Over the last few months, I spent some time helping a friend rebuild his patio covering. We transformed it into a room. We installed plumbing and electrical wiring that passed inspection (yeah!), framing and finished the ceiling.
Unfortunately, my friend’s funds ran out before we could get to the walls. We walked through used building supply stores, lumber yards and more for scrap wood for the project. We sat down on a bench I had made for him as a housewarming gift. A bench made from old wooden pallets. As I stared at it, inspiration struck. I had seen something online somewhere we could use.
After searching on his computer, I found what I was looking for. One look at the project and he was hooked. We decided to make a wall covering in a herringbone style using wooden pallets. Our boards would be sized for the 16″ on-center wall studs. I told him he had to collect a few pallets. A few dozen would be better. Since some of his neighbors would have a question or two about all those pallets, we offered to make benches for them in exchange for their patience.
Many businesses will give pallets away free of charge. Put an ad on Craigslist or in the paper; offer to haul them away. You’ll have more than enough before you know it.
You will need:
- · 2-by-4’s for framing
- · Wooden pallets
- · Hacksaw or reciprocating saw to cut through nails
- · Metal detector- available at most DIY stores- to locate nails in the wood
- · Galvanized wood screws, ¾” long or pneumatic nailer filled with galvanized nails
- · Miter saw or protractor and ruler
- · Measuring and marking tools
- · Saw if you don’t have a miter saw
- · Planer or sandpaper
Carefully take the pallets apart and stack the wooden planks. Decide on how wide you want the planks to be and cut to width, if necessary.
Do not use wood stained with chemicals, oil or other toxic substances.
The boards were planed to make them smooth on one side. This side would be on the inside of the wall. It also made them the same thickness.
Beginning at a long wall, we marked down the center of every other wall stud. We were fortunate that we had enough studs to end the wall on a marked board.
In the article about herringbone privacy panels, the designer used wood cut at 22.5°. My friend wanted a steeper angle for a more interesting look.
Once he decided on an angle, he cut one board with that angle- 30°. He held the board up to the edge, matching the angle to the outside board. The end of the board covered the center marked board. I made matching marks using a ruler. The end of the board was cut on the miter saw.
Since every wall stud was carefully placed at exactly 16″ on center, we did not have to match every portion of wall.
We used the board to cut a second one and checked the fit against the wall. They lined up perfectly in a “V” shape.
We began cutting boards to the angles and stacking them. He decided he wanted to alternate the shades of the woods. We sorted the boards and began attaching them. The boards must attach at the center mark of the wall studs.
To fill in the shapes at the top and bottom, we used the protractor to match the angles of the boards. Scrap wood was cut first and fitted into the spaces. These scraps were used as templates for the “good wood.”
For the outside of the patio wall, he wanted something different. We marked the center boards again. For the outside of the boards, we measured from the edge to the first center mark. The first board was cut and nailed in place.
We marked every other wall stud between the marked ones with a different colored marking. You’ll see why in a second.
We measured from the edge to the alternating wall stud center mark. We cut the wood and held it above the “short” board.
Insulation was put in place to keep the room warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Next, we cut another short board, long, short and so forth. We ended up with a brick-like pattern. We attached the boards all the way around.
Instead of painting the room, he decided to stain and seal the boards. The wood patterns matched the style of his 1950’s cottage perfectly.
His neighbors are not only happy with the design, they are pleased with their benches. More than a few have “hinted” they’d like to have their patios and porches redone. Who knows? Perhaps I could pick up a few extra bucks in the process- I’ve got experience now.
Source: The author of this article has over 40 years of experience in diverse forms of DIY, home improvement and repair, crafting, designing, and building furniture, outdoor projects, RV’ing and more.
Source: Brian Patrick Flynn, “How-To: Herringbone Screen,” HGTV website, no date given