- DIY Ideas
Outdoor KitchenJuly 31, 2019
< back to blog
With summer finally in full swing, it’s time to embrace outdoor living and make the most of the sunshine. Instead of playing it safe and always opting to BBQ, why not put your DIY skills to the test and create an outdoor kitchen that won’t restrict your culinary creativity?
It’s al fresco dining at its best. To show you how it’s done, we teamed up with Tibby Singh, winner of the UK’s Carpenter of the Year Award.
As the saying goes, preparation is the key to success, so make sure you have everything at your fingertips before you get started.
Required: Breathable Membrane; Cladding; Plywood (6mm, 12mm and 18mm); Roof Lats; Screws (Various Sizes); Sink (or alternative Sink); Stains and Paints (such as Clear Decking Oil, Wood Stain and White Paint); Stainless Steel Ring Shank Nails; and Timber (Various Sizes including 2x2, 3x2, 4x1, 4x2 inch).
Optional: Soft-Close Drawer Runners; Soft-Close Inlay Cabinet Hinges; Staples.
Tools: Clamps (Various Sizes); Drawing Equipment (e.g. Pencil); Drill; Hammer; Jig Saw; Nailer (Optional); Paint Brushes; Saw; and Square.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Dust Mask; Ear Defenders; Safety Boots; and Safety Glasses.
Get the structure right
Cut 3x2 inch timbers to the required size and fix with 4-inch screws to make the back frame. Then use 2x2 inch timbers to make the frame for the cupboard; remember to keep the front open and just cut them to a size that suits the frame. As a general rule, all timbers should be spaced 400-600mm apart.
We recommend using pressure treated timber to protect the wood from rot. Just think - non interrupted outdoor cooking for years!
Line the cupboard
You now need to cut and fix 12mm plywood to the inside of the cupboard timber frame. Make sure you repeat the process for all 5 sides, but keeping the front open.
Keep it breathing
To avoid the build up of interstitial condensation, wrap the entire timber frame with a breathable membrane. To make the process easier, use Gorilla Tape to tack into place before stapling to the frame.
Circulation is key
Screw 2x1 inch roof lats on the top of the timber frame to form a cavity where air can circulate and water can drain away.
Fix the cladding
Cut your cladding and fix it to the roof lats. Make sure you start from the bottom and work your way up the unit.
Make sure you overlap the cladding to keep your nails covered so they don’t spoil the style of your kitchen.
Create the drawer and shelf unitsUse 18mm plywood -- just cut to size, glue with Gorilla Wood Glue, and screw together to create the drawer. Soft-close drawer runners add a nice touch too. Use 2x2 inch timbers to create the shelf -- you can add extra support by placing a timber lath at the front and back of the cupboard unit, above the level of the drawer unit. Use 2x2 inch timbers and fix to the outside sides of the unit from the shelf level down to the floor. You can use random timber lengths as long as they are still longer than the depth of the drawer, to start to create a stacked timber effect.
Make it pretty
It’s time to unleash your creativity! Cut lots of 2x2 noggins in different sizes and glue them to the plywood both on the front face of the drawer and the back frame of the structure. This will create the illusion that the top end of your outdoor kitchen is resting on a stack of timbers.
Where the cooking business happens
Getting your worktop right is key for culinary enjoyment for years to come. Just cut 4x2 inch timbers and glue with Gorilla Wood Glue. Make sure you have an overlap at each side -- et voila you have an extended table!
Turn up the heat
A kitchen isn’t complete without a spice rack, so turn up the heat with this optional add-on. Use 4x1 inch timber, Gorilla Wood Glue and screws. If you want the spice rack out of sight, then just make sure it’s the same size as the inside of the cupboard unit.
Hanging the doors
Using Gorilla Grab Adhesive, glue cladding to 6mm plywood. Don’t forget to include a 3mm gap around each door when calculating the door size, and make sure you keep the thickness under 18mm or it might bind against the frame when opening and closing. Use Inlay Cabinet Hinges to hang the doors. They’re easy to install, create a flush finish, plus have soft-close hinge options to match the drawer -- style and substance in equal measure.
Sinking in the sink
You can either buy a sink or just make your own -- an old fruit bowl or similar will do the trick. Just don’t forget to drill a hole for the drain and seal with Gorilla Sealant (Clear). Use the sealant to seal the sink into position once you’ve cut a hole in your worktop. Make sure you allow for overhang though or all your hard work will go to waste.
Running the tap
Opt for a rechargeable battery powered tap. It means that you don’t need to worry about any plumbing and literally just need a hole for the pipe to go through into the bottle of water below.
Treating the timber
Build your kitchen to last by treating the timber before you create your first culinary delight. Clean and prepare the wood before adding stain to the cladding. Once this has dried, use a suitable outdoor oil to coat the rest of the kitchen. You can also paint the inside of the drawers to add extra style.
That’s it. You’re ready to go with an outdoor kitchen that’ll make you want to eat outside all season long.