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  • Katie Tanner

Upcycled Chest into Outside Kitchenette


Our house came with a beautiful brick patio and a large backyard that backs up to woods. It is the perfect backyard, especially for hosting friends and family! However, the covered porch is fairly small and came with no storage space or counter tops. In a perfect world we would have a huge covered patio with a outside kitchen area, but this small 10x10 space just isn't meant for that. Initially, we put a mini fridge out there and called it a day.


After living here for 3 years, I decided to spice up our patio! The goal was to create storage and serving space for hosting guests. I considered purchasing stock cabinets and countertops from a hardware store however that was out of my price point! So off to Facebook Marketplace I went! After days of searching (and coordinating with my husband to use his truck) I found the perfect piece! And the best part, the top was only screwed on, so it easily came off.


Now, I did not want it to look like I just put a chest outside. I wanted a built in look with a seamless counter top over the mini fridge as well. A butcher block counter top was my inspiration.


Wooden Countertop Materials:

  1. Wooden Boards 1" x 8" x 6" x3

  2. Kreg Jig Pocket Hole Screws

  3. Wood Glue

  4. Circular Saw

  5. Speed Square

  6. Orbital Sander (my favorite)

  7. Stain

  8. Polycrylic, Lots of layers!


General Steps to Build a Countertop... using a Kreg Jig!

  1. Cut wood to needed length (for me it was 5.5 feet long), I used 3 boards

  2. Mark ~12 inches apart for the pocket hole screws to go on 2 out of the 3 boards

  3. Use a small bead of wood glue between each board before attaching with screws. This will make the countertop much sturdier

  4. Screw in the pocket hole screws! I like to space out which screws I drill in first to keep the corners even and everything level

  5. Sand until everything is smooth! Start with lower grip, working up to a high grit

  6. Stain

  7. Polycrylic.... MANY coats


After building a counter top, I needed legs or a side on the the far right edge of the piece. Using the same method as the counter top, I built a side but added two 2x4s perpendicular to the side boards for more support on the ground.


And ta da! A great outside piece for our porch!



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