Hi friends. It’s Jessica from Decor Adventures and I’m here to show you an easy project that will improve the look of your yard. If you are like me and are lucky enough to have central air conditioning in our home, but unlucky enough to have a large air conditioning unit taking up some of our backyard patio space, this project is perfect for you. We decided to create an air conditioning screen that would conceal the unit and help make our back patio into a better looking space for relaxation.
Making a screen to hide your air conditioner unit is easy. We elected to do this with pallet wood which (although it’s not the best quality wood) is free and easy to work with. Here’s how to make an air conditioner screen from pallets.
- Reciprocating saw
- Eye protection
- Work gloves
- Pry bar
- Braid nails
- Nail gun
- Measuring tape
- Miter saw
- Hinges and screws
- Drill and drill bits
- Exterior paint/primer
- Paint brush
- Plastic drop cloth
First find pallets to use for this project. We looked on Craigslist and found some listed for free. If you don’t see any, you can ask at places like automotive repair stores, home improvement stores, manufacturing warehouses, etc. Make sure to ask if you can take some and how many.
For this project we used about 2 pallets. Pallets aren’t the best quality wood, prying them apart can break the wood. We opted to cut them apart with a reciprocating saw. Cut apart each pallet until you get flat pieces of wood like this. We didn’t use the inside “frames” of the pallets for this, just the flat parts.
Measure your air conditioner to determine the height and width of your screen. Add a few inches to the height and width. This screen has 2 sides hinged together but you could easily make a third or even fourth side if needed.
Next, use a miter saw to cut four pieces of wood to size for each side of the screen, two for the vertical sides and two for the horizontal rows for each side. This will form the frame for each side. The bottom board is a few inches off the ground to give the screen feet to stand on.
Measure and cut more pallet boards to create the slats of your screen. Nail the pallet slats onto the frame, making sure the boards are level. Repeat the process to make a second side.
Take the two sides and lay them on a flat surface next to each other, with the back sides facing up. Locate two hinges. (I used small hinges we already had on hand, but there are a variety of sizes available at the home improvement stores.)
Mark where the hinges will go with a pencil and pre-drill holes for the screws. With your drill or screwdriver, attach all four screws for each hinge. (I used three hinges for this screen.)
To conceal the air conditioning unit more, I elected to paint the wood gray to help it blend in more. Mix 1 part exterior primer/paint to 2 parts water and brush it on the screen. Blending the paint with water gives it a more washed look and lets some of the wood show through.
Let the paint dry and then prop it up around your air conditioner. This makes a nice looking piece of furniture instead of a utility that takes up part of your yard or patio. You can even get creative and hang plants from it.
When you set up the screen around your air conditioning unit, make sure to allow at least 8-10 inches from the unit for the best air flow and efficiency of your unit.
Learn more about maintaining your air conditioner here.
See you at Decor Adventures soon and happy building!