DIY and Crafts

How to build an outdoor bar for easy home entertaining

This party starter is built for home entertaining

A sturdy barbecue bench/drinks bar is just the thing for easy outdoor entertaining. Add a lower shelf to store the wood to fire up the barbie – if it’s wood fired – as well as extra glasses, cushions and even a blanket.

You will need:

How to build your own outdoor bar:

1. It’s best to base all your sizes to fit the benchtop and use this as ground zero to measure from here. This design involves building three rectangular H-frame type structures to form the legs, held together by horizontal pieces of timber and supported by slats. Start by measuring and cutting all the legs (a standard bench height is 900mm), as well as the support pieces that go in between the legs to form the H-frame. Also cut the long horizontal pieces that run underneath the length of the benchtop and hold the legs in place.

2. Measure and mark the horizontal piece of your H-frame, hold it in place then screw through the back of the upright piece into the horizontal piece. Repeat
on the other side to form an H.

3. Screw the three set of legs together with the horizontal supports that were cut earlier. The horizontal supports, plus the width of the three sets of legs should total your benchtop length.

4. Attach the benchtop. I used small finishing nails, but screws could also be used.

5. Next, paint the frame using Resene Quick Dry undercoat and allow to dry. Once it was dry, I applied two coats of Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss in Resene Double Foundry. I picked this semi-gloss colour so the legs would look like a metal frame to give it an industrial feel. Alternatively, you could use Resene Lustacryl semi-gloss or Resene Enamacryl gloss waterborne enamels.

6. Stain the benchtop and screen slats with two coats of Resene Waterborne Woodsman wood stain in Resene Limed Oak, allowing to dry between coats.

7. Stain the wood slats for the shelf using two coats of Resene Waterborne Woodsman wood stain in Resene Charred Black. Finally, screw the black slats to the lower support to create a shelf and the wood-stained slats to the front of the bench to create a screen to hide the gas bottle.

TIP: If your bench is in full sun and you’re planning to use a dark colour, choose the Resene CoolColour version to help keep it cooler.

More Resene colours to try: Resene Pitch Black, Resene Incarnadine, Resene Rocky Point

Project by: Nikki Kettle. Photography by: Anna Briggs.

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