I'm so excited to show you this outdoor bar I made from reclaimed wood. It would also make a great kitchen island or maybe even a potting bench.
How to make an easy outdoor bar
I still have a lot of this salvaged wood stored in a woodshed. (this picture is of the wood when I picked it up) I have it separated by fence boards, 2x4’s, 4x4’s etc.
Make matching leg sections
This is how it began. I pulled out some 2x4’s and decided how tall and deep I wanted my outdoor bar to be. The height was based off my kitchen island . I wanted it to be a comfortable “standing” height at about 40-42”.
I was in such a hurry the day I built this, that I forgot to take enough “in progress” shots. Basically after I did the side portions, of long 2x4’s and the top and bottom shorter braces, it was time to connect the two ends together with the front and back wider fence boards.
After those were in place, I wedged the two 2x4’s in the back while laying the lower shelf boards in place. With all of those board just in a dry fit, I continued with adding the fence boards for the top.
Attaching the lower shelf boards, and then securing the two 2x4’s in the back. The lower 2x4 in the back rests slightly on the cross brace that holds the lower shelf. It’s purpose is to keep items from falling off the shelf.
Use exterior wood screws
Everything is secured with exterior wood screws. I used 1 ⅝” whenever I was attaching a thinner fence board and the longer 2 ½” screws when I was attaching 2x4’s to each other.
This is another angle so you can see how everything came together.
See that cracked fence board in the front? I used my airstrike nail gun to pop a couple of brad nails in there to keep it safe.
Add a brace for lower shelf
The most difficult part about this project was getting it squared due to using the salvaged wood. Rarely are these boards straight.
At this point, I thought I was mostly finished, but at the last minute I decided to put a fence board across the front (bottom) to cover up the ends of the visible ends of the 2x4’s.
Of course I forgot to take a picture after adding the board. After I got it all put together, it got a quick bath to clean off any mud and debris.
From start to finish, this project took about 2 hours. I only know that because I started at about 2:30, and knew I had to knock off around 4:30 so I could make my play date with friends. Checking the timestamp on the photos. The first one was at 2:20, and the “mostly finished” photo was taken at 4:12.
Add a whitewash to finish off outdoor bar
The next day, I gave it a light whitewash similar to my outdoor potting bench. I know it’s primitive, but honestly, that is exactly the look I was going for. This is the “host” side, with the other side facing the “guests”.
Please PIN IT?
The nice guys at D. Lawless Hardware sent me these two really cool bottle openers to use.
I put the antique bronze bottle opener on the “guest” side of the outdoor bar.
I attached the antique pewter bottle opener to the “host” side of the outdoor bar. You can see it here on display at Glendale 2016.
It sold early along with the outdoor coffee table/bench.
Hey! Did you notice that I didn’t use my kreg jig at all for this project? I think that is a first! What would you use this piece for? In the house as a kitchen island, or outside as a bar? Maybe a potting bench? So many possibilities!
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.