Thursday, July 12, 2012

Scrappy Outdoor Coffee Table

I've been a little obsessed with pallets lately.

I see them everywhere and thanks to Pinterest each one holds the possibility to be something amazing like:

a daybed

a wine rack

Source: via Jayme on Pinterest

a head board

Source: via Jayme on Pinterest

a coffee table

Source: via Jayme on Pinterest

a garden

or even a tv mount.

So I've been aching to do a pallet project of my own.

Some things to know about pallets before you get started.

1. They are freaking heavy. 

I tried bringing one home all by myself and couldn't lift the darned thing into the car. I did rip some of the flesh of my forearm trying to get it in the trunk and I probably now have Tetanus. 

So make sure you are buff or you bring a buff friend to help you wrangle the cumbersome thing and watch for nails and splintery pieces.

2. If they are painted blue and stacked neatly, odds are they are reused. Try not to be disappointed by your local Canadian Tire's recycling practices.

Also, don't try to put one in your car when the store is closed because that is stealing, or as my husband told me, "the kind of thing that gets us deported."

Ask the property owner first.

3. Be aware that if the pallets not being reused are probably falling apart, vermin and mold riddled, and emitting noxious chemicals.

Pallets are usually not safe to use indoors. 

This article/rant goes into more detail, and it really put a damper on my pallet pinning frenzy.

But noxious chemicals be damned, I wanted a pallet!

So after asking a local hardware store if I could have one of their derelict pallets, I convinced my husband to drag it home for me.

He did this, hopeful that I would finally stop turning every drive around Clarenville into a pallet scavenger hunt.

Here is how I turned this really gross piece of wood

into my new outdoor coffee table.

The pallet I acquired wasn't slatted on the top, but had a nice smooth surface perfect for a table top.

I removed all the dangerous nails sticking out of the wood.

I immediately threw out a jar of Nutella after seeing this picture.

I sanded it and then I determined how to decorate the top.

My first thought was using paint sample cards for a tiled look.

Unfortunately, I'm a "measure 34 times and get a different number each time until I just give up" type of girl, and I didn't have enough cards to cover the whole surface.

Instead of going back to the hardware store and grabbing another obnoxious stack of samples, I used some 12x12 scrapbooking squares leftover from when I made my wedding album.

That is hubby's foot in the corner. You can tell he needs a coffee table to rest it on, right?

I arranged them on the tabletop and Modge Podged them to the surface, and then added five coats of Modge Podge to the top for good measure. I also added two coats of clear polyurethane on top of the Modge Podge.

This was my first time using Modge Podge and my table surface has TONS of bubbles. Next time I'll use a squeegee to help keep the paper flat.

Now it was time to turn the pallet into a low table. I added two pieces of four by four plywood to the pallet with metal brackets.

Then I added four casters to the four by fours to give the table some additional height, and make it mobile. Remember, these pallets are heavy.

Finally, I painted the wood dark brown.

Voila! My new patio coffee table.

I decided to price it out to see if I saved any money doing this instead of buying a table for outside.

The pallet and paper was free.
Modge Podge: $14.99
4x4: $9.57
Quart of paint: $21.46
Polyurethane: $18.50
Hardware: $24.00
Casters: $42.00 (!!)

Project Total: $130.52

After doing some research, I could have bought two plastic ones for the same price at Canadian Tire.

Oh well.

It was definitely a fun, easy project, if not the most affordable one.

Anyone else attempt pallet building lately? I'd love to hear from you.

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