Skip to main content

DIY Outdoor Bar Tutorial

Since we moved into our house a few years ago I have spent much time in the garden completely overhauling it including giving the summer house a complete make over using Ronseal garden paint along with redesigning the borders, adding arches and last Summer I constructed and painted an arbour bench for my side garden that matched the look of my summer house. Along with the garden makeover I have also made lots of accessories like garden bench cushions and deck chair covers meaning I have lots of seating options for summer parties and family gatherings. But what I always seem to lack is somewhere to serve drinks and the dining table gets filled up really quickly with snack bowls, salads and desserts etc. So when the people at Ronseal
invited me to be part of their “Vine Hack”, I knew pretty instantly that I wanted to make some kind of outdoor bar/ serving area for the garden that would be perfect for serving drinks or food on and had lots of storage for ice buckets, glasses, plates, cutlery etc so my guests could help themselves and find a seat. I started by gathering lots of ideas and sketching up some ideas, eventually settling on a tall bar made up of crates with a top made of decking, I added wheels with brakes so I could easily maneuver it around the garden and for extra usefulness I added a bottle opener to the front along with a hanging pot for cutlery and door knobs on the back for hanging tea towels or BBQ tools.

Having used Ronseal garden paint on my summer house, arch, arbour and fences I know just how easy it is to use, how well the colour comes out and how the coverage lasts. So it made perfect sense to use it on my new outdoor bar to keep it looking good...

I started by painting the crates in a couple of coats of Ronseal super flexible wood and primer undercoat which is formulated for exterior wood but can also be used on metal so is perfect for painting over the screw heads and mending plates etc. Priming your wood helps your paint stick and last longer. It also covers bold colours & dark marks and flexes with the wood, so it doesn't crack or peel. After assembling the crates together I then painted them in three coats of garden paint in white ash, which resists cracking and peeling and waterproofs and protects the wood. It gave the bar a lovely finished solid coloured clean look and was easy to apply.

"If you want your garden to look a bit different, our Garden Paint comes in a range of colours that'll look great and can be used on wood, brick, terracotta and metal."

So that the decking on the top of the bar was also protected and matched the grey and off white colour scheme of my summer house and arbour I chose the ultimate protection decking stain in charcoal which soaks into the wood so it lasts longer and stops the wood from greying and splitting. It was easy to apply and gave a lovely even colour.

"Our Ultimate Protection Decking Stain is the best choice if you're looking for a long-lasting finish. It protects against harsh weather and people walking on it. It'll last twice as long as standard decking stains, keeping your decking looking good all year round. You can give your decking a different look by using one of our bold decking paint colours."

I can't wait to use my new outdoor bar at a Summer BBQ we are having early next month!

Here's my first two videos on You Tube, the DIY outdoor bar tutorial and the finished outdoor bar ready to party with...

1 Outdoor Bar

How-to step by step

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- what you will need

    Step 1

    To cut the decking you will need a circular saw or hand saw.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- what you will need

    Step 2

    To apply the paint, use ONLY brushes made with synthetic bristles.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- what you will need 3-01

    Step 3

    To pilot the holes for the screws you will need an electric screwdriver with corresponding drill bits and a phillips screwdriver.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- what you will need 4-01

    Step 4

    Optional extras...

  • Construct KNAGGLIG Boxes

    Step 5

    Start by lightly sanding your wooden crates. This will give it an even finish and helps the primer and undercoat to stick. Use 120grit sandpaper and sand in the direction of the woodgrain. Remember to wear a face mask. When the dust has settled, give the wood a wipe with white spirit.

  • Paint KNAGGLIG Box with primer paint 1

    Step 6

    Give the primer a really good stir. Then paint it on to the crates with a synthetic brush, in the direction of the woodgrain.

  • Paint KNAGGLIG Boxes with primer paint

    Step 7

    Paint the outside of the crates, moving on to another allowing each side to dry before turning them upside down to paint the bases.

  • Paint KNAGGLIG Boxes with primer paint 1

    Step 8

    You’ll need to put on 2 coats to every side of the crates. Leave 4 hours between coats. After your 2nd coat give it a light sand with 240grit sandpaper. It’s now ready to paint over.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 1a-01

    Step 9

    Stack the crates in four sets of three as above illustration, making sure to align them up.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 1-01

    Step 10

    Mark the holes that you are going to pilot ready to screw the front of the crates together.

  • Screw crates together 2

    Step 11

    Pilot holes in the inside front of top and middle crates on both sides using an electric drill fitted with the correct drill bit for 5.0 size screws.

  • Screw crates together 3

    Step 12

    Screw the crates together using 75mm long screws.

  • Screw crates together  4

    Step 13

    Try to get the screws as flat as possible with the brackets. But don't worry too much as you will be turning the crates upside down later and therefore you will never see the screws.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 3-01

    Step 14

    With the back of the crates facing you, mark the screw holes as above illustration.

  • pilot holes

    Step 15

    Pilot holes on the back of the crates using an electric drill fitted with the correct drill bit for 4.0 size screws.

  • Screw back plate on

    Step 16

    Screw the backplates to the back of the crates.

  • Add mending plates to back of crates at join

    Step 17

    Make sure the back plates are nice and tight against the back of the crates.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 5-01

    Step 18

    Take the two centre stacks of crates and place them side by side so that the backs look like the above illustration.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 4-01

    Step 19

    With the front of the crates facing you, mark the screw holes as above illustration so that there are screw holes at the front and back of the crates.

