Build an Outdoor Kitchen Yourself

This modular outdoor kitchen comprises two cabinets on casters—with optional shelving—and a ceramic tile countertop. Its modern design and durable construction will stand the test of time. One weekend should be enough to finish it depending on your skill level. Get your hammer ready!

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
Weekend project
Plan : 

See the plan for board dimensions and assembly instructions.

Download the plan

1
Measurements and Cuts

Using a mitre saw, measure and cut the pieces of pressure treated wood to build the frame for the cabinet with shelves and the simple cabinet.

Cut  the following pieces for the cabinet with shelves from the 2" x 4" x 8' boards:

  • Six 34 ½" pieces (A1 and B1) to make the studs for the A and B frame for the cabinet. The central studs are used to separate the shelf area from the rolling drawer.
  • Two 38 ½" pieces (A2 and B2) to make the top of the A and B frame for the cabinet.

Cut the following units for the simple cabinet  from the 2" x 4" x 8' boards:

  • Four 34 ½" pieces (A1 and B1) to make the studs for the A and B frame for the cabinet.
  • Two 26" pieces (A2 and B2) to make the top of the A and B frame for the cabinet.
  • Four 18 ½" A3 pieces to join the A and B frame for the cabinet.

2
Cabinet Frames

Assemble frames A and B for each cabinet using #8 treated wood screws, 3":

  • Cabinet with Shelves
  • 2.1For the cabinet with shelves, place the centre studs at 14 ¾" from the end that will contain the shelves.
  • Simple Cabinet
  • 2.2For the simple cabinet, secure the 18 ½" pieces to the top and bottom of the A frame and B frame to join them together.

3
Cut the Cabinet Side Panels

  • Cabinet with Shelves
  • 3.1Using a round saw, measure and cut a 25 ½" x 36" piece C1 and a 25 ½" x 34 ½" piece C2 from a sheet of ½" x 4' x 8' plywood. One will be used to make the exterior sides of the cabinet with no shelves C1 and the other will be the separation for shelf section for the rolling drawer C2.
  • Simple Cabinet
  • 3.2Measure and cut two 25 ½" x 36" C pieces from pressure treated wood boards to make the two exterior sides for the simple cabinet.
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Pro tip

It’s a good idea to use a precision ruler, clamps, or a square to make sure you’re making straight cuts.

4
Paint the Cabinet Sides

Using a roller, apply exterior paint on the entire plywood panels you previously cut. It’s important to cover the edges of each piece to prevent premature degradation from water and weather.

The plywood next to the BBQ must absolutely be painted with a high-temperature enamel paint. The other sides can simply be painted with exterior paint. SICO’s “Grand Piano” (6210-83) was applied to the pieces that are away from the BBQ to match the black of the fireproof paint.

5
Cabinet Sides

Using a pneumatic gun and a compressor, attach the plywood panels (C1 et C2 et C) to their respective frames. This will make the cabinet stronger and sturdier.

  • Cabinet with Shelves
  • 5.1The piece painted with fireproof paint C1 must be placed on the exterior side of the cabinet that will not have shelves. The BBQ will be close to this side.
  • 5.2The other piece C2 must be attached to the centre studs, inside the section for the rolling drawer.
  • Simple Cabinet
  • 5.3The panel painted with fireproof paint must be placed on the exterior side of the cabinet that will be next to the BBQ.
  • 5.4Simply secure the second piece to the other end of the cabinet.

6
Cabinet Shelves

  • 6.1Measure and cut five 25 ½" H pieces from the 2" x 4" x 8' treated wood boards to make the shelf tops.
  • 6.2Using a round saw, measure and cut one of the 25 ½" H pieces in half across the width. This will create two 2 ¾ wide boards.
  • 6.3Secure the pieces A3 and B3 using #8, 3" treated wood screws in the section for the shelves in frame A and frame B. It’s important that you don’t force the frame’s pieces to keep it square.
  • 6.4Nail the 25 ½" H boards to the brackets you installed for this purpose.
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Pro tip

Whether it’s for storing cooking utensils or spices for your food, it can be useful to plan what you’re going to use the shelves for. This will determine the height at which the brackets will be placed.

7
Back of the Cabinet

  • 7.1Measure and cut eight 39" pieces G from the 1" x 6" x 10' boards to cover the back of the cabinet with a shelf.
  • 7.2Measure and cut eight 26" pieces G from the 1" x 6" x 10' boards to cover the back of the simple cabinet.
  • 7.3Attach the boards to the back of their respective cabinets using #8, 3" treated wood screws starting from the bottom. It would be wise to use a level after installing each board to make sure everything is straight.
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Pro tip

It may also be a good idea to leave the top board on the back of the furniture about 3" above the top of the frame. This will prevent items on the kitchen countertop from falling off when you’re using them. It’s possible you might have to cut this piece widthwise so it’s the size that you want.

