June 22, 2012

Industrial-look Pallet Coffee Table

You know all those "Pallet wood" projects that everyone is doing? Well, I want in! I didn't really think about it too much until I saw two pallets laying in my neighbors yard. A quick "you gonna use those?" and they were mine! Brought out all of my tools and started to assemble until I realized they were not the same size! Who knew pallets come in small, medium and large!

Seeing my distress, my sweet husband surprised me and brought home a pallet in one of his runs around town for his job. AS he was unloading it he said "I can't believe I put this in my car....".. Now that's twoo love! He is still processing the idea that he has become my picker but he's not really sure how I accomplished that. Secret CIA mind control techniques.

When we laid it against the one I wanted it to match....IT wasn't the right size either!

So now I had 3 pallets leaning against my garage and none of them were the same size. Enter my hardware store. They have pallets for $2.00/each! Got me a pair of identical twins finally but without all the hard work of pregnancy and labor.

I spent two hours, literally, trying to figure out if they were going to be too big for my porch, and then laying all of the other pallets out on the grass and seeing if I could make anything work. Went back to my twins and just started stacking. I also wanted something a bit industrial but when I went to the Home Depot to price out black pipe (gas pipe) and the attachments it was going to be $60!!! Now I will tell you that that is not a bad price for a coffee table but I was not really looking to spend that much on this project just in case it did not materialize they way I saw it in my mind.

See my projects never have any problems when I imagine them in my head but the reality show that I live in really doesn't do multiple takes. I need to get it right the first time, or at least by the third.  As I was leaving the aisle disappointed I came across my favorite DIY substitute! PVC pipe!

Remember what I am always preaching? Don't look at something the way it is intended to be used, unless you really do need PVC for you plumbing needs. Probably not wise to use something else.....

But the pipe and the connectors etc can all be spray painted and modified. And that is exactly what I did.

Like I said, I wanted the black pipe look on a PVC budget. So I got to work on modifying the caps to look like the large nuts that I coveted.

So......do you wanna see? I can't wait to give you the final number on this project either. You're gonna flip!

You'll need the following for the PVC nuts:

1" PVC pipe - I used (2) 24"pieces cut in half
(4) 1" rounded top pipe caps
Hammered metal spray paint
paintable caulk
flat edge

You'll need the following for the pallet table:

2 pallets of same size
wood glue
tube of liquid nails
your "metal"pipe and nuts that you just made
(4) 1" connector joints - spray painted

Metal Pipe: 
 Slide PVC pipe over a bamboo stack or some other stake in the ground

Spray paint with the hammered paint. I originally used the oil-rubbed bronze but it didn't look like I wanted so just waited for it to dry and then re-coated in the hammered.

Metal nuts:
While your pipe is drying, take your caulk and caulk gun and run an even bead around the bottom of the pipe cap. If you look at the picture closely you will see that the tip of the caulk tube is NOT in the caulk. It is slightly away from the cap edge. That is how you should apply it. You will get a smooth rounded bead that way with no gouging. Slightly over lap the ends carefully. You may want to practice a few times first but even if you mess up, you can just wipe it off and start over.

 Let dry about 15 minutes, until you can touch move it around and mold it but the caulk isn't sticky.

 Here's the fun part:
 Take your straight edge (for me it was a chopstick) and flatten the top and bottom of the bead. 

 Now flatten the sides so that you have about 6 small flat edges. You are trying to make this look like the nut edges

 This is what it should look like when you are finished

 It doesn't need to be perfect!

 From the top

Do this to all four pipe caps.   Let these dry completely

While this is drying you can start to assemble your pallets!
 Give the top pallet a light sanding to take off the rough edges but don't ruin the patina unless you are going to stain it or paint it.

Cut and glue wood spacers together and then glue onto bottom pallet in the middle. Use wood glue for the spacers and liquid nails to attach the spacers to the pallet.

I wanted it to  look like the "pipe" was separating the pallets so I wanted the spacers to be somewhat "invisible". That is why they are in the middle. I have seen other tables where they just cut a 4x4 block and placed them on the ends and it looks great that way as well.

I originally was going to use a 1 1/4" paddle drill and drill through the pallets and then slide the length of pipe through all of the holes. HOWEVER, I am not that straight a shot and I am sure that my pipes would have been threaded through and looked like modern art so I decided to cut them to fit in between the spaces and it would "look" like the pipe was threaded. See below to see what I mean.

 To do this you will have to measure each corner of the pallet precisely and then cut the PVC with a compound miter saw. Cut it a 16th longer than your measurement so it will fit tightly and then using a rubber mallet, tap into place.

 I didn't get too worried about placement until I had the whole thing assembled and then I adjusted each pipe piece to make it line up well.

 This is just to show you how these pieces will line up. I didn't cut the middle pieces until I had the pallets on top of each other. Then I could get a tight measurement and cut the remaining pipe to fit.

 Here are your little "nuts" sprayed and in place. Cool huh?!?

