June 28, 2015 by bridgitgillis
I’m sure you’ve seen these before. An old pallet painted like a flag. I know I’ve seen them around, and with a new house to decorate outside and the Fourth of July coming up this weekend, I figured I’d give my own version a try. I went for an older, more handmade look but you could make yours however you want! I’ve included how I made mine in the instructions below…
Electric or Battery operated saw
Sand paper or orbital sander
Red, White, and Blue Paint
Brown Paint Glaze or Stain (optional)
Clear Coat, like a Shellac or Polyurethane
How I did it:
1. Decide on how large you want your flag. Do you want it to be the entire size of the pallet, or do you want to cut some pieces off? The bottom board of my pallet was broken in half, so I decided to cut off the bottom two boards so that my pallet was more of a rectangle shape. Be sure that you cut both the front and back of your pallet evenly so that it sits well. Make sure you keep in mind the construction of the pallet and that you don’t cut it in a way that it might fall apart later down the road. I wanted my pallet to have an uneven number of stripes, so that there was red on the top and on the bottom, which is another reason why I cut two boards off of the pallet.
2. Depending on the condition of your pallet, lightly sand it with sand paper or do a more thorough job with an orbital sander.
3. Once that is complete, find a clean place to begin painting. Decide what part of your pallet will be blue and begin there. You might want to use a ruler or level and pencil in a straight line. I opted not to do this, because I was going for a more handmade look. I chose to paint only the top of the boards and filled in the edges and supports with a brown glaze that looks like stain.
4. After the blue is in, paint your stripes red and white.
5. When the blue is dry, paint your stars. Decide on how many you can fit in each row, whether you want to use a ruler or level, and whether you want to stencil them in or paint them freehand. Since I went for a handmade look, I purposely made my stars go in different directions and did not use a ruler or level.
6. Once the red, white, blue, and stars are dry, consider using a brown glaze or light brown stain. I glazed the edges of the boards and put a light coat on the tops of the painted flag, wiping off the excess until it had the aged look that I was going for. If you really want to go for an old look, you could lightly sand the edges and some of the painted surface of the flag before staining.
7. When all that is dry, protect it with a clear coat like a shellac or polyurethane. If your pallet will be in direct weather, consider two coats. Since mine is semi-protected along the house, I only applied one coat.
8. After you’ve waited until it is completely dry (or as long as you can handle waiting!) place your pallet somewhere where everyone will see it and enjoy the complements!