8
Cabinet Tops

  • 8.1Measure and cut a 24" x 24" piece E using a round saw from a ½" 4' x 8' sheet of plywood to make the simple cabinet top.
  • 8.2Apply the exterior paint you used for the sides of the cabinet frame to the pieces. Make sure to paint the edges of the boards.
  • 8.3Nail the painted pieces (E and E) to the top of their respective cabinets. The pieces should be pressed against the back of the cabinet and centred from left to right. This will leave space for the countertop tile backsplash (F1a, F1b and F2 and F1 and F2).

9
Kitchen Countertop

  • 9.1Place the selected porcelain tiles on top of the cabinets to create the countertops D.
  • 9.2Measure and cut two 24" pieces (F1a and F1b) and one 39" piece F2 from the 1" x 2" x 8' treated wood boards to make the tile backsplash for the cabinet with shelves.
  • 9.3Measure and cut two 24" F1 pieces and one 26" F2 piece from the 1" x 2" x 8' treated wood boards to build the simple cabinet tile belt.
  • 9.4Nail the pieces F1a, F1b, and F2 and F1 and F2 around the porcelain tiles on their respective furniture so that they are held in place.
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Pro tip

The ceramic tiles selected to design the kitchen countertop have a significant impact on the durability and design of the cabinets.

First, it’s important to choose porcelain that is at least 20 mm thick and can absorb a bit of water. These properties make the tiles resistant to weather as well as to freezing and thawing without cracking.

Second, the size of the selected porcelain dictates all of the cabinet’s dimensions. The tiles selected for this plan have an actual size of ¼" x 11 ½" x 23 ⅝" whereas it said they were ¼" x 12" x 24" on the package. We recommend measuring the tiles beforehand and to make the required adjustments to the frame if the porcelain has dimensions different than those mentioned above.

10
Rolling Drawer Assembly

Using a mitre saw, measure and cut the pieces of treated wood to build the frame for the rolling drawers for the cabinets. The drawer for the cabinet with shelves has shelves and the drawer for the simple cabinet has none.

  • Drawer for Cabinet with Shelves
  • 10.1Measure and cut four 29" pieces K1 from the 2" x 4" x 10' boards to make the studs for the drawer structure.
  • 10.2Measure and cut four 21" pieces K2 and four 14" pieces K3 from the 2" x 4" x 8' boards to make the crossbeams for the drawer structure.
  • 10.3Assemble the drawer frame on a flat surface starting with the 21" crossbeams K2 on the studs. Join everything together with the 14" crossbeams K3 to form a rectangular prism.
  • 10.4Measure and cut four 21" pieces L1 and four 15 ¾" pieces L2 from the 1" x 4" x 8' boards to make the edges of the drawer shelves.
  • 10.5Measure and cut two 17" pieces L3 from a 1" x 2" x 8' board to make the brackets for the middle shelf of the drawer.
  • 10.6Measure and cut three 21" M2 pieces from the 1" x 6" x 6' boards to make the bottom of the middle drawer shelf.
  • 10.7Measure and cut three 24" M4 pieces from the 1" x 6" x 6' boards to make the top shelf of the drawer.
  • 10.8Fasten the shelf brackets L3 into the drawer frame with #8, 1 ½" treated wood screws. As with the cabinet shelf, it may be wise to determine what the drawer will be used for and adjust its height accordingly.
  • 10.9Nail the bottom boards of the middle drawer shelf M2 to the brackets L3.
  • 10.10Nail the boards for shelf edges (L1 and L2) to the boards of the middle shelf M2.
  • 10.11Nail the top shelf boards M4 to the top of the drawer frame.
  • Simple Cabinet Drawer
  • 10.12Measure and cut four 29" H pieces from the 2" x 4" x 10' boards to make the studs for the drawer frame.
  • 10.13Measure and cut four 21" pieces J and four 18" pieces K from the 2" x 4" x 8' boards to make the crossbeams for the drawer frame.
  • 10.14Assemble the drawer on a flat surface starting with the 21" crossbeams J on the studs. Join it all together with the 18" K crossbeams to create a rectangular prism.

