Outdoor Bar Cart DIY Guide: Make Your Own Patio Bar Cart

Outdoor Bar Cart DIY Guide: Make Your Own Patio Bar Cart

Posted by The Hardwood Lumber Company on Oct 19th 2022

The magic of making your own outdoor bar cart is that it can be exactly what you need for your space. Whether you want to use it poolside in the summer or by the fire pit in the winter, a bar cart is perfect for keeping all your party cordials in one place. 

This guide will help you with everything you need to piece together and build your own bar cart. Let’s get started! 

Step One: Sourcing an Outdoor Bar Cart Base

If you’re not skilled in metal fabrication you’re likely going to have to source a metal cart for the base of your DIY outdoor serving cart project. There are a few places you should look for a potential bar cart base, they include:

  • Facebook Marketplace
  • Craigslist
  • Local eBay Listings
  • Flea Market
  • Used Furniture Stores
  • Consignment Shops
  • Goodwill/Salvation Army

If you choose a direct marketplace like Facebook or Craigslist, just make sure you follow the best guidelines and safety practices.

If you come up short on metal carts, the right end table might work to suit your purposes. You’ll have to consider if you want to add wheels to make it more mobile or not.

Step Two: Clean Up The Bar Cart

Once you’ve acquired the bar cart base, you’ll want to give it a good cleaning. Make sure to wipe it down thoroughly with a strong cleaning solution. We recommend using a cloth towel or rag instead of paper towels as you’ll want to be able to apply more pressure and really scrub.

Once your bar cart base is cleaned the fun begins. You can now start to think about how you’d like to customize the base of your bar cart. Consider how you’ll use it most often – do you see yourself using it on an outdoor patio, screened-in porch, or poolside?

If so, a waterproof or weatherproof finish is likely the best choice for ensuring your bar cart lasts through the seasons and avoids rust. This is a good time to think about any other features you may want like hooks for grill utensils or a dedicated rack for wine bottles.

Step Three: Add a Butcher Block Top to Your Bar Cart

Once you’ve sourced, cleaned, painted, and modified your serving cart base the way that you want it, it’s time to consider the butcher block to top it.

Okay, so you technically don't have to add a butcher block top. Stainless steel and other materials work fine. But here's what makes butcher block a great bar top choice: butcher block is a food safe prep surface that's gentler on knives and easy to repair. And if you take care of it, it really will last a lifetime. 

This is the part where we're supposed to plug our butcher block countertops. You can shop all of our countertop options here. We have standard wood species like pine and exotic ones like acacia. But the real reason to check out our tops if that we make this step easy. We love wood. We've been doing this for over 50 years, and we love helping DIYers complete fun projects. 

Step Four: Cheers!

With your butcher block outdoor bar cart built, you’re ready for guests whether it’s campfire season or backyard barbecue and bags season. You’ll be able to slice limes, lemons, chop mint or anything else you need directly on your bar cart while storing bottles below.

Remember to give your wood serving cart top a good wipe down after use and recondition the surface if you notice the seal starting to fade.

If you pull off this DIY don’t hesitate to tag @hardwoodlumberco in photos on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on our social media accounts!

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