Recently we met with a rep. from Marflow who wanted to display some new taps in our showroom, we wanted to find a way to make them really stand out against other showrooms in the area and as we love all things rustic we did an online search to create a pallet wood wall but to put our own twist on it!
We started out with the basics, a stud wall. This wall was to form the basis of an extension to a new display we're creating anyway so the back side of this wall made the perfect candidate to become our new, rustic wall! Now, i'm not a joiner or carpenter so please be forgiving if you notice anything is a bit out of level!
The timber is CLS used for most stud walls that we got from Fall Timber in Bedale - we find their prices better than most and they're a great, family firm. Plus they cut the wood to size for bigger projects which always helps! We used screws to hold the wood together - it's what we had available!
We cladded the stud frame with 18mm pine ply on one side and left the side we're going to make into our pallet wall bare. We built a return along the left hand side to provide a bit more darkness (and display space!) which will give the wall a bit more of an ambient finish. We've skipped a couple of bits here, but you can see we've started to form a recessed ledge, this will be the basis for our shelf to sit the new taps on.
So now we have cladded the front of the wall in 9mm ply (cheaper than 18mm and more than enough for the job), this will provide the backing to tack our planks onto. With the recessed shelf we've also used some LED plinth lights, we use them all the time in bathroom installations as they're fully IP rated and they're available in different sizes but because we want to highlight the taps and really accentuate them we chose quite a large, 30mm diameter light which come in a string of ten, we used all 10 as we had 10 taps to display.
Here is a stained plank, don't be afraid to slap the stain on, the wood's thirsty as it's been sat in a barn for years. For the 20 planks we used 6 tins of stain in total which cost about £42 for the lot and was the most expensive part of this project. You might be able to make out the names on the tin but i think any stain for interior wood would do the job. Basically, we went to House and Home in Bedale and chose 3 different colours that we thought would contrast well against each other. I didn't bother to clean the brush between colours, i thought that any variations in colour would only enhance the overall effect.
The planks themselves weren't from pallet wood after all, the time taken to pull the planks off pallets, strip the nails...it would have taken hours. Instead, we went to Fall's Timber and found some old planks they had at the very back of one of their barns, they were about £1 each and we only needed 20! Prep was really simple, a quick run over (literally 2 mins per 3m length) with a rough-grit paper on an orbital sander to take the splinters off whilst maintaining their rustic look. I love the mahogany tones in this picture.
Tip; buy a decent brush, they're only a pound or two more and it means you don't spend forever picking the bristles off your plank.
This was the fun part, finally we get to put some boards on the wall! We used a tack hammer with 1" tacks, one in either end of the planks, we didn't use any whatsoever, this would have been a waste of time and money, i started in the middle to ensure we had a full plank at the top and any cuts would be made at the bottom so as not to detract from the appearance. Remember, when you're cutting into the wood if you're using a handsaw, cut with the colour facing up, it will prevent splinters on the finished face of the wall as the teeth of the saw cut on the down stroke.
Keep on checking your levels, if you start to run off, just open up a gap slightly between the planks to bring it back again. As you can see we didn't bother to paint the wall before hand, some do but when you see the finished wall i think you'll agree it isn't too necessary. Try to keep the plank placement completely random, i've tried to keep all planks of the same colour completely away from each other to keep a uniformed yet random look.
It's really starting to take shape now, the colours are blending perfectly and after half a days work (stud work aside) we're really pleased with the results so far! Before we started this project we were delayed a little bit because we waiting for some lights for the top section (see next photo), and yep, the industrial style with the Edison bulbs you see EVERYWHERE! I think in our building, it really works! Our showroom is based in an old industrial building that was originally used for Massey Ferguson spares; the building was at the heart of the farming community and has a history steeped in nuts and bolts and engine oil!
We've used planks on the shelf itself, again, just keeping it random and continuing it up the back, i didn't bother to clad the top of the shelf as you can't really notice unless you look up from underneath.
If you're fancying lights on your pallet wood wall, remember to drop the cables before you start. We have a great big void and access from above so it was easy but definitely worth considering before you start. We've just got the end bit to finish off in this photo but it's nearly there! If you're doing two walls like we have, just experiment with the layout, it's all aesthetics, we found it better to have different colours on the return wall but you might prefer it to look as though the plank is continuing through the internal corner.