It’s no secret we’ve got a love of pallets over here at So Eclectic. You’ve seen our post on the pallet path and pallet shelves. Well, Jess’s questions on how to and where to get all those lovely pallets that have been bouncing around the blog world lately, lead me to this post. Where do you find them? Are they chemically treated? What do you do about the occasional grossness?
Where to get ’em: As it turns out, obtaining a pallet is actually quite easy. Pallets are a common shipping material just like styrofoam peanuts. They’re used all the time to ship stuff. Like furniture, crates, dog food, and such. After they’ve been used, pallets are often just simply discarded. So, you can find them by dumpsters and alleyways. Also, you can just ask the company where you see one if you can have it. Look at places they get lots of shipments, such as: malls, Wal-Mart or Target, Greyhound stations, furniture stores. Or, if you get a large piece of furniture or heavy item delivered as freight there’s often a pallet tied to it. Ask the driver if you can keep it.
The Chemicals: By law, pallets have to be treated for pests so that all those little buggies don’t make their way easily around the US. From what I understand, pallets can be either heat treated or chemically treated with methyl bromide. In March of 2010, the chemical treatment started being phased out. So, to be on the safe side try and pick up heat treated pallets. How can you tell? Well, heat treated are often marked with HT and the chemically treated ones are marked with MB. If you plan on making a vertical garden or putting any edible food on the pallet make sure you get heat treated ones.
Grossness: Because pallets are used for shipping, they can often be really dirty, have splintery edges, or nails and screws poking out. When you get your pallet home, give it a tough scrub or power wash. Let it dry out in the sun and then use a coarse grit sand paper to get out the rough spots. Then, use finer grits of sandpaper to make it smooth. Especially if you’re making a piece you don’t necessarily want to rub up against and get splinters.
More pallet eye candy for your viewing pleasure:
Hope you’re inspired and ready to create! We’d love to see what you do with your pallet!