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DIY Outdoor Kitchen Design (Built with Redwood!)

This DIY outdoor kitchen design is a project that home improvement enthusiasts can tackle with ease! The beautiful redwood outdoor kitchen cabinets provide space and storage for cooking tools, and the kitchen houses not just a grill and refrigerator but also a hidden pizza oven. Learn how to build something similar in your own backyard!

When we created our outdoor tile patio we knew eventually we would want to create a simple outdoor kitchen design that would sit against one wall of the courtyard in our backyard. It’s finally complete, and it was so worth the wait!

We love and get so much use out of our redwood pergola, so the goal was to build a DIY redwood outdoor kitchen to complement that space in a different area of the yard. We found some beautiful redwood lumber from Mendocino Redwood that worked perfectly.

    A DIY Outdoor Kitchen Built with Beautiful Redwood

    I love the look of the outdoor kitchen design built with redwood. I think the combination of the modern, sleek design with the texture and grain of the redwood works beautifully!

    Even better, I love that Mendocino Redwood is a natural, renewable resource. And it’s a durable wood for creating outdoor projects like this one, so you know that your hard work will stand the test of time.

    We got our lumber at Home Depot, which is where you can find Mendocino Redwood. Here’s a great search tool to find some near you!

    Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

    As we were planning the outdoor kitchen design, we wanted to incorporate a few simple cabinets to be able to hide a propane tank for our grill and some cooking tools.

    I highly recommend thinking through your design and your needs before you start building! Consider how you’d like to use your outdoor kitchen space and what will serve you best.

    We found Mendocino Redwood to be very easy to work with, so putting together those simple doors and cabinets was a piece of cake.

    Adding a Grill or Refrigerator to your Outdoor Kitchen Design

    My dad’s advice was ringing in my ears as we were planning our outdoor kitchen design — “measure twice, cut once!” This especially applies when you’re planning for your appliances.

    Be sure to check your specific appliances for measurements and cutout instructions. Measure carefully as you build out your kitchen with the redwood, to ensure that you don’t build proportions incorrectly and have to backtrack.

    Adding a Pizza Oven To an OutDoor Kitchen Design

    Another customization we added to our outdoor kitchen cabinets was a hidden drawer to hold our pizza oven!

    We have a portable pizza oven that we love to use outside but it needs protection from the elements. A large drawer in your outdoor kitchen cabinets can be super useful for items like this.

    How to Turn Redwood Fence Boards into an Outdoor Kitchen

    And before we get into how to build your own DIY outdoor kitchen, we have one more insider tip to make your redwood experience great!

    Shopping at Home Depot, we found that Mendocino Redwood has fence boards that were a perfect size to act as the facing on our outdoor kitchen. We wanted the look of horizontal slats, and the fence boards were just right.

    We wanted to make sure they created a nice tight fit when we applied them to the front, so after we purchased our redwood we took the wood to a local mill and had them cut tongue-and-groove joints into all of the boards. This helped the boards fit snugly when we applied them to the front of the kitchen.

    They also planed each board, so the fronts were nice and smooth and we didn’t have to sand them by hand.

    This saved us a ton of time and made our finished product look super sharp and clean.

    Supplies You’ll Need

    As you’re planning your supplies, you’ll need to measure your space to know the quantity of wood you’ll need to purchase.

    • Mendocino Redwood 2×4″s
    • Mendocino Redwood fence boards
    • 3/4″ plywood
    • saws
    • drill
    • nail gun
    • hardware (hinges, handles, drawer runners, metal brackets, screws, molly bolts, nails)
    • stain
    • applicator sponge
    • countertop material

    Building Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen Design – The Frame

    We also have a great IGTV video on our Instagram feed of the building process! You can check that out right here.

