DIY Pallet Wood Gate

I’m back today to share with you a super quick and easy project I made with some free pallet wood.  My brother-in-law has access to a lot of pallet wood through his work, and I’m always trying to figure out something to build from it.  When I built my shoe cabinet, I wanted some way to display wreaths or pictures on top of it.  Then it hit me!  Pallet wood!

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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