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Treating & Staining Pallet Wood For Outdoor Use


If you are searching for “how to treat pallet wood for outdoor use” or “how to stain pallet wood” you are probably looking for a guide on how to re-purpose pallets in a creative way. This page is designed to help you understand the process of finding your pallet and how to successfully take it from wood on the ground to a beautiful outdoor addition to your home. Once you have found out the right wooden pallet to use for the project you have in mind, and have also found it to be safe for you to use, are you ready to start your project? The first thing you will need to do is break your pallet down, be sure to use proper safety equipment such as goggles, gloves, and protective long sleeve clothing and pants when doing this. You can use a cat’s paw or a hammer to help pry the wood pallet apart. 

Staining your pallet is the best way to treat it for outdoor use

Staining your pallet wood is the best way to treat it for outdoor use. In order to give your project the touch of a perfect finish, you are going to pass through the wood pallets staining process. There is a correct way of going about the staining to get a beautiful finish for your wood pallets use for a re-cycled purpose. Below you will find some staining tips to use on your pallet wood, they will be useful to you, especially, if you are a new at this.

If you pay close attention you will be able to learn what type of wood your pallet is made of from this article. Maybe you already know about that stuff and are just looking to spice up the life of your piece using color. Whatever your it is you are looking for, we are here to assist you.

Types of wood stains

There are various types of wood stains, much like there are different kinds of paint for your home. Some stains penetrate further into the wood and give it a different look. There is a wide variety of colors to choose from so you can really individualize your project to get that one-of-a-kind look.

Surface stains:

This type of stain is fast drying and water based, they will not go any deeper than a layer of the wood cells. This makes them the best type to use on things like frames, wood trims, logs, railings, homes that have wood sidings, and spindles.

Shallow penetrating stains:

This type of stain is oiled based, an alkyd dispersion stain and has water-oil emulsions that go as deep as four layers in your wood, offering great water resistance properties. If applied correctly, quality brands will give a superior longevity, wearing at an even pace.

PureColor stains:

You will get the same benefits from this type of stain as you would from the oil based shallow-penetrating staining, except this type is easier to clean up and have not got any toxic chemicals, nor smells. This type also has twenty-four different colors to choose from. Available at PureColor, Inc.

Deep penetrating stains:

This type of stain is oil based and penetrates around a ½ of an inch depth into the wood. This type does not create a surface film as others do so they do not tend to flake. However, it may leave an oily residue behind.

Choosing the right stain when staining your wood pallet

If you want your finished project to be outstanding, you need to be sure you are getting the right type of stain for it. You cannot just pick out a stain color from a chart, there is more to it than that. For instance, if you choose a brown stain it could turn out to have a pinkish color when used on redwood, so it also depends on the type of wood to be used.

Make sure to test a sample of the stain on an unnoticeable area of your wood before actually starting your project, to be on the safe side. You will need to make certain that the stain you choose will be compatible with the wood, as well as any other finishing products you are going to be using. You also want to get a stain that is going to be compatible with wood sealants, wood top finishes, and wood preservatives so that you will get a stronger enough bond to hold your finished project together for many years.

Wood pallets are going to give you a warm honey tone, and there are not a lot of people that care for this type of tone, however, most prefer the softer grays, whites, and etc. To get that kind of an effect on a wood pallet, the ‘Amy Howard at Home Liming Wax‘ is a wonderful choice, as it brings out the grain of the pallets. Otherwise, it is our recommendation to go with the one step paint.

How to stain pallet wood

The preparation and process of staining your wood pallet consists of 3 main stages. These are preparing the pallet, staining the wood, and laying a protective top coat. These need not all be done all at once so take your time and enjoy the creative process as you do your project. 

Preparing the pallet:

  • The preparation of the wood pallet ahead of time is going to ensure your application is proper so that it will last longer.
  • These pointers should be kept in mind when preparing the wood pallet to be stained.
  • If you have decided on creating a contrast in your all white closet by staining your pallet with a dark brown, you will want to sand their surfaces first.
  • Always sand going with the grain to keep from scratching the surface.
  • Remove the dust with a tack cloth as you are sanding your pallet.
  • Your stain will end up looking uneven and blotchy if you let the dust settle in the woods pores.
  • Applying a wood conditioner first will help the woods ability to absorb the stain more evenly.
  • The wood should be completely dry before the staining process begins.
  • If the stain is applied to a wood pallet that is humid it will make it flake back off.
  • Never stain on humid days.

Things ‘to do’ & ‘not to do’ while staining:

  • Start out by using a light coat, this prevents a heavy build-up towards the end.
  • It is better too end up with it lighter than you wanted, and add another coat of stain.
  • A stain that sets for too long can become sedentary, becoming too thick and creating an uneven application.
  • Be prepared to reduce any viscosity by having a compatible thinner on hand, which will help to keep your application smooth.

Finish up with the top coat:

  • It is not the stain that provides a long term protection for your wood pallet project!
  • After your reach the stain you desire, you will need to apply the clear top coat, this is what is going to protect the wood pallet from getting scratches, stains, and water damage.
  • It depends on which of the many different finishing options you decide to go with as to the results of your project, as the results can vary.
  • The most popular top coat is Polyurethane, as it is very durable.

Staining and wrapping up your wood pallet project

Wood pallets has been being re-cycled or re-purposed for products for a long time now, it is a favorite of DIY’ers all over the world. It takes some special skills to be able to work with wood pallets, so it would be beneficial to all beginners to take time and learn the basics before starting any projects.

The art of working with wood pallets takes skills such as cutting, sanding, polishing, among other things. Projects that consist of staining and finishing may appear to be an easy task, but now you are realizing that it involves many skilled areas, such as getting the right type of stain for the job, steps that need to be followed for proper preparation, and etc. With the help of the tips we have included, you will be able to go a head with your staining project on wood pallets in the proper matter.  

AAA Pallet & Lumber Co. Offers New & Used Pallets in Phoenix, Arizona

If you are looking for quality pallets for your outdoor pallet projects, AAA & Lumber Pallet Co. has you covered in the Greater Phoenix Metro area. We carry newused, and recycled pallets and have many options that are safe for indoor and outdoor use. We can help you select pallets that will be good for outdoor use and will be chemical free. If you have any questions please call us today at 602-278-1450.