Build a modern and durable modular kitchen with two cabinets that sit on caster wheels, a ceramic tile countertop, and optional shelving. Depending on your skill level, this straightforward project can be done over the weekend. The resulting outdoor kitchen will instantly upgrade any outdoor entertaining space.

Steps
15
Difficulty
Expert
Time Required
1Weekend
Estimated Cost
$$$

What You Need for This Project

Materials

Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Step One

Measuring and Cutting

Use a mitre saw to measure and cut the 2" x 4" x 8' treated wood boards for building the cabinet frames of either the simple cabinet or the cabinet with shelves.

 

Simple Cabinet

  • Cut four 34 ½" pieces (A1 and B1) to act as the studs for the A and B cabinet frames.
  • Cut two 26" pieces (A2 and B2) to act as the top of the A and B cabinet frames.
  • Cut four 18 ½" pieces A3 to connect the A and B cabinet frames.

 

Cabinet with Shelving

  • Cut six 34 ½" pieces (A1 and B1) to act as the studs for the A and B cabinet frames. The central studs will separate the rolling drawer from the shelving area.
  • Cut two 38 ½" pieces (A2 and B2) to act as the top of the A and B cabinet frames.
Step two

Assembling the Cabinet Frames

Use #8, 3"  treated wood screws to assemble the A and B cabinet frames.

 

Simple Cabinet

  • Join the A frame and B frame together by securing the 18 ½" pieces to the top and bottom of both frames.

 

Cabinet with Shelving

  • Place the centre studs 4 ¾" away from the end that will hold the shelves.

Step Three

Cutting the Side Panels

Simple Cabinet

  •  Measure and cut two 25 ½" x 36" pieces from the treated wood boards C for the two exterior sides.

 

Cabinet with Shelving

  • Using a round saw, measure and cut a 25 ½" x 36" piece C1 and a 25 ½" x 34 ½" piece C2 from a ½' x 4' x 8' sheet of plywood. C1 will be used for the exterior sides of the cabinet without shelves and C2 will separate the shelf section from the rolling drawer.

PRO TIP

  • Tools like a precision ruler, clamps, or a square are essential for ensuring a straight cut.
Step Four

Painting the Cabinet Sides

Use a roller to apply exterior paint to the entirety of the previously cut plywood panels. Be sure to paint the edges of each panel to protect against degradation caused by water and weather.

 

The plywood that will be positioned by the BBQ requires high-temperature enamel paint. The rest of the plywood can be painted with regular exterior paint. SICO's "Grand Piano" (6210-83) is a good exterior paint match to the black enamel paint.
Step Five

Attaching the Side Panels

Attach the plywood panels (CC1 and C2) to their respective frames using a pneumatic gun and a compressor. This method will make for a stronger and sturdier cabinet.

 

Simple Cabinet

  • Ensure that the fireproof paint panel is positioned on the exterior cabinet side that will sit next to the BBQ.
  • Attach the other piece to the opposite cabinet end.

 

Cabinet with Shelving

  • The fireproof paint panel C1 must be positioned on the exterior side of the cabinet without shelves, as this is where the BBQ will go.
  • The other panel C2 must be positioned inside the rolling drawer section and attached to the central studs.
Step Six

Installing the Cabinet Shelves

  • Measure and cut five 25 ½" pieces H from the 2" x 4" x 8' treated wood boards for the shelf tops.
  • Use a round saw to measure and cut one piece H in half widthwise to make two 2 ¾" wide boards.
  • Use #8 x 3" treated wood screws to secure pieces (A3 and B3) to the shelf section of frame A and frame B. To keep everything square, do not force the frame's pieces.
  • Nail the H pieces to shelf brackets installed in the studs.

PRO TIP

  • To determine the best height for the brackets, consider what the shelves will be used for.
Step Seven

Attaching the Cabinet Backs

  • Prepare the 1" x 6" x 10' boards to make the back of the cabinet.
  •  Measure and cut eight 26" pieces G for the back of the simple cabinet.
  • Measure and cut eight 39" pieces G for the back of the cabinet with shelving.
  • Use #8 x 3" treated wood screws to attach the cabinet backs. To ensure that everything is properly aligned, start from the bottom and use a level after each board installation.