  • Screw crates together

    Step 20

    Pilot holes in the inside of the crates using an electric drill fitted with the correct drill bit for 5.0 size screws.

  • Screw crates together 1

    Step 21

    Screw the front of the crates together.

  • Screw crates together  5

    Step 22

    Screw the back of the crates together.

  • Screw crates together  6

    Step 23

    The front section of your bar should now look like the above photograph.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 6-01

    Step 24

    Place the side stack of crates either side of the joined front crates, lining up the front of the centre crates with the side of the side crates. Mark the screw holes as above illustration so that the screws go through the corner joins on both sets of crates. Pilot the holes and screw crates together.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 7-01

    Step 25

    With the back of the crates facing you.

  • Add mending plates to back of crates at join 1

    Step 26

    Pilot holes at the back of the crates using an electric drill fitted with the correct drill bit for 4.0 size screws. Screw the angle brackets to the crates.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- construction 8-01

    Step 27

    With the back of the crates facing you. Mark

  • Stir paint well

    Step 28

    Give the white ash garden paint a good stir, to mix well.

  • Paint crates

    Step 29

    Now you’re ready to start painting the entire crate structure, including the screw heads. When painting wood, you need to brush in the direction of the wood grain. You’ll need to put on 3 coats, this will give you the best colour and protection. When painting on smooth surfaces, lightly sand between the 2nd and 3rd coat. Leave 4 hours between each coat.

  • Mark & pilot holes

    Step 30

    Mark and pilot the holes on the base of the crate structure on one of the corners.

  • Screw wheels to base

    Step 31

    Screw the wheels in position

  • Screw wheels to base 2

    Step 32

    Repeat on other corner.

  • Screw wheels to base 3

    Step 33

    Repeat on other side, so each corner has a wheel.

  • Mark the cutting lines for the decking panels

    Step 34

    Turn the crates the right way up, so they are sitting on the wheels, lock the brakes on the wheels so the crate structure stays still. Place the four lengths of decking on to top of crates. Aligning the ends so that they are 15mm proud at one end and over hang the other end. Mark your cutting line 15mm from edge of crates.

  • Cut decking panels

    Step 35

    Using a circular saw, or hand saw, cut along the marked lines.

  • Sand the cut ends of decking

    Step 36

    Lightly sand the cut ends till smooth.

  • Paint the back of the decking with stain 1

    Step 37

    Give the Ronseal decking stain a good stir then paint the undersides of the decking, following the grain of the wood. Use a good quality wide brush designed for water based finishes. Apply liberally to make sure the deck is evenly and sufficiently covered. Apply 2 coats. Allow 4 hours between each coat.

  • Paint the front of the decking with a second coat of stain 1

    Step 38

    When the underside of the decking is dry, flip over and paint the front, sides and ends as before.

  • Line up decking

    Step 39

    When the decking is completely dry. Place the decking on to the top of the crates making sure they are butted up against each other and are centrally spaced. Lightly clamp the outer ones in place to stop them moving.

  • Pilot holes in crate structure and decking 2

    Step 40

    Starting at the front of the bar, pilot holes in the joins at either end of the bar.

  • Screw crates to decking 2

    Step 41

    Screw the decking in place.

  • Screw crates to decking 4

    Step 42

    Now pilot the holes and screw the central two pieces of decking to the crate structure, at both ends.

  • Pilot holes in crate structure and decking 1

    Step 43

    Continue piloting holes and screwing the decking to the crates till all the decking lays nice and flat on top of the crates and is securely held on.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- Pilot hole for bottle opener

    Step 44

    To attach the bottle opener, drill a hole in the front of the crate and attach the bottle opener using a nut and bolt.

  • Outdoor bar tutorial- add screw hooks

    Step 45

    To hang the cutlery stand, mark, pilot and screw hooks in place to hang the cutlery frame from.

  • DIY outdoor bar 14

    Step 46

    Now your outdoor bar is ready to be filled.

  • DIY outdoor bar 12

    Step 47

    Optional: Add cupboard knobs to the back so you can hang tea towels or BBQ utensils

See more...

DIY outdoor bar 1
DIY outdoor bar
DIY outdoor bar 2
DIY outdoor bar 3
Fresh flowers from my garden
DIY outdoor bar 4
DIY outdoor bar 6
Bottle opener
DIY outdoor bar 7
DIY outdoor bar 19
DIY outdoor bar 5
DIY outdoor bar 33
DIY outdoor bar 18
DIY outdoor bar 29
DIY outdoor bar 31
DIY outdoor bar 20
DIY outdoor bar 30
Enamel 'Bubbly' bucket
DIY outdoor bar 35
DIY outdoor bar 34
DIY outdoor bar 32
DIY outdoor bar 37
Cut flowers from my garden
Bar snacks
DIY outdoor bar 26
DIY outdoor bar 21
G&T time

Latest tutorial...

DIY outdoor bar 44
DIY Outdoor Bar Tutorial

Since we moved into our house a few years ago I have spent much time in the garden completely...

Buy Torie Jaynes Stylish Home Sewing on Amazon
Torie Jayne on Spoonflower

Latest notebook...

Lamifix Gloss
Lamifix Gloss

Vlieseline® Lamifix gloss is a fusible, transparent and wet cleanable iron-on film. It is 45cm...