Can You Use Pallet Wood As Shiplap? (Key Tips)

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Shiplap is a style of wood wall cladding characterized by long boards, basically, the slats of which pallets are composed can be used to clad walls in a similar style to shiplap, except that the pallet slats are much shorter, but the look of both materials is very similar as far as the rustic style is concerned.

Perhaps it goes without saying that the wood obtained from a pallet is not specifically designed for the purpose of being used as cladding, but it is specifically for this reason that I am writing this topic, there are several creative methods for using pallet wood as wall cladding.

As well as pre and post preparations for tablet shingles, many people find wood siding attractive, but what is not attractive are the prices of treated lumber intended for siding, installed shiplap can cost well over $10.00 per square feet installed.

This is why using pallet shiplap is a very attractive idea for people venturing into do-it-yourself projects, especially since they don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to do it, although working with pallets can be a somewhat complicated job due to the qualities of this wood.

The pallet wood can be used to build practically anything that involves wood, whether for a coating, fence, furniture, beds, even floors made of pallets I’ve seen, with the pallet just need creativity, patience, and know the basic details of the structure to do a good job.


What is the best pallet wood to use for siding?

In order to know which is the best tablet wood that can be used as cladding, it is necessary to know the types of wood from which the pallets are made.

There are two types of wood used to make pallets:

Softwood: spruce, larch, Oregon pine, spruce, and pine.

Hardwood: birch, acacia, alder, maple, chestnut, poplar, ash, beech, elm, plane, and oak.

In order to differentiate one from the other, softwood or coniferous wood is evergreen, that is to say, it does not lose its leaves during the year, in addition to the fact that it takes less time to grow, therefore, it is attributed less quality, less useful life, easy to cut and prepare, and it is more economical.

However, it is the most commonly used wood because it is very easy to work with, both in cutting and preparation. In addition, they need more care and are easily damaged.

The hard or leafy wood, are deciduous trees, they lose their leaves in autumn. They take longer to grow, and therefore their wood is denser and of higher quality than softwoods, for this reason, they have a higher price.

They are also more difficult to work with because they are less smooth and have irregularities.

Softwood, especially pine, is the best pallet wood to work with as cladding, there is a large quantity of this wood, its growth is fast, and the availability and price of pallets of this wood are very accessible.

The pallets with this wood are smoother and with fewer irregularities, therefore they can be easier to work with to be applied as cladding.

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How to make pallet planks look aesthetically pleasing in cladding?

Generally, the wood used for siding is of a lesser thickness than the others, this wood can be 1″ inch, which makes it less heavy, and it looks more aesthetic on the surfaces.

The trick to making pallet siding look very refined and aesthetic is to plain and cut all the pallet slats to the same width and length with a table saw and also to thin the thickness of the slat a little, for example, if the board is 3/4 inch thick and you can thin it to 1/2 inch thick.

The easiest way to reduce the thickness of a pallet wood slat is with an electric planer, passing it several times over the surface of the pallet slat not only reduces the thickness but also gives a better finish by polishing the surface.

Should you nail or glue the pallets directly to the wall for the cladding?

It is not a good idea to nail the pallet slats directly to the wall, you could damage both the wall and the pallet slats themselves, the ideal is to hang wooden slats on the wall at a distance that does not exceed the width of the pallet slats, these slats could be 2 “x2”, on this base of slats nail the pallet siding.

This not only makes the process easier and prevents you from turning your walls into a sieve, but also gives you the possibility to work on a much more level surface.

You can also use plywood sheets as a substitute for the battens and use this as a base to put the pallet battens on.

As for the choice of gluing or nailing the pallets, both options are viable, although it is more feasible to use a nail gun to attach the pallet slats to the wood slats, some people also opt for the glue to attach the pallet siding.

Can you use pallets as your lumber when building your walls?

You can use the pallets as lumber in some walls that are not too big, the pallets should be used whole and the idea is to reinforce the joints of the pallets both vertically and horizontally with some 2 “x4”.

Pallets stacked vertically on top of each other do not really form a very reliable structure, a wall made of pallets has many weaknesses, especially to lateral forces, such as wind forces.

Ideally, you can reinforce the structure with wooden columns and beams, as well as some 2 “x4” between the vertical and horizontal joints of each pallet, this will give much more rigidity to the structure.

Not all pallets are the same nor are they made of the same materials, there are pallets made of oak wood, which are quite resistant and can support a considerable amount of weight.

While other pallets are made of a type of wood called sapwood, which are not as strong or of acceptable quality as being used in a wall to support the weight.

Important tips before using pallet wood in a home

Before using pallet wood to be used in any space in your home, you must treat and seal it, you do not know the origin of the wood, pallet wood tends to be infected with insects and other agents that could be harmful to your health and that of your family. You can treat the pallets and wood with a water seal.

After spraying the pallet slats with fungicide, let them dry for at least 24 hours in the sun to avoid problems with accumulated moisture in the wood.

When you are going to paint the pallet slats, do it while they are still uninstalled, it will be much easier, you can choose wood varnish of different shades to make the coating more colorful.

For greater stability in the wind turn the vanes 90 degrees and put a pair of 2x4s in the vertical voids, this with the idea of providing rigidity to the wall.

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