DIY White-Washed Screen

DIY White-Washed Screen

DIY White-Washed Screen (5)

              I’ve always loved the look of white-wash, so decided to try it on a screen for the fireplace. Summer is here and with the metal screen in storage, I looked no farther than the pallets stacked in the garage for building materials to build a summer screen. 

DIY White-Washed Screen

To make a screen using pallets:

  • Enough pallet boards to equal the width of your fireplace opening plus 4” extra for each side. Two support pieces of wood for each panel.
  • Nails
  • Wood putty
  • Sand paper
  • Saw to cut boards to length.
  • Hinges, 2 or 3 sets depending on number of panels
  • White washing materials
    • Paint of your choice to dilute. Formula is to use 2 parts paint to 1 part water. (I used 2 cups of paint mixed with 1 cup of water for my screen.)
    • Two brushes, one to apply the paint and one to dry brush the paint once it’s applied.
    • Water and cloth to dampen the wood.


            The hardest part of working with pallets is loosening the nails from the frame because the wood is so old and dry.  Thankfully my husband is willing to do this work for me.  Here’s the boards after being removed from the base.

DIY White-Washed Screen (1)

            Because pallet wood has a lot of nail holes in them, the holes need to be filled.  I found that DAP Painter’s Putty is THE best to fill the holes.  It is super easy to use.  Just make a little ball of the putty and use it like an eraser to fill in the holes.  After the putty was dry, I sanded the boards to smooth out the roughness of the wood and the putty. 


            Since the wood so dry, in order for the paint not to be sucked into the wood, it helps to wet the wood using a rag and water.  This step will save you from having to use numerous coats of paint. Use as many coats of paint as you like to get the desired color.

            With the paint mixture, I painted the boards mostly in the middle of each piece.  Then using a dry brush I feathered the paint out to the sides and top of each piece.  The idea is not to worry about covering every single bit of wood as you are trying to achieve a weathered look.  I used two coats of paint as one coat didn’t cover as much as I liked. 

DIY White-Washed Screen (2)

I painted the back of the screen and the braces only with one coat of paint since it wouldn’t be seen. 

DIY White-Washed Screen (3)


  • The height of the screen is 32”
  • The length is 56”, meaning there are 4 panels; with each panel 14” wide.
  • Each panel has two back braces.

When attaching hinges, make sure the hinges swing back and forth correctly so the screen can stand.

            Other than a few dollars for the hinges, this screen cost nothing other than the labor we put into it.  I was lucky enough to get these pallets for free from my local Walmart store!   Most stores will give you a pallet or two if you ask.  Otherwise, they usually sell for around $2.00 each.  I love the white washed screen and am sure I will use this technique again soon.

DIY White-Washed Screen (6)

DIY White-Washed Screen (4)


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