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I had all these pallets sitting on the side of my yard, so I went to work taking a couple of them apart. I used a crow bar and a hammer (and ear protection… YIKES!) to pull them apart. Then I used my hammer to drive the nails back out through the boards.
Once I had my boards pulled apart, I cleaned them up and sanded them just a bit. Then I used my Kreg Jig and some glue to join them all together in one big piece.
Now, at this point, I wanted some supports on the front, mostly for decoration. So I went through the pallets and found some boards that were thinner and more narrow. Unfortunately, these boards were also quite a bit lighter than the ones I already had, so I knew I was going to have to age these other boards somehow. I laid out my board and made the cuts I wanted, so I could treat the cut ends as well.
I’d seen on Pinterest that you can age wood with a vinegar stain. I decided to try it on my support boards. I poured apple cider vinegar in an old washed out jar and put in a couple of rusty nails and a small amount of steel wool. I let the mixture sit overnight and brushed it on my supports the next morning. I found that this stuff works differently on different types and textures of wood. To show you the difference, I treated a sample piece of pallet wood and a sample of standard pine 1×4.
These are the boards before being treated with vinegar stain…
I simply brushed on a coat of my vingear/nail/steel wool mixture…
…and then I let it dry for several hours. I took this picture after it had dried for about an hour.
Now you could leave it like this, but my other boards were aged just a bit more than that. Since I was trying to match the other boards, I brewed some strong black tea and brushed it on over the vinegar stain.
This was the final result. I was really pleased with how it turned out. Once it was dry, my newer boards matched my other weathered boards quite well.
It’s still a little wet in this picture, but I glued up my supports and attached them with finishing nails to complete the project.
I also hammered one of the old rusty nails in the front of the gate to hold a wreath, but I may change that eventually.
You can see how well the vinegar stain worked to age my newer boards. You can hardly tell they were from two different pallets. I love the warm, rustic look it adds to the entry…and you can’t beat free!
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