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How to Build a Refurbished Bar Cabinet

Designer Kahi Lee explains a creative way to repurpose an old cabinet.

Materials and Tools:

table saw
3/4" plywood
chop saw
wood glue
nail glue
hand sander
3/4" wood-grain edge tape
palm sander
wire-brush attachment for palm sander
sandpaper squares and discs
gel stain (Walnut - Minwax)
various rags
small paint roller and small roller pad
water-based polyurethane
cordless drill
screw attachment
two decorative medallions
two door handles


1. Use a table saw to cut two pieces of plywood to your desired size and set aside. These will serve as the two door faces. The doors will enable the cabinet to be closed when not in use.

2. Use a chop saw to cut remnant pieces of plywood to frame out the doors. Attach those pieces with wood glue and then secure with a nail gun (figure A).

3. Use a hand sander to gently sand the entirety of the framed doors. Iron on the edge tape to the sides of the doors.

4. Sand the entire bar cabinet with the palm sander. Finish sanding by attaching a wire brush to the drill and applying to the entire bar cabinet and both doors (figure B) to create a rustic texture.5. Use rags to stain the entire bar cabinet. Wipe off excess. Roll one coat of water-based polyurethane onto the entire piece.

6. Use the screw attachment for the drill to attach each medallion in the middle of each door. Secure them with epoxy.

7. Use the drill to attach the doors, hinges and handles with screws.

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