PRO TIP

  • Consider leaving the top board on the back of the cabinet sitting 3" above the frame. This bit of height will help prevent items from falling off the countertop. Cut the piece widthwise to obtain the desired size.
Step Eight

Attaching the Cabinet Tops

  • Use a round saw to measure and cut a 24" x 24" piece E from a ½" x 4' x 8' sheet of plywood for the simple cabinet top.
  •  Paint the cabinet top with the same exterior paint used on the cabinet sides, making sure to paint the edges as well.
  • Once they have been painted, nail the pieces (E and
    E) to their respective cabinet tops. Press the pieces against the cabinet back and centre them from left to right to leave room for the backsplash (F1a, F1b and F2 and F1 and F2).
Step Nine

Installing the Countertop

  • Create the countertop by placing the porcelain tiles on top of the cabinets D.
  • Measure and cut one 26" piece F2 and two 24" pieces F1 from the 1" x 2" x 8' treated wood boards for the simple cabinet tile belt.
  • Measure and cut one 39" piece F2 and two 24" pieces
    (F1a and F1b) from the 1" x 2" x 8' treated wood boards for the tile backsplash of the cabinet with shelving.
  • Nail the pieces F1 and F2 and F1a, F1b, and F2 around the tiles of their respective cabinets to hold them in place.

PRO TIP

  • The ceramic tiles used for the countertop will have a big impact on the durability of the cabinets. Choose tiles that are at least 20 mm thick and capable of absorbing some water. These characteristics will increase the weather resistance of the tiles and prevent cracking from freezing and thawing.

  •  Also, note that the size of the tiles dictates the dimensions of the cabinets. The tiles used in this plan measure ¼" x 11 ½" x 23 ⅝", though the package lists measurements of ¼" x 12" x 24". Be sure to measure the tiles beforehand and make any necessary adjustments to the frame.

Step Ten

Assembling the Rolling Drawer

Use a mitre saw to measure and cut the treated wood for building the rolling drawer frame. The drawer for the simple cabinet has no shelves, while the drawer for the cabinet with shelving has three shelves.

 

Simple Cabinet Drawer

  • Measure and cut four 29" pieces H from the 2" x 4" x 10' boards for the drawer frame studs.
  • Measure and cut four 21" pieces J and four 18" pieces K from the 2" x 4" x 8' boards for the drawer frame crossbeams.
  • Work on a flat surface to assemble the drawer. Begin with the 21" crossbeams J on the studs and join everything together with the 18" crossbeams K, creating a rectangular prism.

 

Shelf Cabinet Drawer

  • Measure and cut four 29" pieces K1 from the 2" x 4" x 10' boards for the drawer structure studs.
  • Measure and cut four 21" pieces K2 and four 14" pieces K3 from the 2" x 4" x 8' boards for the drawer structure crossbeams.
  • Work on a flat surface to assemble the drawer. Begin with the 21" crossbeams K2 on the studs and join everything together with the 14" crossbeams K3, creating a rectangular prism.
  • Measure and cut four 21" pieces L1 and four 15 ¾" pieces L2 from the 1" x 4" x 8' boards for the drawer shelf edges.
  • Measure and cut two 17" pieces L3 from a 1" x 2" x 8' board to make the middle shelf brackets.
  • Measure and cut three 21" M2 pieces from the 1" x 6" x 6' boards to make the middle drawer bottom.
  • Measure and cut three 24" M4 pieces from the 1" x 6" x 6' boards to make the top drawer shelf.
  • Use #8 x 1 ½" treated wood screws to fasten the shelf brackets L3 into the frame of the drawer. Adjust the height based on expected usage.
  • Nail the middle drawer shelf bottom boards M2 to the brackets L3.
  • Nail the shelf edge boards L1 and L2 to the middle shelf boards M2.
  • Nail the boards for the top shelf M4 to the top of the drawer frame.
Step Eleven

