How to Build an Outdoor Bar


An outdoor bar is an impressive structure that provides an excellent spot to entertain guests during weekend parties and family gatherings during holidays. In order to undertake this project, you need to have a few skills in wood work such as cutting wood, correct measuring and painting among others.

Tools required:


  • 2×4 lumber
  • 2×3 lumber
  • 1×4 lumber
  • 1×6 lumber
  • 2×6 lumber

Below is how to build an outdoor bar.

Build the frame

Start by building the frame using 2 pieces of the 2×4 timber measuring 48 inches for the long side and 2 pieces of 2×4 measuring 15 inches for the width. You need to drill holes where the four pieces meet at the edge and use screws to join them together.

Ensure that the joint is right angled. Repeat by building another similar frame using the exact measurements for accuracy. In the end, you should have 2 rectangular frames of equal measurements.

Using 2×6 and 2×4 timber you need to attach them to each corner of the two frames built earlier. The 2×4 pieces should measure 40 inches to match the 2×6 ones. Both will act as legs for the outdoor bar.

Ensure that one frame is above the other and are separated by a distance of 24 and a half inches. From the ground, you need to have the bottom frame raised 2 inches. To ensure that the legs and the frames are joined well and are perfectly horizontal, you need to use a spirit level to check. To join the frames with the legs, you need to drill holes from the inside of the bar and join them with screws.

Build and attach upper and bottom shelves

The next step is to build shelves for your outdoor bar. You need to have 1×4 timber measuring 18 inches in length. To build the shelves, you can start placing the 1×4 timber in rows on the upper and lower frames and ensure that they are arranged closely together.

Once you have arranged the 1×4 pieces, you can start drilling holes at both ends to allow the screws to be placed easily. Remember, when arranging the 1×4 pieces, you can have them closer together or you can separate them by a quarter of an inch.

Cover the exterior

For the exterior, you can cover the front and the sides with 1×4 or 1×6 boards. You need to arrange the timber vertically and you can either choose to leave space between them or you can place them closer together.

Drill holes at the top and at the bottom of the vertically arranged timber. Using screws, you need to join the timber to the frame to ensure they are secured firmly.

Once you are done, you can step aside and take a look at your progress. If everything looks perfect, then we can continue. If there are mistakes or adjustments you would like to make, you can correct them.

Build and attach mini shelves and bottle holders

Between the two upper frames, you can decide to create mini shelves that can measure half the bottom or top shelve. You can also decide to design, build and attach bottle holders. If you lack the skills or materials, you can look for any ready made trays at the stores and set them up.

Build and attach the counter top

For the counter top, you can use 2×3 boards for the external frame and 2×4 ones for the top itself. Measure 54 inches of the 2×3 pieces and cut. Measure 24 inches of the 2×3 lumber and cut. Proceed to drill holes at the corners and join them using screws. You need to make sure that the joints are at 45 degrees.

Using the 2×4 boards, you need to arrange them horizontally one beside the other. Using waterproof glue, you need to join their ends to the width of the frame. Complete by nailing 1 and a half inch nails to ensure that they hold.

Attach the counter top to the frame by joining it with screws at the top.

Paint the outdoor bar

Finally you have finished building the bar and now it’s time to paint it. Since the bar will remain outdoors and will be affected by the elements of weather, you need to consult a professional on the best paints to use.

Once you have finished painting and decorating, it’s time to invite guests to enjoy drinks at your bar.

photo credit: smarthomedecorating