DIY Network

How to Build a Kitchen Bar

Add storage and counter space; without a wall.

More in Kitchen

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $1,000 - $2,500

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Sketch Out a Plan

This kitchen bar will replace part of the wall Jack and Jody removed between their kitchen and dining room, adding much-needed storage and counter space. The height will be 34-1/2" to bring the new countertop in line with the existing counter. The unit will be 4'9" long, with the kitchen side open for easy access to the items stored below. The main body of the bar will be 3/4" birch plywood, with 2" x 8" pine used for the shelf brackets.

Step 2: Cut the Plywood

Use a table saw or circular saw to cut the plywood and pine to the dimensions from the plan.

Step 3: Build the Box

Use wood glue and a finish nailer to assemble the open box that makes up the main body of the cabinet.

Step 4: Assemble the Shelves

Use wood glue and nails to attach the brackets to the shelf. Position the shelf inside the box, make sure it's level and attach the shelf and brackets using wood glue and nails. With the shelf in place, drive screws through the back of the plywood box into the brackets for extra support.

Step 5: Add the Trim

Use wood glue and a finish nailer to add rim strips to the cabinet.

Step 6: Attach the Newel Post

Dry-fit the newel post into position at the corner of the cabinet. Attach the newel post using wood glue and nails. Once the post is secured, drive screws down through the top of the cabinet into the top of the post to reinforce the joint.

Step 7: Dress Up the Back

Use glue and a finish nailer to attach tongue-and-groove pine panels to the back of the cabinet. Drive the nails through the edge of the panels at an angle. This way, the next panel will hide the nail heads.

Step 8: Sand and Finish

Use an orbital sander to sand the entire piece, then prime and paint as desired.