided European pallet, so you can work out roughly how many you need.
You might be able to find a pallet supplier locally. Dismantling the pallets can be time-consuming. There are various methods to make the job easier, including a pallet breaker tool made for the purpose, but the easiest way is probably to use a reciprocating saw with a blade for cutting metal, to cut through the end nails, then lever the pallet apart. (These saws also come with blades for different materials and are great for pruning branches in your garden.)
Alternatively you might be able to source recycled pallet strips, or, as I did, buy strips from a pallet manufacturer, and then give them a vintage look by staining them. Either way, you will want to sand the wood using an electric sander, remembering to sand the edges and corners to make the strips look a bit worn and take off the newness.
If you find yourself in the Lancashire area, an excellent source of pallets, pallet strips, firewood and vast supplies of reclaimed wood of all shapes and sizes, at great prices whilst raising money for a good cause and helping people with disabilities, is The Woodhouse, Preston, PR2 2TB. This is where I obtained scaffolding boards to make my kitchen worktops. Sanded and sealed, they look fantastic!
You can add interest to some of your pallet strips by adding vintage logos, using stencils or by using an inkjet printer to transfer images onto acetate sheets, freezer paper, wax paper, or other glossy paper, then onto the wood. Remember to flip the image horizontally before printing if you use this method. Click here for instructions.