Monday, July 25, 2016

DIY Wood Pallet Outdoor Bar

PicMonkey Image
Hey friends!  I am super excited to share my wood pallet bar that I made for our back deck with you today!  LC helped me make this bar a few weeks ago, and we immediately started putting it to good use.  We like to grill out in the warmer months, and we didn’t have anyplace to sit the trays of food, etc. that we would carry up and down from the kitchen, so the main reason we wanted to build this wood pallet bar was to sit next to our grill to use as a counter space for food preparation, and we just love it!  I am going to share a tutorial today for how you can build one of your own. 


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When we decided to build one of these, I of course took to Pinterest looking for a tutorial, and to my surprise, I found lots of pictures of similar wood pallet bars, but not one  actually took me to a tutorial when I would click through.  How frustrating is that?  I couldn’t find any directions whatsoever!   So I am hoping this tutorial of mine will fill that void for someone like me who is looking to build a bar out of pallet wood!  I’m also going to show you around the rest of our lower deck while we are down here.  We are definitely no professionals when it comes to building things, but this was pretty straightforward.  We made up this process as we went, so hopefully my tutorial with be easy for you to understand.  Let’s get started!

Needed Supplies:
  • Two wood pallets- cleaned well
  • Paint Sprayer- ( you can use cans of spray paint as well, or just paint and a paint brush, but my HomeRight paint sprayer worked wonderfully!)
  • Paint Brush
  • Exterior Paint
  • Wood Screws ( we used 18)
  • Nail Gun (or a hammer and some small nails will work too)
  • Thin sheet of plywood ( we had ours cut to size at Home Depot)
  • A piece of wood about 5 feet long (this is what we used to hold the two pallets together)
  • 4- 12x12 pavers. 
As you can see in the picture below, I started out with two wood pallets.  The first thing I did was clean them really well with our power washer, and then I let them dry for 24 hours. 

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After they were dry, I painted them with Glidden Premium Exterior Paint in semi-gloss.  I didn’t get paint mixed in any special white, just the white color off the shelf.   I also did not prime the pallets first.  And in retrospect, I probably should have, because these pallets soaked up a lot of paint.  So it probably wouldn’t have used up as much paint if I would have primed them.  I let the paint dry overnight before we started building the bar.  I do want to mention that you can paint these by hand with a paintbrush, but it is going to take you a long time to get into all of those nooks and crannies.  If I did not own a spray gun I probably would have used spray paint to paint these instead of a paint brush.  But that is up to you!

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Once the paint is dry, you are going to start by attaching the pallets together.  If you look at the picture below, we attached the pallets using pieces of wood.  We used three pieces of wood on each side.  I believe our wood pieces were cut to 9 inches long.  But all you do is sit them upright , back to back, just like they will be with the finished bar, and just measure how long your pieces need to be.  As you can see we used two screws to screw each piece in, and we weren’t really careful or meticulous about where the screws went, this bar is meant to be rustic and imperfect. 

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After you have the pallets secure together, it is time to attach the plywood to the top.  Our pallets were not completely level, so we added shims here and there to make it level on both sides.  I attached the shims using my nail gun. 

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We attached the plywood to the top with wood screws.  Then we placed the cement pavers on it to test them out.  The plywood was drooping in the middle a little bit from the weight of the pavers.  So we then removed the pavers, and added some wood shims around the perimeter of the plywood to make sure there wouldn’t be any places where the plywood dropped under the weight of the pavers.  The shims are visible at the top if you look closely, but from a standing up position, you really don’t notice them at all.  I don’t mind that they are visible, because as I said earlier, this bar was meant to be rustic and imperfect.  Once we had the plywood and the shims secured, I painted all of the raw wood white using a paint brush. 

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We carried  the bar out to the back deck before we placed the pavers on top because they make it so heavy.  We didn’t permanently attach the pavers, they are just sitting on top, and they feel very secure, so we thought it would be find the way it is.  We placed the pallet against the brick wall right next to our grill.  This area is a part of our deck that is shielded the most from wind and rain, which is why we keep the grill here.  We are really enjoying having this extra space to lay things when we are grilling out, but you can use it for anything you want!  I have it styled in these pictures as a drink bar, and that is probably how I will utilize it the most for entertaining.  Here are a few mores looks at the finished product for you. 

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I wanted to briefly mention this refreshing summer drink you see in the pitcher.  All it is is water with some lemon and lime slices cut up and thrown in.  I also added a few squirts of actual lemon or lime juice (whatever you have on hand works).  I made this just to style these pictures for this post, and my husband drank the whole pitcher in one day.  Ever since then I have been keeping it in the fridge for the family and they all love it!  Great way to get your water in for the day!

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I hope my tutorial was understandable, and if you want to build one of these yourself, please make a comment at the bottom of this post if you have any questions that I wan’t clear about.  I would be happy to comment back with answers!  So, would you like to see the rest of our lower back deck this summer?  I shared a tour of our top deck last month, and you can check it out here.  Welcome to the bottom level of our deck this summer!

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One of my favorite things about this deck is that is stays shady for most of the day.  I also love that it is big enough to have an eating area, a cooking area, and a seating area.

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We bought a fire pit this summer, and we are really anxious to actually use it.  I should note here that in the owner’s manual, there is a warning that this fire pit should not be used on a wood deck.  We decided to put some 16 x 16 pavers underneath of the fire pit so that it is not sitting directly on the wood.  We feel like that made it more safe, and we also will never leave this fire pit unattended when it is in use.  We plan to keep a bucket of water nearby at all times when it is being used as well.  We recently had a truck load of fire wood delivered, bu tit is still too green to use, so we wait until the wood is dry enough to burn.

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This wooden spool table is something we added to the deck last summer.  I have not treated it because I wanted it to weather a bit, but I plan to clean and treat it with some water sealer before Fall sets in. 

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We also  added some outdoor lights around the top level of the deck,and it adds a real good ambiance out here at night.  It lights the whole area, but not too harsh. 

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I added in some pops of red with some outdoor pillows and potted flowers.  I found the red geometric pillows at Home Goods last summer, and didn’t even realize they weren’t exactly the same until I had them home.  I was looking at several pillows while shopping, and I think I put the wrong one in the buggy.  But they are similar enough that the difference doesn’t bother me. 

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I just love this little side table that I made, and I plan to write another post very soon with a tutorial for it. 

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We keep our grill covered unless we are using it, and I wish it had occurred to me to remove it for these photos, but it didn’t.    You might notice in the picture below the gold jar that looks like a honey pot.  It is actually a wasp trap.  And it seems to work pretty well, it catches more than just wasps.  They fly up in there for the sugar water that is inside, and then they can’t get out.  I ordered this from a sale that was going on at my school. 

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I’m really happy with the way my DIY Wood Pallet Bar turned out, and it is very functional for what we wanted it for!  If you decide to use this tutorial to make one of your own, please let me know, I would love to hear all about it!  Or if you have made one of your own in the past, and did it differently, I would love to hear about that too!  Have a great week!

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