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Repurposing Wood Pallets for a Colorful Outdoor Coffee Table

DISCLAIMER: The images in this post are for informational purposes to illustrate potential possibilities, recognizing that individual tastes vary. We aim to capture your wants and needs, expanding on each style where possible to offer a range of available tables from reputable designers and affiliated brands. This selection process considers a variety of factors to ensure we cater to the diverse preferences of our readers.

Have you ever noticed those pallets stacked up behind stores and warehouses and wondered what could be done with them? Well, guess what? You can transform those discarded pallets into a stunning coffee table for your backyard! This summer, add personality to your outdoor space with a fun DIY project that will bring out your creative side. And the best part? You’ll have a unique furniture piece that you can enjoy. So grab some pallets, paint, and the necessary tools, and let’s get started! Follow this step-by-step tutorial on how to make a colorful outdoor coffee table with pallets to form a vibrant setting on your patio deck.

Related Article: 16 Refined Outdoor Coffee Table Ideas To Find Your Perfect Match

Wood pallet painted coffee table

Photo by Dayalguru from Freepik

Gather Your Materials: What You’ll Need for This Pallet Coffee Table Project

To create this captivating DIY pallet coffee table, it is imperative that you gather all the necessary materials. The following are required:

Wooden Pallets

To start off, acquire some wooden pallets. It is recommended that you find two pallets of the same size, which are strong and in good condition. You can easily find pallets from nearby businesses, farms, or recycling centers, and they are often available at a low cost or even free.

Read More: A Guide to Classic Modernity With 33 Wood Coffee Table Designs

Sandpaper

It’s essential to grab some coarse sandpaper, preferably around 80 to 120 grit, to sand down your pallets thoroughly. Don’t ignore this step as it will ensure any rough edges or splinters are smoothed out.

Paint

Make sure to grab some outdoor paint in bright and vibrant colors, such as acrylic paint, which works great for pallet projects. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different colors and patterns to create a unique and eye-catching piece. Remember to have fun with it!

Sealant

To ensure that your painted pallets remain protected from harsh weather conditions, make use of an outdoor sealant such as polyurethane. Applying two to three coats of sealant will provide adequate protection against weathering.

Hardware

It is essential to get some wood screws or bolts, along with washers, to firmly join your pallets together. For added strength, you can use wood glue to reinforce the bond.

Back yard design with repurposed pallet wood

Photo by Blenze from Freepik

 Insight – Enrich the look and feel of your woodwork by adding metal corner braces, handles, and hinges with an industrial style. These hardware accessories will complement the wood and add a creative touch to your project.

Prepare the Pallets: Sanding, Staining, and Arranging the Wood

To create a vibrant pallet table, prepare the wood properly. Begin by sanding down any rough edges or splinters on your pallets. Although an electric sander can make quick work of this task, sandpaper and some elbow grease can also do the job efficiently.

Once the pallet is sanded smooth, decide on your stain or paint colors. For a bright look, consider complementary hues like orange and blue or red and green. If you prefer a more neutral palette, wood stains in shades of brown are always a classic choice.

Apply two to three coats of your chosen stains or paints, waiting for each coat to dry completely between applications. This will ensure an even finish and help the colors pop. For stains, a sealant like polyurethane can help protect the wood.

When the pallets are dry, lay them out on your floor to determine the arrangement. A symmetrical pattern with the pallets in a square or rectangular shape works well for a tabletop. You can also get creative with an asymmetrical, abstract layout. Move the pallets around until you find a pattern you like.

Once you’ve settled on an arrangement, secure the pallets together from underneath with glue, nails, or brackets. Then, flip the tabletop over, and after applying weather-resistant sealant, your creation will be ready to use outdoors.

Read More: Sand, Stain, Seal: A Guide On How to Refinish A Coffee Table

Patio setting with wooden furniture

Photo by Djfdez3 from Freepik

 Insight – Don’t forget to add small shelves underneath for extra storage. Be sure to attach the shelves securely using L-brackets and wood screws.

How to Make a Colorful Outdoor Coffee Table with Pallets:

Now that you have your pallet base assembled, you can personalize it and add a touch of uniqueness to the piece. Fortunately, there are several simple ways to infuse color and style without requiring any expert craftsmanship.

Paint

Paint is an easy way to transform the look of your pallets. You can paint the entire table one color for a simple, rustic look or get creative with patterns. Consider painting just the inside of the pallets, the edges, and the trim, or do alternating colors on each board. Chalk paint works great for the distressed farmhouse style and adheres well to wood.

Gain Insight: Embellish Your Home with 25 Painted Coffee Table Design Ideas

Mosaic Tiles

Want to make a real statement? Add mosaic tiles to your tabletop. You can tile just a portion of the surface or the entire top. Choose tiles that complement your outdoor setup. Warm terra cotta tones, cool sea glass greens, blues, or bright pops of color are all good options. Arrange your tiles in a pattern before adhering them in place with tile adhesive or grout. Seal the finished surface with concrete sealer or tile sealer.

