Antique Radio Cabinet into a portable bar
Sometimes I look for “easy” projects in between the larger ones—I thought this portable bar made from an old radio cabinet would be one of those projects. I’ve been sitting on this for a few months, and after cleaning out the garage recently, I decided it was time to start a makeover on this little gem. You can see the recent finds post on this piece in my post Recent Finds-Thrifting With Friends
I’m a little out of my element when it comes to bars. I’m not a drinker, and I really didn’t know which direction to go with this piece. I did think it was too low, so the first step was to give it some height.
I laid some boards on the top to try to figure out how much height to add. I went with a 1x6.
This post contains affiliate links
I used my Kreg Jig to make the box to set atop of the original cabinet. The Right Angle Clamp is great as an extra pair of hands. I used Gorilla wood glue for a good tight hold. I drilled all of my pocket holes after marking them during the dry fit.
The new look.
I recently picked up some of this trim molding from the Peddler’s Mall for $5. I felt it was perfect to top off this box/skirt.
I added the molding with my nail gun and Gorilla wood glue.
The top of the bar will not be hinged, it will rest on top and be held in place with these placeholders. The small pieces will rest on the inside of the box/skirt to hold the top in place.
I used some 1x’s to add a middle shelf. Not shown, I also used a small piece of thin plywood to cover up that bottom hole across the bottom.
I used my DIY Chalky Paint as a primer to give it a base coat of flat paint. Once the piece was all one color, in this flat black, I really fell in love with it.
NOTE: I removed the knobs and filled the holes on the doors.
This is where it goes wrong.
I did what I often do—putting semi-gloss paint over the diy chalky paint primer. As soon as I did that, I started not liking it. The flat paint hid the flaws, whereas the semi-gloss paint shows every single flaw.
Looking at the underneath side, you can see that I broke one of my #1 rules. I always paint the bottom, but this piece is pretty heavy and awkward. I didn’t paint it first like I usually do, then it was difficult to do the bottom without messing up the back or the top.
I don’t like the way the wheels had to go in. I feel like I should have cut the bottom off to get the wheels into the corners. The wheels may or may not stay on. This is quickly becoming a least favorite of my projects.
This piece is meant to roll away from the wall in order to get to the items inside, because the door area is so small. That is why there is no back on it.
I added this top skirt thinking it would be great to hold a large container of ice to chill drinks.
I’ll show you how we staged it, but I feel like it’s far from finished.
This piece could be used as a liquor bar.
Do you think it’s more suitable for a small buffet to hold extra dishes, or maybe a dessert bar, or even a coffee bar?
UPDATE! I made some changes to this little cabinet. Check out the latest version in my post updated portable bar.