 Spray paint your feet (joint connectors) if you haven't already done so.

 This is the table upside down and assembled so I could glue the feet on. I used liquid nails just on the inside of the rim of the feet and let dry. I also used liquid nails to glue the top to the bottom by the wood spacers , just in case you thought I was a wizard these really were suspended in mid air.

 A little side view while it dries. See how it looks like the pipe is what is connecting the two pallets? The bottom  pallet is actually going to be the top. I put them together so the slatted tops were on the bottom and the top. I hope this makes sense. So essentially the bottom pallet is top side down and the top pallet is top side up!

Now get a man to help you move this sucker because she is a bit on the heavy side.

Here she is in place!

Here is the view from the side.  I guess I should have glued my nut on a liiiiittle to the right. I was a wee bit tired at this point.

 A little styling...

 Cool trivets

Look at my sad little palm tree. It needs a makeover or maybe just some regular watering might help.
I am about half-way done re-doing this porch. Can yo guess what needs to be reworked next?
The chair is going and I have my mid-century pair of chairs replacing it. So please be patient as I need to get sewing and cushion making and spray painting those bad boys.

Oh, BTW, the table cost me $8.00! 

Please stop back tomorrow when I show finally reveal the vintage downspouts turned........?

Update: I added some different colored slats to make the top solid and more functional. Love it even more I tell ya'!

Always being renewed,

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My Repurposed Life


  1. Kim can't wait for tomorrow U r blessed with some crazy amazing creativity I bet though after the 3rd sliver that beautiful crate table will get a coat of sealer of some kind *-) I love the way u used the sticks to hold the pvc so u could spray paint them that is brilliant

  2. Looks fantastic! My husband is actually in the garage right now building a pallet table for our patio. Yours looks great!! Megan

  3. Wow! That turned out amazing-so clever!

  4. A fabulous use of some old pallets - love the industrial look (and your beautiful porch)!

  5. WOW! gorgeous

    just found your blog - new follower


  6. wow, well done! happy passion parade friday! xo

  7. Im over here via Miss Mustard Seed and loooving your table!!! Im just starting my porch makeover and have been staring down my pallets. DO I Paint them, stain them, leave them as is? Stack them, cut them, .....thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Adorable!! I love the little addition of the hex nuts! That looks great on a patio! Thanks for sharing and I am a new follower!!
    Hope you have had a great weekend!

  9. Pinning! This is so great! I've been wanting to try a pallet-something myself :) I'd love for you to share with my readers if you get the chance: http://www.momontimeout.com/2012/06/taking-timeout-thursday-no35.html

  10. your table looks great, always love a pallet redo!

  11. I love it! And using caulk to create the pipe caps=brilliant. Thanks for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

  12. LOVE that look and so great that it is recycled materials and perfect for porch use!

  13. Seriously love this project! Thanks for linking up.

  14. WOW ... now that is a seriously awesome pallet project! Thanks for sharing it at the {what's shakin' link party}!!

  15. So smart. Everything from start to finish. And your porch...well it is just as amazing. I am sure your home is just beautiful!! Best Wishes for a wonderful weekend, Bobbie

    1. Thanks Bobbie! It is a work in progress, just like me =0)

  16. What a great idea! I think you did a really amazing job thinking out of the box for the nut and bolt look! Thank you so much for linking this up to Rustic Restorations Weekend!!!

  17. I really like your pallet table with the colored wood added...such a great addition to your porch! Thanks for sharing this at Sunday Blog Love, I'll be featuring this as one of my favorites...wishing you a wonderful weekend!

  18. Oh. My. Goodness. That is a KNOCK OUT!!! Love it. Pinning it. Thanks so much for linking up at I Gotta Create! <3 Christina

  19. Amazing as usual! Featuring you today! XO, Aimee

  20. This looks amazing! Genius way to create the pieces that you needed! Where there is a will, there is a way!

  21. this is fantastic! so glad i stumbled on your blog to take a peek! xoxo, tracie

  22. I also love the couch sitting behind the table... an old bed frame? Very cool! Consider yourself pinned! :)

  23. Another fabulous piece!! Keep 'em coming.. I love seeing your creations!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! Don't forget to swing by this evening.. I can't wait to see what you link up! :)

  24. You're a STAR today over at I Gotta Create! I am so in love with this coffee table. Thanks so much for linking up and inspiring us with your talent.

    <3 Christina

  25. Your table is so cool! I love your porch too!

  26. Your gorgeous pallet table is so creative! Thanks so much for sharing it with us at Ivy and Elephants. We love it and have featured it this week! Please stop by and grab yourself a featured button.

  27. Hey Kim.

    I found this blog post by searching about PVC pipes. But after came to know about Your creativity, i feel delightful. Your DIY projects are simply awesome. I will subscribe to your blog for sure. Thanks for such a nice blog post

    Dom Smith

  28. Clever Clever Idea! Love that it was only $8. Looks so cool too! So glad I found your site....am a follower now!


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