Attaching the Rolling Drawer Bottoms

  • Cut a 21" x 24" piece L and a 17" x 24" piece M1 from a ½" x 4' x 8' plywood sheet to use as the bottom for the rolling drawers.
  • Apply the non-enamel exterior paint used previously and make sure to paint the board edges.
  • Position the drawers vertically with the frame's underside facing up. Position the painted plywood on the underside of each drawer.
  • Install the 3" swivel caster wheels on the underside of the drawers, securing one to every corner. Leave a ½" gap between the base of each wheel and the edge of the plywood.
  • Ensure that the caster wheels with brakes are located at the front, and the wheels without brackets at the back. The front and back of the drawers are marked by the smaller sides
    (K3 and K).
  • Use #8 x 3" treated wood screws and #8 stainless steel flat washers to secure both the plywood and caster wheels to the drawer frames.
Step Twelve

Attaching the Rolling Drawer Fronts

  • Measure and cut a 22 ¾" x 32 ½" piece M3 from a ½" x 4' x 8' plywood sheet for the drawer front of the cabinet with shelving. For the simple cabinet, measure and cut a 27" x 32 ½" piece N.
  • Apply the non-enamel exterior paint used previously and make sure to paint the board edges.
  • Place the drawers horizontally on the floor so that the front faces up.
  • Apply LePage Weatherproof Wood Glue to the drawer front.
  • Attach the painted plywood pieces (M3 and N) to the glued surface of their corresponding drawer. Check that they are centred and that the base is level with the drawer's bottom.
  • Use #8 x 1 ½" treated wood screws to secure the pieces
    (M3 and N) to the drawer frame.
Step Thirteen

Attaching the Rolling Drawer Handles

  • Measure and cut a 27" piece O from a 2" x 2" x 8' treated wood U-moulding for the simple cabinet drawer handle. Measure and cut a 22 ¾" piece O for the drawer handle of the cabinet with shelving.
  • Place the drawers vertically and use 1 ½" treated wood screws to attach the handles (O and O) to the top of their corresponding drawer fronts.
  • Secure the handle by using at least three or four screws in different places.
Step Fourteen

Finishing the Kitchen

  • Measure and cut about 17 pieces of 36" Q from the 1" x 1" x 8' treated wood nailing strip for the finish of the simple cabinet. Measure and cut about 13 pieces of 31 ¾" N for the cabinet with shelving, and about 15 pieces of 31 ¾ [P] for the single cabinet drawer.
  •  Nail the pieces (N and P) to their corresponding drawers leaving a ½" gap between each one. Save time and effort by using cuttings to keep a consistent spacing. For a straight and visually appealing finish, make sure to clamp and nail everything together immediately.
  • Finish the simple cabinet in the same manner, by nailing the end pieces Q to the side that will not be next to the BBQ.

PRO TIP

  • The use of vertical wooden slats will add extra texture, a unique look, and an architectural touch to the kitchen. Consider using alternating colours to create a modern Scandinavian style.

WOODEN SLATS ASSEMBLY

Step Fifteen

Attaching the Drawer Cover

  • Measure and cut one 21" piece M1 From the 1" x 6" x 8' treated wood boards for a rolling drawer cover base. For the cover itself, cut four 18 ¼" pieces M2.
  • Measure and cut two 21" pieces R from the 1" x 2" x 8' treated wood boards for joining the cover boards.
  • Use #8 x 1 ½" treated wood screws to secure the cover base M1 to the back of the drawer top.
  • Lay the cover boards M2 side-by-side on a flat surface. Place the pieces R perpendicularly on top of the cover boards a small distance apart. Once everything is properly positioned, nail them down to secure all the joints.
  •  Insert each rolling drawer into its cabinet. With everything assembled, place the BBQ in the centre of the cabinets and get grilling !

PRO TIP

  • The best way to protect an outdoor kitchen from the weather is to apply waterproofing or an outdoor stain on all wooden frames. The colour used in this particular project is SICO's semi-transparent "Walnut Brown" (3576-407). It is a good choice for protecting the wood grain and creating a nice visual contrast with the black plywood.

  • Backing the kitchen onto a fence easily conceals the BBQ. Another option is to cut the 1" x 6" x 10' boards to cover the cabinet and the BBQ as well. Note, however, that any surfaces next to the BBQ must be painted with fireproof paint.

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