11
Rolling Drawer Bottoms

  • 11.1Cut a 17" x 24" piece M1 and a 21" x 24" piece L from a ½" x 4' x 8' sheet of plywood to make the bottom of the rolling drawers.
  • 11.2Apply the exterior paint you used for the other plywood in the kitchen that won’t be exposed to heat. Make sure to properly paint the edges of the boards.
  • 11.3Place the drawers vertically with the underside of the frame facing up. Place the painted plywood on each respective underside.
  • 11.4Install the 3" swivel casters in the four corners on the underside of the drawers with a ½" gap between the edge of the plywood and the base of the wheel. Put the swivel casters with brakes on the front and those without brakes at the back. The smaller sides (K3 and K) of the drawers are what makes the front and back of the structure.
  • 11.5Secure the plywood and casters simultaneously to the drawer frames using #8 stainless steel flat washers and #8, 3" treated wood screws.

12
Rolling Drawer Front

  • 12.1Measure and cut a 22 ¾" x 32 ½" M3 piece from a ½" x 4' x 8' plywood sheet to make the drawer front for the cabinet with shelves and a 27" x 32 ½" N piece for the simple cabinet.
  • 12.2Apply the exterior paint you used for the other plywood in the kitchen that won’t be exposed to heat. Make sure to properly paint the edges of the boards.
  • 12.3Install the drawers horizontally on the floor with the front facing up.
  • 12.4Apply LePage Weatherproof Wood Glue to the front of the drawers.
  • 12.5Place the painted plywood (M3 and N) on the glued surface of their respective drawer. Their base should be level with the bottom of the drawer structure, and they should be centred using the width.
  • 12.6Secure the pieces (M3 and N) in place with #8, 1 ½" treated wood screws to the drawer frame.

13
Rolling Drawer Handle

  • 13.1Measure and cut a 22 ¾" O piece from a 2" x 2" x 8' treated wood U-moulding to make the drawer handle for the cabinet with shelves and a 27" O piece for the drawer handle for the simple cabinet.
  • 13.2Raise the drawers back into a vertical position.
  • 13.3Screw in the handles (O and O) using 1 ½" treated wood screws to the top of their respective drawer fronts. Make sure the handle is secure by screwing the front pieces in 3 to 4 different places.

14
Kitchen Finish

  • 14.1Measure and cut approximately 13 pieces of 31 ¾" N from the 1" x 1" x 8' treated wood nailing strip to finish the cabinet drawer with shelves, approximately 15 pieces of 31 ¾" P for the single cabinet drawer, and approximately 17 pieces of 36" Q for the end of the simple cabinet.
  • 14.2Nail the cut pieces (N and P) to the front of their respective drawer, leaving a ½" gap between each of them. Use cuttings to keep a set space between the strips so as to avoid having to measure the space between each slat. When cuttings are placed between the nailed slat and the next one to secure, clamp and nail everything together immediately so it’s straight and visually appealing.
  • 14.3In the same manner, nail the simple cabinet end pieces Q to the side of the frame that will not be next to the BBQ.
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Pro tip

Vertical wooden slats on a frame are an architectural detail that adds texture and uniqueness. Combined with the alternating colours, this creates a modern style with a Nordic touch.

15
Drawer Cover

  • 15.1Measure and cut one 21" M1 piece from the 1" x 6" x 8' treated wood boards to make the rolling drawer cover for the base of the simple cabinet and four 18 ¼" M2 pieces for the cover.
  • 15.2Measure and cut two 21” pieces R from the 1" x 2" x 8' treated wood boards to join the cover boards.
  • 15.3Secure the cover base M1 to the back of the top of the drawer frame using #8, 1 ½" treated wood screws.
  • 15.4Lay the cover boards M2 next to each other on a flat surface. Place the joining pieces R horizontally, perpendicular to the cover boards at a certain distance. When everything is in place, nail them down to secure the joints to all the boards.
  • 15.5Insert the rolling drawers into their respective cabinets and, once everything is assembled, place the BBQ between the two cabinets.
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Pro tip

To protect your outdoor kitchen from the weather and to ensure its durability, it’s strongly recommended you apply outdoor stain or waterproofing on all the wooden frames. The colour used in the main illustration for this article is SICO’s semi-transparent "Walnut Brown" (3576-407). This product protects the wood grain while creating contrast and depth when combined with black plywood.

If you don’t want to place the outdoor kitchen against a fence or you don’t want the back of your BBQ to be visible, you can cut the 1" x 6" x 10' boards so that their length is equal to the length of both the cabinets and the BBQ. However, it is essential to paint the surfaces next to the BBQ with fireproof paint.

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