Recycled Pallet Project – Distressed Plant Stand

I mentioned previously that I’ve been on the hunt for a recycled pallet project and this recycled pallet plant stand is a merging of two tables I discovered on pinterest.   Recycled pallets are fun to work with for me simply because some of the pressure of doing everything right the first time is removed.   Free lumber gives you that freedom.  Well, at least that is how it works inside my cost conscience brain.  I’m usually on a very strict budget, so whenever I walk out of my local HD with a stack of wood that just cost me big $$$, the pressure to build error free is in full swing.  Which is why I usually work from reliable plans for those types of projects, some of my favorites can be found here.  My newest project, the small side table, had no plans only the one picture you see in the post, so it was perfect as a pallet project.

Here’s how it all went down…

The biggest obstacle or downside to working with pallets is the constant variances in both thickness and width of the wood itself.  Even when all the wood comes from the same pallet, it’s not always all the same size.  So before I did anything else, I dug through my stacks of pallet wood to see what exactly I had available to work with.    Once I found everything I need for my project, the real fun began…using my serious lack of math skills.  Another reason I work from plans.  I’ll spare you the gory details and just give you the cut list.

Plant stand cut list (this list is based off pallet wood with an approx. width of a standard 1×4):

4 @ 30″ – legs

5 @ 13″ – side aprons and center table support

9 @ 14 3/4″ –  front and back aprons, table top side pieces ( this length can vary depending on the thickness of the wood used for the side aprons)

4 @ 7 7/8″ – center table pieces (this length can vary depending on the width of the wood used for the table top side pieces)

**Highly recommend cutting in stages, so you can adjust cut lengths as necessary.  Also, I cleaned the wood by soaking in a bath of bleach and water, then allowing it to dry out again.  Even though it’s going to be used outside, you never know where your pallets been.

Tools and Supplies Required:

Table Saw or Compound Mitre Saw


Sander or whole lot of elbow grease

Countersink Bit

Exterior Woodglue

Screws – 1 1/4″ and 2″

Paint of your choice

How to Assemble:

Step One:

Attach 13″ side aprons to the legs.  Align one with top of the leg and the second at 15″.  These were glued and screwed into place.  I used a countersink bit and 1 1/4″ screws.


Step Two:

Attach front and back aprons to each set of legs.  Same process as above, glue and screw.  Also check for square or you’ll have a wobbly table.

Step Three:

Sand and paint.  Because it’s almost impossible to get inside every crack and crevice once it’s built, I would highly recommend painting first.  I was going for a distressed look, so it was much easier to paint and sand  before completing assembly.  My first coat was this blue paint (oops paint from HD, so I have  no idea of it’s real name)

My second coat was a dark brown.  Also, an oops paint find.  All the pieces were painted and distressed before I completed anymore assembly.

Step Four:

Attach three of the 14 3/4″ pieces to the bottom aprons.

Step Five:

Adding the table top.  Attach the two remaining 14 3/4″ pieces to each side of the table top.  Align the piece with the all the edges.  If the piece is too long, you may be trying to attach it to the wrong side of your table.

Step Six:

Attach the four 7 7/8″ pieces of wood to the 13″ piece.  Now I just eyeballed the placement, screwed in the two end boards, did a test fit and then screwed in the remaining two .  You can glue this piece in place or just leave it resting on the side aprons.

You may just notice that one of center pieces is unpainted.  When I got ready to assemble these, one of the pieces was just way too thick.  I just didn’t catch it until I was doing the test fitting.  So I found a better piece and swapped them out.

Step Seven:

Enjoy all your hard work for a moment and then remember you still need to varnish it, if you want to protect your paint job.

My finished table

I’ll be sharing this project here…

Hosted by Katie, Sherry, Ana & Erin

3 thoughts on “Recycled Pallet Project – Distressed Plant Stand

  1. Wow this turned out really nice! It doesn’t even look like it was pallet wood! You got a good pallet for this it looks like! Good for splinter avoidance!

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