DIY Colorful Pallet Wall Backdrop

Make a colorful, rustic pallet wall backdrop with this photo tutorial! Or use it as a painted accent wall, headboard, or a photographer's studio backdrop!

I get so many questions about my colorful pallet wall backdrop that I wanted to make a quick photo tutorial for it. If you follow me on Facebook, you probably recognize this design that’s always behind me during my facebook live videos! It’s a fun DIY project that can be used for so many different home decor designs. It reminds me of a rustic shiplap style that you might see in farmhouse decor.

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Pallet Wall Supply List

  1. 9‘ x 8‘ sheet of 1/2” plywood
  2. Old pallets (cut into pieces with saw)
  3. Nail Gun
  4. Paper
  5. Pen
  6. Measuring Tape
  7. Sandpaper
  8. DecoArt Acrylic Paint

This project all started because I wanted a backdrop for my videos that was colorful, eye-catching and had lots of texture and interest! We started out with a 5‘ x 6‘ sheet of 1/2” plywood as the base. Later, we decided to increase this by about 2 feet on each side and two more feet across the bottom for a overall size of 9‘ x 8‘. Since it was heavy and we wanted it really stable, we screwed into the studs in the wall.

Wall Prep for Pallet Wall Colorful Backdrop by Southern ADOORnments
Support for Pallet Wall Colorful Backdrop by Southern ADOORnments

Next, my husband cut apart some old pallets. We didn’t bother with pulling out the nails. We just used a saw and cut them into pieces. Some are longer than others, some are wider than others but none of that matters! We gave them a light sanding to remove any splinters and gunk that was on them. 

Pallet Wood Ready for Pallet Wall Colorful Backdrop by Southern ADOORnments
Pallet Wood Stack for Pallet Wall Colorful Backdrop

Hanging The Pallet Pieces

Nailing Painted Wood for Pallet Wall Colorful Backdrop by Southern ADOORnments

I painted several of the cut pieces before I even nailed them into the wall. But then I quickly realized that this is like putting together a puzzle and it’s difficult to know which piece goes where until you get them all up there. So I stopped painting each piece and just started nailing them to the wall.

Making Progress!

We used a nail gun and air compressor. Our nails were about an inch long. We found that the older the pieces of pallet wood were, the more difficult it was to drive a nail through them. So working with newer pallets would have been easier. Another tip, you need to make sure to stagger the boards on the pallet wall so that they don’t meet up perfectly on the ends. This is difficult to accomplish, so we didn’t get it perfect, but once you get them all painted in different colors, it’s not nearly as noticeable.

Finishing the Pallet Wall Project

After you get as many boards nailed to the wall as you can, you’re going to have some gaps that you need to fill. I recommend getting out of sheet of paper, a pen and a measuring tape.

Start in the top left-hand corner and work your way across from left to right and then down. Measure each piece that you are going to have to cut to a custom size to fit the gaps you were trying to fill. Give each piece a letter of the alphabet or number to identify it. If you need to, use a piece of chalk to mark the letter and where it goes on the wall. Then go cut all of your custom pieces. Now they’re ready to nail them all into the wall.

Nailing painted boards for Pallet Wall Colorful Backdrop by Southern ADOORnments
Nailing Painted Wood for Pallet Wall Colorful Backdrop for Photo or Video by Tamara Bennett of Southern ADOORnments

Adding Colors

As for colors, I recommend selecting at least six or seven different colors depending on your taste. Some of you may want to keep it a little more neutral. But I love the color! (Some of you might remember my recent blog post where I was challenged to use more neutral farmhouse colors and it was new territory for me!) Anyway, my goal was to spread out the colored pieces as best I could so that no two colors were side-by-side. I used some of my favorite colorful DecoArt acrylic craft paints in bright colors like pink, yellow, turquoise, and lime green.

Start by giving each pallet wall piece a basecoat of the color. Then, using a Drybrush technique, add a little bit of white on top of the basecoat. Adding the white kept the colors really bright on top of the dark color wood. I even dry-brushed on some pink on top of yellow and turquoise on top of green and so on to make them look a little bit more worn and varied in color. My husband and I decided that we preferred the look with some boards colored and some of them left natural. So we did not paint all of the boards.

Voila! The Finished Product

When you’re finished, step back and admire your handiwork! I even hung a fun little pom-pom and streamer banner across the middle that I found at hobby lobby in the spring collection section.

Even if you do not need a video backdrop or a craft room wall, this pallet wall would be an awesome project to use as a headboard or accent wall in any room! The style reminds me of a barn-inspired, weathered wood design. It’s also a perfect project for a photographer that wants a DIY studio backdrop for family photos. Or maybe even for a wedding!

You can definitely play with different colors of stain to give a different style or go more neutral so that it matches your decor! And don’t forget that I offer a lot of my favorite supplies for crafting and painting in my Amazon shop, including the woodworking tools that I recommend for your DIY projects!

If you love crafting and discovering new project ideas, make sure that you join the waitlist for my Painters’ Clubhouse! Every month, I share lots of new ideas, plus my favorite tips and tricks, for door hangers and other fun craft projects. 

Get on my waitlist now so that you’ll be one of the first to know when we’re accepting new members into our Clubhouse community!

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