Updated on January 4, 2023
Today, I am going to share with you how I built gallery wall shelves made from pallet boards in our entry way of our living room. Last year, we installed new laminate flooring throughout most of our home. Since we had to move all our furniture out of each room as we installed the floors, it was the perfect time to assess what our rooms looked like and where we wanted everything to go.
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Our living room is not huge and we already have a large sectional couch in it. This is one of the items I hope to replace sometime in the next year or so. However, we also have a large 55-gallon fish tank. We had to drain out most of the water to move it and we thought long and hard before we decided where it would finally end up in the living room.
The fish tank used to take up the wall behind the couch. It spanned the whole length of the wall and was one of the first things you saw when you walked in. It also made the entry way area seem very closed off and small. So, when we put everything back together in the living room, we decided to move the fish tank to the opposite wall.
This freed up a lot of space right when you walk in our home, but the wall was completely bare now. I wanted to display artwork or decorative pieces in that space and I knew exactly what I wanted to build. I wanted a gallery wall of sorts, that could be changed up and display more than just flat hanging artwork.
To build these shelves, we started by disassembling a pallet.
You can do this in several different ways, but for this project, we found it was easiest to pry the boards apart. Then we used our reciprocating saw to cut the nails sticking out that had been attaching the pallet boards together. The nail heads then become part of the rustic charm of the pallet boards and there is less chance of them splitting apart.
Once the boards were removed, I washed them really well with soap and water and allowed them to dry in the sun for a full day.
To attach the boards together, I used liquid nails along the edge of one board where the two boards would touch.
I then attached the boards together with brad nails using our air compressor.
After the glue dried, I lightly sanded the boards to get rid of any really rough edges with my Ryobi JobPlus.
To attach the shelves to the wall, we started by using our stud finder to find studs in the walls. I measured the wall and figured out where we needed to place each board and made a mark where we would screw the board directly into the wall into the studs.
While I held the board, my husband used the drill to screw the board directly to the wall. If you cannot find the studs or you want to place the shelves in an area where using the studs wouldn’t work, you will need to use wall anchors to attach them to the wall.
Now I can display all of my artwork, my collection of ‘S’ letters, and any other collectibles.
I love that I can easily change out the display. I don’t have a mantel, so I display a lot of our knick knacks on these shelves. I usually add some seasonal decor like a banner or little things that match the season. I am not making a ton of nail holes in the wall to switch things out whenever I want!
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