DIY Pallet Kitchen Island for Less Than $50

2 Days

Using Pallets can be an economical way to add a rustic feel to your home when you are creating furniture.
We moved to a rental before purchasing our home. Our rental lacked kitchen storage and counterspace, but with a tight budget, we needed to find a creative way to stretch our budget and build a kitchen island that would solve our storage problems.
We purchased 4 x 4s for the corner posts and 2 x 4s for the support structure. When measuring, we made sure there was allowance for appliance doors to open and close, as well as catering the height to work for my husband and I. Your measurements will vary based on your space in the kitchen.
I wanted the exterior to show the weathered wood from the pallets. Look at that gorgeous gray! *swoon*
I used 2 contrasting woods for the front to add that rustic, junky feel. We attached the pallet wood using the original holes from the pallets.
The bottom shelf would be visible, so we cut the pallet sides at varying lengths. I finished the fresh cut edges with distressing glaze to match the original weathering of the wood.
We added a second shelf using the side supports as brackets.
For the top, I didn't want to use pallet wood since it would be used as a cooking surface. Even though we cleaned and pressure washed our pallets, I didn't feel comfortable with all the critters that may have crawled across. Ew! We had spare 2 x 4s on hand that we cut to fit the top. If you don't have spare wood on hand, this may add to your overall cost.
I used the same distressing glaze on the posts and tops to richen the wood color and add that slight weathered look.
What have you created using pallet wood? Check out my blog for other ideas and more details of this build.

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Noting Grace

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

2 questions
  • Dave
    on Aug 27, 2016

    So how do you keep the food out of the cracks on the top?

    • James Levere
      on Jan 20, 2019

      Couldn't one just use a regular counter top or a piece of 1/2" or 3/4" plywood with some kind of sealer?

  • Nat
    on Mar 20, 2017

    Hi, how do you dismantle the pallet? I find the boards crack or it's impossible to remove the deep nails from the wood...

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