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Friday, January 30, 2015

DIY Custom Bar with Stone Accent

This was a really fun project that you can get through as long as you have the right tools and planning time. The most expensive part of a project like this is what you choose as the counter surface and any extended features you want to add (sink, wine cooler, etc).

Our costs:
2x4s & Plywood - $40
Paneling - 3 boxes from Lumber Liquidators $1.29/sf - $80
Ledger Stone - $125
Counter - varies upon choice
Lighting - $8
Shelves - $15

You basically need to figure out the shape and size. We decided to go with an L-shape (8' x 5') to match the counter we had available with a wine cooler. No sink, as the work to get a drain running would have been cost prohibitive.

The inner slots are where you will need supports for the top surface. Typically placing them on the ends of each run would suffice, but on the right side of the pic is where the frig is going so we needed to create a box in that area.

Test fit on the frig with supports and the counter for that area. The supports are currently cut long as we needed to find out what type of ventilation space was needed

More support and counter test fitting

The outer slot will be the foot rest when complete

First plywood pieces for the floor and right hand walls

The 2x4s on the counter will support the elevated bar counter. No need for anything more stylish as it will be completely hidden.

Counter height piece

All pieces on, looking good!

To help power the various items we will have plugged in, we hid a power strip to control all of the bar lighting and appliances. You can see the rope light that will sit underneath the elevated counter.

First course of paneling. Brazilian Cherry.

2nd panel done

Got some nice oak pieces to stain match for the trim

My favorite part was putting up the ledger stone for the remaining wall. Different sources recommend covering the plywood with a membrane and metal lathe to hold the mortar but after further investigation that is actually more applicable to wall application due to temp changes which give you the chance for cracking.

Oak trim on the front to cover the lighting

Really coming together now! First tried a couple of puck lights to see how that would work and it just didnt give off enough light.

The weights are holding down the elevated portion after the glue was applied

You will need to trim and fill the corners for a clean edge, this is the test fit.

Here is the foot rest coming together with paneling

Stain matched perfectly! Some floating shelves for fun

Here you can see the rope light in place and a side project which was the bottle stage. Ill show you that one in another post. The last step with the stone is to dab a light coating of vegetable oil with a paint brush. This will give the stones a nice rich tone. The quarry will try to sell you a sealer, this will give you the effect.

Trim out the interior shelves a bit with oak

 I wrapped the rope light around the 2x4 supports. In the front it shines down the stone, behind the bar, it shines on the counter for the bartender. We covered it with a strip of translucent plastic. You can cut it with a dremel.

Hmmm now what to do with that rubber pouring mat. Dont like it just sitting up there

Out comes the router to inset that bad boy!

Carved out the shape


Some color matched trim really brings it home

 A few small accessories...

Now adding stone accent behind bottle platform to complete the look.
It felt a bit empty without it. Also darkened the walls a few shades, its very subtle but adds to the warmth.

Glass rack made with left over flooring

Wine cooler in action

Floating shelves with pucks

Door to hide power strip & controls

Custom pendant lighting on a dimmer.


Reach out with any questions, good luck!