Pallet Wood- a lesson and the truth

Ok, I know I've been away for a bit and absent in the DIY postings, but I have a very good excuse.  It's been BEAUTIFUL here in Colorado.  The weather is finally cooperating and it's just gorgeous outside.  We have been taking full advantage of outdoor activities and enjoying every single moment in the sun.  I think, maybe, just maybe, spring has finally sprung.  We'll see??? Today, I just want to give you all a little heads up on a project that I that's it finished. Almost finished.

I'm making a laundry sign for my soon to be revealed laundry room makeover.  The sign is just about finished and the tutorial on how to make it will be posted on Monday.  Today I just wanted to talk TRUTH about what seems to be all the rave in DIY blogs right now.  It's what this sign is made out of and what you see above.

Yes, I made the sign from a wood pallet.  Pretty cool, right?  It was headed for the dumpster when I spotted the ever popular piece and saved her!  Actually, I was really excited to make "something" out of pallet wood.  I have seen so many great projects on pinterest and around different blogs that just lit a fire in me to make something out of pallet wood- anything.
Plus, there's the fact that this is free wood.  So why wouldn't I take this free wood and all the free pallets I could get my hands on?  So many projects.  So many possibilities.   And then there's the many problems.

 First, pallets are very heavy and extremely difficult to take apart.  I did my homework and checked out many sources on the "easy" way to take pallets apart.  Truth.  There is no easy way.  The nails are thick and long .  There's a reason why pallets are able to support hundreds if not thousands of pounds.  There are about 1,000 nails keeping the wood together (maybe I'm exaggerating but not by much).  Pulling them out took about 2-3 hours, and it was hard labor.  Even though I exercise regularly, my entire body SCREAMED in soreness the next morning.  Hello, muscles I didn't know I had!
(By the way, if you ever come across blue pallets, skip it!  A friend of mine works in the pallet business and those blue pallets are the strongest.  They are not meant to come apart-EVER)

Second, pallets splinter very easily.  Although I was very careful as I took out the nails and broke the pallet down, so many of the pieces splintered in half.  If you look at my laundry sign carefully, you'll notice the top piece is splintered.  That's fine for the rustic look I was going for, but not fine for others.  So many pieces turned out too splintered that they just weren't salvageable.  For the time that it took, I would have liked to have had every piece of wood at my disposal.

Third, the wood is also raw, which means extra sanding, and in some places, it will never be smooth.  Once my pallet was taken apart and I sanded down each piece, it sat in my garage for a while.  I was rather tired and overwhelmed by the time it took me to get the wood ready for projects.  It's great to have free wood.  I'm all about free anything, but I think I'd rather spend a couple dollars at my home improvement store for pressure treated wood...that they'll cut for free. 

Fourth, and the final reason I won't go running after a pallet ever again, the wood is difficult to work with for projects.  I love my DIY projects- getting my hands dirty, pulling out my tools, brushing out the sawdust in my hair.  I love it all, but this pallet wood just doesn't cooperate.  It looks like the pieces are all the same size and shape, but they're not.  Some pieces are thicker than others and most aren't cut straight.  It's pallet wood after all.  No need for uniformity.

All in all, I know I had to experience pallet wood for myself.  I did and now I'm done.  The only good part about this experience is that I have extra wood in my garage.  A girl like me always needs wood options when it comes to projects.  And as far as all those projects using pallet wood that I see on pinterest and around blogland, I say good for them, but I'll be purchasing my wood from here on out.

I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Savvy Southern Style

No Minimalist Here
The Shabby Creek Cottage

Miss Mustard Seed

Funky Junk Interiors
Coastal Charm