Some like it raw, but there are some cases where paint adds style and make your pallet creation more attractive. So once you've made your piece of furniture (with a special care on how you choose your pallet regarding the use you want), you now may want to paint it.
The main steps you will have to follow are : [PAINT] -->[SAND] --> [STAIN]
Beyond this Tryptic, here are several tips you need to know:
- Every pallet is unique, and if you are using several ones, they may not take the paint the same way!
- You'll ease your work if you sand the wood completely so that rough surface becomes little smooth and rough spots are off. But do not sand it too much as the roughness helps add to the character
- After sanding, remove all the dust with a damp washcloth. You can also use TSP, but I usually just use a wet washcloth. Clean the wood thoroughly to make sure the paint will adhere to the wood.
- To paint it, we usually recommend the "chip brush" as it's cheap (you can find plenty of them <1$).
- Since pallets are likely to be porous, that can give your paint job a very uneven finish. I would recommend priming your wood before painting.
- If you are going for a rustic, aged look, then, you could probably get away with skipping the primer.
- If you want to paint several colors with the same brush, always start with the lightest colors! But be aware some colors don't blend well. In this case, use a new brush.
- The number of layers depends on how you want your pallet to be. You can apply between 1 and 4. It's recommended to wait for the first one to be dry before starting the following layer, but we are all impatient, and sometimes, I start while the previous layer is not completely dry --> feeling is essential.
- If you want a vintage look (see pic above), you can apply only one layer, and then sand the wood again. You can also imagine mixing colors - usually bright ones (one layer of each), before sanding it again (sometimes a lot, sometimes a little), always depending on your feeling and on the final look you want.
- If you want a plain look (see pic above) then you may use several paint layers, avoiding to sand it again.
- An 80 grid sandpaper is suitable for all type of uses.
- For the type of paint, then it really depends on, I'm not focused on a particular paint (latex paint, acrylic paint, etc.). I also like to try new ones, and at times I can also mix colors.
- Once you sanded (after painting it), if you want the color to last longer, then stain it or wax it. You can find a complete set of stain in DIY stores. You can use a chip brush too, and you can make it last if you brush it off on a rag after use.
- Most of the pallet wood takes the stain dark, so I don't recommend the Dark Walnut stain, and usually prefer brighter ones.
- Stain the entire pallet furniture/creation.
- After putting on the stain, wipe it off (with a piece of an old t-shirt in my case).
- Use a layer of bright finish or polish to make it shine (not necessary, but recommended if for an outdoor piece).
So now, I think you got it: [PAINT] --> [SAND] --> [STAIN], and feel free to provide us with your tips in the comments! And remember, before starting a new pallet project, to check if your pallet is safe.