    1. Assess your space to figure out how long you’d like your outdoor kitchen to be. Allow ample room for appliances and cabinetry that you’d like to include.
    2. Install a 2×4″ top ledger on your wall, being sure to screw it into studs for maximum stability. This should be installed at the height you’d like your structure, minus 3/4″ for plywood and the height of your finished countertop material.
    3. Install a bottom ledger. We chose to have our finished outdoor kitchen cabinet floating, so our bottom ledger was installed with space between the wood and the ground.
    4. Install vertical backing (also 2×4″s) pieces between the ledgers. These should be spaced out to accommodate any appliances. The edge of each cabinet wall should have a backing piece attached to the wall (attach to studs where possible, and if no stud is available attach to the wall with molly bolts).
    5. Construct the two end walls by creating 3-sided frames made with 2×4″s, meeting at 45 degree angles. The depth of our outdoor kitchen cabinets is 2′. Be sure to measure any appliances you’ll be installing to decide on your correct depth. Attach the end walls to the ledgers. Brace these on a diagonal with angled supports.
    6. Construct the interior cabinet walls. Create 4-sided frames made with 2×4″s. The front sides of these should meet in 45 degree angles, and the back sides will have a flush end. You’ll need to notch out the rear 2×4″ to fit between the ledgers. Attach these to the vertical backing.
    7. Add crossbeams running the length of your outdoor kitchen, across the top and bottom of each open area to keep the walls stable. We did not run a crossbeam across our open bar seating area.
    8. If your outdoor kitchen is floating like ours, attach hidden metal brackets under the cabinet and secure them to the ground. This provides additional support.

    Building Your DIY Outdoor Kitchen Design – The Cabinets & Finishing

    1. Add plywood siding to what will be the interior of the cabinets.
    2. Add face frame pieces to the front edges of the cabinetry.
    3. Create the cutout area for the grill, if adding one. Measure carefully according to the cutout dimensions for your appliance. Add two crossbeams between the cabinet walls, one at front and one at back. We lined this area with cement board to help protect the cabinetry from the heat. You should follow the instructions for your particular grill to address any heat issues.
    4. We added a hidden drawer to conceal our mini pizza oven under the grill area. To make the drawer, construct a plywood drawer (a bottom and four sides, basically a box without a top) to the size of your space. The front will be covered with finished facing, so it’s okay if it’s rough. Attach drawer runners on the side walls of your open area and corresponding runners on the sides of the drawer according to the instructions of the drawer hardware that you purchase.
    5. Now comes the fun part! Cut your planed redwood to size for each section that you’d like to finish. Attach these pieces one by one with a finish nailer and wood glue where appropriate. If you had tongue and grooves put into your boards like we did, ensure that they fit together snugly.
    6. If you are creating cabinet doors like we did, cut your finished wood to the size you need for the door. Attach the pieces to a frame on the back side. Affix the doors to your cabinetry with hinges.
    7. If you’ll be staining your outdoor kitchen design, it’s best to stain before you install any of your appliances or countertop. A paint sponge works well for smooth and quick application. Gently sand down any sharp edges, wipe clean of dust and debris, and apply stain. Allow to dry for 24 hours.
    8. We added 3/4″ plywood on the top of the outdoor kitchen. A countertop company installed a porcelain countertop for us. Hot tip! Find a remnant slab that you like from a countertop company to make this part more affordable. Remnants are often selling cheap because they need to get used up.
    9. Install your appliances, and enjoy your outdoor kitchen!

    Ryan’s face in the photo below makes me laugh — it was about 105 degrees outside while he was building and he was ready to be done for the day! But you can get a peek inside the construction of the drawer here.

    An Awesome Home Improvement Project

    We couldn’t be more thrilled without the DIY outdoor kitchen design turned out! It’s added so much to the way that we use our backyard.

    The redwood turned out to be the perfect material for us, and I love how the rich color now feels like an anchor point in this area of the yard.

    Here are a few other great outdoor DIY projects, too!

    Would you ever tackle a project like this one? I think you can do it! As always, feel free to drop me any questions or let me know if you try this DIY outdoor kitchen yourself! xoxo

    This post is sponsored by Mendocino Redwood. All ideas and opinions are my own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

    DIY Outdoor Kitchen Design

    DIY Outdoor Kitchen Design

    Yield: Outdoor Kitchen
    Active Time: 2 days
    Total Time: 2 days
    Difficulty: Difficult

    This beautiful redwood outdoor kitchen is a great project for home improvement enthusiasts!

