Outdoor Pallet Sectional Sofa, Part I

My good friend showed me a picture of an outdoor sectional sofa made out of pallets.  I knew I had to give it a try, too.  Since the picture didn’t come along with a tutorial, I made this project up as I went along.  Though it’s not perfect, I think it turned out fairly well!

First, Evan and I went dumpster diving for some pallets.  When inspecting the pallets, we made sure to grab ones that were the same size and shape.  (As well as a few others for more projects, too!)

This project needed nine pallets in total.  Once home, I carried them onto our deck and stacked two of them on top of each other in three sections.  I also placed three additional ones as the backrest.  By doing this, I was able to envision what the project will look like when finished.

Pallets are heavy, but I wanted to make sure that they wouldn’t slide off of each other over time and over repeated use.  Therefore, I used a brad nailer, air compressor, and 1 1/4″ brad nails to affix all the pallets to each other.  However, I made sure not to attach the three “sections” of the outdoor sofa just so we could easily remove the sofa from the deck if need be.
While nailing, I made sure to affix the bases…

… the back rests…
… and the tops to one another.  Once done, these puppies weren’t going anywhere.

We had several large sheets of plywood in our garage.  I decided to finish the sofa with these sheets to make the bench and back rests more solid.  I used a jigsaw to cut the sheets to size, and then nailed the plywood sheets to the pallet frames.

These sheets helped make the couch itself more structurally sound.
While I was at it, I decided to finish the base edges, sides, and tops of the sofa with additional pallet boards. I removed these boards from the pallets by using a reciprocating saw and a metal-cutting sawblade to slice through the thick pallet nails.  Each board was cut down to size with a miter saw and affixed to the sofa by brad nails.

Once done, I sanded the entire sofa with a random orbital sander and a combination of 60-grit and 220-grit sanding sheets. 

To finish the sofa, I purchased a gallon of black paint.  I used Valspar Ultra’s exterior paint and primer combo to ensure that the paint will hold up outdoors.

And here is the finished product!

Not too bad for trial and error, right? 
There’s an 1″ lip in place between the pallet boards and the plywood seat rests. My reasoning behind this is to prevent the outdoor cushions from sliding off the sofa.

Part II of this tutorial will be posted once I am finished making the outdoor cushions and pillows. I’m still a little iffy on the project as a whole. As much as I love the idea of extra seating and having an outdoor sectional sofa, I’m not convinced that this doesn’t look like it should be thrown in the trash.  Perhaps I’m too hard on myself, but I can’t help it!  My hope is that it’ll look much better once all of the cushions and pillows are in place.

What is your honest opinion of it?  I’m open to all suggestions for improvement!
You may find me linking up at these fantastic parties:

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6 thoughts on “Outdoor Pallet Sectional Sofa, Part I”

  1. What a fantastic project! I think if anything, you might want to lower the back sides a bit. But I think you'll really enjoy it when the cushions are in. Great job!


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