Today I’m having a rare day off! I’m very grateful to my writer friend Amandine who has agreed to fill in for me and has written this fabulous article about making her own pallet coffee table – enjoy!
Last September I moved to Milan with my husband into an amazing two-levels loft apartment. We instantly fell in love with this place and it quickly became ‘ours’. The living room was already furnished with modern white and brown bookshelves and a TV stand, and in the same room, we had a staircase to get to the second floor, an old white desk and even a vintage fridge! I did rather like how the apartment was furnished but my only problem was the living room table; a simple black ikea table that had already been ruined by the previous tenants and I desperately wanted to change it for a natural wood, vintage-style table. After a little research on the Internet, I decided to make my own table using an old pallet bought for 3 euros at the “ortomercato” of Milan. Here is my tutorial to make your own:
Here is what you need to buy before starting:
- 5 meters of heavy sandpaper - sure it is thick because you will need to remove 1 cm of the entire surface
- 2 litres of clear varnish
- 4 caster wheels with fixings of any length depending on how high you want you table to be and two casters that can be locked to ensure the table stays in one place when you’re using it!
- Plastic gloves
I chose a particularly old and dirty pallet to give a vintage aspect to my living room. The first step was to clean and sand the pallet by removing 1 cm of the old wood. Use gloves to avoid splinters getting under your skin! This was the hardest and longest part: it took me 8 hours to sand every part of the pallet to get a soft and clean surface, but you can always use an electric sander to get a quicker result. It was nice to see the grain of the wood appearing as I sanded away the layers.
Next clean off the pallet to remove the dust and wipe it down to prepare it to varnished. You can paint the pallet with clear varnish twice to protect it against damage and water but leave 24 hours before starting the second layer so that it dries hard.
Leave the pallet to dry for at least two days after varnishing to be sure it has absorbed all the varnish. Finally, you can add the four wheels, putting the two locking casters at diagonal corners to stabilize your table. You can also add a glass table top that you can order to the right measurements for your table.