Fabric

For a bohemian vibe, consider adding fabric to your table. You can decoupage fabric onto the tabletop with Mod Podge sealant, or for a removable option, secure the edges of the fabric to the underside of the pallets with staples, tacks, or trim. Burlap, patterned fabrics, and colorful outdoor rug materials all work well for this. Swap out the fabric when you want a new look.

Decorative Details

Little details can make a significant impact. Add decorative trim, rope, tassels, or upholstery nails around the edges of your tabletop. Drill pilot holes and secure them in place with glue, epoxy, or stainless steel nails. Stencil designs, words, or shapes onto the surface of the pallets. Or, place decorative trays, lanterns, plants, or other knickknacks on and around your table to complete the look.

For More Info: 29 Coffee Table Decor Tips: Subtle Touches for Maximum Impact

Outdoor painted coffee table with flowers and greenery

Photo by Dayalguru from Freepik

 Insight – If the pallet wood is not even in thickness, you may need to add wood spacers under the thinner boards to level the tabletop surface.

How to Make a Colorful Outdoor Coffee Table with Pallets: Assemble the Table

Now that your pallets are cut to size, it’s time to assemble them into a table base and add the tabletop.

Connect the Pallets

To connect the pallets, use screws or nails and glue for maximum strength and stability.

  • Place two parallel pallets about six to eight inches apart. These will be the sides of your table base. Secure them together at the top and bottom with screws or nails. Predrill pilot holes to prevent splitting.
  • Add the third pallet in between and perpendicular to the sides to form the back of the base. Secure in place with screws.
  • Flip the base over so the back pallet is on the ground. This provides more stability as you attach the front pallet.
  • Place the front pallet in between and perpendicular to the sides, parallel to the back pallet. Secure in place.
  • Flip the base right-side up. Apply wood glue along the joints and edges for extra strength. Wipe away excess glue with a damp cloth.

Discover More: Craft a Custom Piece With Our 19 DIY Coffee Table Design Ideas

Add the Tabletop

For the tabletop, you have a few options:

  • Use a wooden board, plywood, or boards to cover the base. Cut to size, then secure in place from underneath with screws. Sand any rough edges.
  • Arrange wooden boards with spaces in between for a slatted look. The gaps will allow for drainage and a lighter tabletop. Secure boards in place with screws.
  • Cut tiles, stones, glass, or other materials to fit in the spaces between the pallets for a mosaic look. Glue in place with tile adhesive or concrete adhesive. Grout the gaps and seal the tabletop.
  • Leave the pallets as is for a more rustic tabletop with gaps. Apply a sealant to help protect the wood.

Read More: A Roundup of Reader Favorites: 15 Rustic Coffee Table Ideas

Wood table with painted slats

Photo by Stickerside from Freepik

How to Make a Colorful Outdoor Coffee Table with Pallets: Placement and Protection

You’ve put a lot of effort into creating your colorful pallet table, so it’s important to find the ideal spot to display it outside. To determine the ideal placement, consider the following factors.

Weather Protection

To ensure the longevity of your table, it is crucial to shield it from the elements. Exposure to direct sunlight or rain for extended periods may warp, fade, or even rot the wood. Therefore, it is imperative to keep it under a covered patio, gazebo, or pergola. By doing so, you can enjoy your table for many seasons to come without any worries.

Level Ground

It is crucial to select a level, even ground area to ensure stability while using the table. Keep in mind that pallets can be uneven, and placing the table on an incline can cause it to become unbalanced. Ensure that all four legs rest firmly on the ground; you may need to make minor adjustments to level the table, which is necessary to prevent unforeseen accidents or mishaps.

Easy Access

Ensure that your pallet table is in an easily accessible location. Opt for a spot close to your outdoor seating area, fire pit, or other gathering space. Be sure to leave ample space around the table for people to sit, stand, and move around with ease. Prioritize your usage needs when positioning the table.

Securing to the Ground (Optional)

To ensure maximum stability, you could secure your table to the ground. This is especially useful if you have pets or small children around. To do so, attach the legs to concrete pavers with waterproof glue and screws or use steel brackets to bolt the legs into the ground. These measures will effectively prevent the table from shifting or tipping over, providing you with a safe and secure surface for all your needs.

Purpose wood table

Photo by Nomannoor943 from Freepik

 Insight – Before proceeding, it is crucial to thoroughly inspect the wood for any nails or staples. If metal fasteners are found, make sure to remove them immediately with pliers. This is necessary to ensure safety and prevent any potential damage to the tools.

Final Thoughts

You now have the insight on how to make a colorful outdoor coffee table with pallets without breaking the bank. By grabbing a few wooden pallets, paint, and stencils in your favorite colors and patterns, you can craft a functional piece that reflects your style. When friends come over this summer, your colorful creation will spark conversation and compliments, and you can proudly say you made it yourself. So, grab your favorite drink, put your feet up, and get cracking with your vibrant new pallet coffee table. Don’t wait any longer; the summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy it in style!

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