How To Make a Pallet Shop Counter and Reception Desk

Reception desks and shop counters are hubs of activity in any business. They are also highly visible to customers. You want this piece of office furniture to be functional while complementing your overall decorating scheme. You may need look no further than receiving for materials to create a sturdy and custom reception piece.

Pallet wood has become a popular building material. No longer limited to rustic themes, pallet wood is great for modern and industrialist decorating projects. Their sturdy nature and easy-to-work-with components make pallets an ideal building material for DIYers. Here are some tips on how to make a pallet shop counter or reception desk.

The basic steps to making your own shop counter are:

  1. Source your materials
  2. Assemble the frame.
  3. Add boards, shelves, and countertops.
  4. Sealing or painting the wood.
  5. Adding accessories.

Gather and Prepare Your Materials

Pallets can be found in a variety of places. Many businesses would be just as happy to have you haul away their trash instead of hiring someone to do it. It can be a win-win situation for everyone involved – you get free building materials and they get their stock room cleaned out! Here are some places you might want to contact first:

  • Big box or home improvement stores
  • Pet food or feed stores
  • Appliance stores
  • New home or store construction projects
  • Search online resale sites

Once you have located enough pallets to begin your desk project, start to remove the thinner boards from their frames. Remember to wear gloves so that you don’t get splinters on the unfinished wood. Separate the wood into sections based on appearance, length, and sturdiness. Toss the nails into a small bucket or re-purposed can so that no one accidentally steps or drives on one later.

Design Your Reception Piece

This step may seem out of place, but I assure you it belongs after gathering materials. When working with re-purposed wood, you can never be sure exactly what you will find. The design of your finished project will depend on the length, quality, and amount of wood you were able to source, so it must be done after supplies are gathered.

Don’t be limited by what you have already seen done. Use your imagination and design a piece of furniture that will serve your needs while also being an attractive addition to your office space. Decide if you want the boards to be placed horizontally or vertically. Go ahead and lay out the boards to get an overall idea of the length of your new desk.

There is a great deal of flexibility working with individual boards. They can be placed tight together or with spaces between each piece. You can cut boards to make them shorter and/or thinner. You also have the ability to place them along curved surfaces, adding to the modern look of your finished piece.

Putting it Together

The frame of your new counter can be built using framing wood from the pallets if it is suitable. Depending on your project design, however, you may need to purchase dimensional lumber form a hardware store to complete this step.

Make sure this part is drawn out first, with each piece measured precisely before you cut. Measure twice, cut once, is definitely called into action during the frame build.

If you are integrating shelves you will want to establish the best stage to place them before you begin construction. This will help you avoid headaches later on when they can no longer be added without destroying your new piece of furniture.

Placing boards over your frame is more creative than precise. Place the boards one at a time. Many people will find it more visually appealing to alternate pieces based on the coloring. This obviously won’t matter if you are going to paint the finished project.

Pay attention to the ends of your boards They need to be attached to a framing piece for stability. If you are staggering seams for a running bond look, you will need to measure the span length and cut half of the pieces down the center. Make sure you have a framing support where these shorter pieces will butt together.

Attach all the pallet wood to the frame with nails. Consider predrilling pilot holes to make the project go smoothly. If you opt to use screws instead, choose ones with small or decorative heads so it doesn’t detract from the finished project.

Once you have the shelves and boards attached to your frame, you can add your counter top. You can purchase a premade counter, or build your own for a complete DIY project.

If you are planning to make a top out of pallet wood, you will need to plan on building a small frame or placing nailers along the top of the counter. Concrete counter tops are also a nice complement to pallet wood. They are extremely durable and easy to clean once sealed.

Finishing Touches

Once your counter is assembled, decide on how you will finish it. It is quite common to see pieces like this left unfinished, or simply sealed with an oil finish. You may decide to paint your project to coordinate with your business color scheme. Either way, don’t forget the accessories. Galvanized and iron accents work well with pallet wood.

You now have a functional and attractive custom piece of furniture. This shop counter and reception desk will serve for years as a beautiful addition to your office space

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