    Materials

    • redwood 2x4s
    • redwood fence planks
    • hardware
    • stain
    • stain applicator

    Tools

    • saw
    • drill
    • nail gun

    Instructions

      1. Assess your space to figure out how long you'd like your outdoor kitchen to be. Allow ample room for appliances and cabinetry that you'd like to include.
      2. Install a 2x4" top ledger on your wall, being sure to screw it into studs for maximum stability. This should be installed at the height you'd like your structure, minus 3/4" for plywood and the height of your finished countertop material.
      3. Install a bottom ledger. We chose to have our finished outdoor kitchen cabinet floating, so our bottom ledger was installed with space between the wood and the ground.
      4. Install vertical backing (also 2x4"s) pieces between the ledgers. These should be spaced out to accommodate any appliances. The edge of each cabinet wall should have a backing piece attached to the wall (attach to studs where possible, and if no stud is available attach to the wall with molly bolts).
      5. Construct the two end walls by creating 3-sided frames made with 2x4"s, meeting at 45 degree angles. The depth of our outdoor kitchen cabinets is 2'. Be sure to measure any appliances you'll be installing to decide on your correct depth. Attach the end walls to the ledgers. Brace these on a diagonal with angled supports.
      6. Construct the interior cabinet walls. Create 4-sided frames made with 2x4"s. The front sides of these should meet in 45 degree angles, and the back sides will have a flush end. You'll need to notch out the rear 2x4" to fit between the ledgers. Attach these to the vertical backing.
      7. Add crossbeams running the length of your outdoor kitchen, across the top and bottom of each open area to keep the walls stable. We did not run a crossbeam across our open bar seating area.
      8. If your outdoor kitchen is floating like ours, attach hidden metal brackets under the cabinet and secure them to the ground. This provides additional support.
      9. Add plywood siding to what will be the interior of the cabinets.
      10. Create the cutout area for the grill, if adding one. Measure carefully according to the cutout dimensions for your appliance. Add two crossbeams between the cabinet walls, one at front and one at back. We lined this area with cement board to help protect the cabinetry from the heat. You should follow the instructions for your particular grill to address any heat issues.
      11. We added a hidden drawer to conceal our mini pizza oven under the grill area. To make the drawer, construct a plywood drawer (a bottom and four sides, basically a box without a top) to the size of your space. The front will be covered with finished facing, so it's okay if it's rough. Attach drawer runners on the side walls of your open area and corresponding runners on the sides of the drawer according to the instructions of the drawer hardware that you purchase.
      12. Now comes the fun part! Cut your planed redwood to size for each section that you'd like to finish. Attach these pieces one by one with a finish nailer and wood glue where appropriate. If you had tongue and grooves put into your boards like we did, ensure that they fit together snugly.
      13. If you are creating cabinet doors like we did, cut your finished wood to the size you need for the door. Attach the pieces to a frame on the back side. Affix the doors to your cabinetry with hinges.
      14. If you'll be staining your outdoor kitchen design, it's best to stain before you install any of your appliances or countertop. A paint sponge works well for smooth and quick application.
      15. We added 3/4" plywood on the top of the outdoor kitchen. A countertop company installed a porcelain countertop for us. Hot tip! Find a remnant slab that you like from a countertop company to make this part more affordable. Remnants are often selling cheap because they need to get used up.
      16. Install your appliances, and enjoy your outdoor kitchen!

    Notes

    And before we get into how to build your own DIY outdoor kitchen, we have one more insider tip to make your redwood experience great!

    Shopping at Home Depot, we found that Mendocino Redwood has fence boards that were a perfect size to act as the facing on our outdoor kitchen. We wanted the look of horizontal slats, and the fence boards were just right.

    We wanted to make sure they created a nice tight fit when we applied them to the front, so after we purchased our redwood we took the wood to a local mill and had them cut tongue-and-groove joints into all of the boards. This helped the boards fit snugly when we applied them to the front of the kitchen.

    They also planed each board, so the fronts were nice and smooth and we didn't have to sand them by hand.

    This saved us a ton of time and made our finished product look super sharp and clean.

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