how to finish a pallet coffee table

How to Finish a Pallet Coffee Table

Having a pallet coffee table in your house is great way to get a high-end looking piece of one-of-a-kind furniture, while not breaking the bank. Here are some tips on how to finish a pallet coffee table to get the best results.

Step One: Remove the Pallet Slats

The first step to liberating a pallet into useful furniture is to remove the slats. Take a hammer, pry bar and screwdriver, and use them to carefully remove the top and bottom boards connecting the several inner pieces. When these boards are removed, use a hammer to pop the slats off of the cross supports.

Step Two: Clean and Sand the Pieces

It’s a good idea to completely clean your wood beforehand in order to make sure you don’t get any particles or dust in your finish. Give your pieces a good vacuum, then use a damp cloth to wipe off any remaining dirt or dust. Use a medium-grit sandpaper to remove any large splinters or un-even surfaces.

Step Three: Stain or Paint the Pieces

Once the pieces are cleaned and sanded, you can start to apply your finish. If you’re looking for a polished look, stain is often the way to go. Some popular stains include dark ebony, red mahogany, or natural oak. You can apply the stain using a brush or cloth, and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping off any excess with a cloth.

For a more unique look, you can also paint the wood. Start by painting a white base coat, this will help intensify the color of whatever paint you choose. When applying the paint, use a brush or roller and be sure to wait for each coat to dry before applying the next one.

Step Four: Attach the Pieces Together

Once the pieces are stained or painted, the last step is attaching them together. You’ll need to make sure the slats are all lined up, and that the top of the table is flush. If you aren’t very confident in your woodworking skills, it’s a good idea to make a template out of cardboard to help you get the pieces in the right position.

Once the slats are in position, use wood screws to attach them together. Make sure to predrill your holes to prevent the wood from splitting, and use thick screws to make the connections strong.


Making a pallet coffee table is a great way to get a custom, high-end look while saving money. It is a fairly simple project, but it’s important to take the time to properly finish and attach the pieces. With the right stain or paint, your pallet coffee table will be a great addition to your home or office.

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