We’re seeing it everywhere: boring wood shipping pallets transformed into something new, attractive and on-trend.
I first noticed wood pallet slats transformed as a rustic wall (example: click here). Transforming pallets into usable art and design has been around forever, but not always in the most aesthetically pleasing ways. Lately, they are popping up in:
- Wood pallet walls,
- Wood pallet headboards,
- Wood pallet cabinetry,
- Wood pallet art, and
- More. Entire websites are dedicated to repurposing pallets.
The appeal is rustic, affordable and rich in character. As an appreciator of any effort to repurpose old wood, I’m prone to like this trend. It does, however, come with a serious warning.
Wood pallets may have been treated with chemicals that are dangerous to keep in the home.
Older pallets, which tend to have the most character from age, are likely to have been treated with chemical preservatives, fungicides, insecticides and more. Newer pallets may have been treated with “safe” heat for the same effect. Heat-treated pallets are typically marked with a stamp that says, “HT.”
Organic Authority has a brief, yet effective, write up on the safety of reusing pallets. Their recommended solution is simply to keep them to outside applications.
My recommendation: Achieve the same look with other repurposed wood. It may cost a little more, but you’ll have a better idea of the source and how (or if) the wood has been treated. Bonus: with typically less effort, we can source a previously used wood that is not rough hewn, but retains a rustic character. Trust me, when it comes to cleaning, this will be a decision you never regret.