Have you sat on your porch bench on a gorgeous summer day looking to relax and something just doesn't feel right?
Something you can't quite put your hands on?
Well that something might be an absence of leisure that you so crave on such days.
But don't you worry your sweet soul.
If its the charm of a swing you need, which I'm almost sure it is!
This brilliant DIY pallet project will magically transform your porch but only set you back a dime.
The DIY project is perfect especially for beginners with minimal skill and materials requirements.
Let's roll those sleeves, power a few tools and get to the grind.
Tools for the Craft
- Curved craw hammer
- Wood screw driver
- Drill and bits
- Stainless steel wood nails and screws
- Tape measure
- Power sander
- Safety gloves
- Saftey goggles
- Wood filler
- Wood primer
- Wood paint
- Paint brush
- Pry bar
- Poach swing chainkit
- Pallets preferably made of sturdy oak
A Trip to the Junkyard
Now we need to do what is considered the dirty work.
Visit the local junkyard, nurseries or shipping yard and collect some pallet boards.
You definitely need to get pieces that are repairable, ideally, healthy wood with all parts intact or at least can easily be put back together if damaged.
The number of pallets will entirely depend on the number of sits you need on the swing or bench.
And we are on our way home.
Inspect the Pallets
- Put on your safety gloves and Inspect the pallet.Look for any stains, code marking and erect nails or screws.
- Using a craw hammer remove nails and tacks that are sticking out.
- Inspect the pallets for stains or any discoloration and ensure the stains (if any) are not harmful chemicals residue.
- Inspect the pallet for any wood treatment for safety purposes. Most pallets have treatment codes painted or embedded on the wood.These codes are not part of the company logo but they are easy to identify.Heat treated(HT),debarked(DB),Kiln-dried(KD) and European Pallet Association(EPAL) treated pallets should be safe for use.
Washing and Sanding the Pallets
- Use a power washer to clean dirt off the pallet.
- Leave the wood outside to dry.
- Disassemble the dry pallets using a hammer or pry bar.However, this step is not necessary if pallets are clean and don't need intense and detailed sanding.
- Put on your safety goggles and clamp the wood or pallet in a position ideal for sanding.
- Rub the wood’s surface with the grain or power sander, starting with a coarse sandpaper and moving up to a fine grade. Sand the entire pallet so that it is smooth to touch and won’t cause splinters.
- After you completely sand the surface use water and dish detergent to clean the wood pallet and rinse it.
- Leave the wood/pallet out to dry.
- Hammer the wood back together to make a pallet like it previously were.
Make the Swing Back and Seat
- Measure the pallets to desired sizes, the width of the pallet will make the backrest which will be the height of the back.You might need to cut off part of that pallet to make a standard size back.The length of both pallets will make the length of the resulting back and seat areas.
- Mark the area of desired sizes from the end of each cross member from where you will cut off the excess material.
- Cut along the marks, flipping over the pallet to complete the cuts from either side when the pieces are deep and cutting from one side is not possible.
- Remove the lowest board from the bottom of the back pallet to create three sluts free, then remove the second last board from the back of the seat pallet when put in the position it will sit in once joined with the back pallet.
- Take the backrest pallet and place it through space you removed the second last board on the lower seat pallet.
- Place the top backrest pallet either at an angle or perpendicular depending on your desire and nail or screw the verticle slats to the horizontal slats on the top and bottom pallets.
- Measure the top of the backrest and cut three straight boards of that metered size.Mount one board on the top front part, and the second at the back and one on top to make a rigid board headrest.
- Add eye bolts on both ends of the seat pallet structure.In total, you should have four eye bolts at about a foot from the end of each corner.On the backrest add eyebolts along the height about a foot from the top corners.
Assemble the Swing Arms
- Cut two boards equal to the full width of the swing which ideally should be around 22 Inches.
- Cut another two 11 Inches pieces which should fit the distance from the front tip of the seat to where they form an angle with the piece to be attached to backrest.
- Join the 22inches pieces about nine inches above where the backrest and seat pallet join one on each side and make sure it runs the full width of the arm.
- Attach the 11Inches pieces on either side of the seat pallet part to meet the other board above to complete the armrest.
- Join the two parts first with wood glue and then screw them together.
Spary Painting the Swing
- Set up a painting area.Add a protective cover to an area you don't want the paint to get too.
- Using an all-purpose cleaner, thoroughly clean the swing to remove dirt and debris; rinse thoroughly with water and allow to dry.
- Apply a coat of primer to seal up any cracks in the swing and create an even painting surface.Applying in a well-ventilated area, hold the can of primer 6-8 inches from the surface and spray using a sweeping side-to-side motion with slight overlap.
- Allow primer to dry for at least 10 minutes.
- After the primer is dry apply the first coat of paint in a similar style as the primer.
- Continue to apply light, multiple coats, waiting 30-60 seconds between each, until you are satisfied with the appearance.
How To Hang The Porch Swing
- Start by measuring the area where you are going to hang the porch swing. Give yourself at least 2 feet on each side as clearance for when the swing is in motion. Make sure the area has an overhead wood beam that is at least 2’x6′ where you can secure the chains.
- For any type of porch swing you will need to attach the chains to eyebolts and screw the eyebolts into the wood if not screwed yet. Chain connectors are the best for swings.Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install them correctly.Ensure that the chains are secure; two in the front, and two in the back.
- Stand on a sturdy ladder and have a person hand the swing up to you. Hang one front chain and one back chain to each hook. Depending on the preciseness of the chains, you may need to adjust them a little bit so that they are the right length. You want your swing to be 17″-19 ” above the ground.
- Give the swing a test by pushing it. If it swings smoothly, go ahead and have a seat and test the feel. If it does not swing smoothly, look over your work and see where you can make a change.