Our New Bar!

We finally finished working on our new bar this weekend, just in time for a party we threw Saturday night. Not that we use this bar to serve 20 people, but we got to show them the finished product, which was exciting!

I’ll remind you how this bar started out:

IMG_0751         IMG_0752

We bought this from a lady for $20, and it was probably used as an old fashioned TV stand. The drawer slides out, and there is a little cabinet compartment beneath it. The top was real wood veneer, but the rest seemed like lower quality wood or particle board. We decided we would strip, sand, and stain the top and paint the rest of the piece.

After we had sanded the top it looked like this:

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Then we removed the doors and shelf and roughed the rest up with some medium grit sand paper. The top was stained with special walnut, and sealed with 3 coats of water-based polyurethane. The body was primed, and painted with the first coat of blue paint. We chose a color called Bermudan blue. The inside is painted with a very light gray color.

IMG_0819Next, we needed to get our copper pipe railing attached. Our railing was made out of copper piping parts that we picked up at home depot:

IMG_0759   bar 1 bar 2Attaching the railing was tricky, but we finally figured out a way that would work and be somewhat anchored into the top. Nik used a 5/8″ drill bit to just get a groove made in the top of the wood:

IMG_0835Then the bottom pieces of the copper railing were set in these holes, and a small piece of 1/2″ wooden dowel was set into them. We drilled the dowel down into the top of the bar, and then filled the copper tube (with the dowel inside) with gorilla glue. Then we attached the top part of the railing onto these posts.

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The railing got some icky hand prints on it while we were attaching it, so we steel wooled it before the final attachment, and sprayed it with a clear coat of gloss spray paint. Finally we capped the end of the railing. The whole bar was sealed with Minwax furniture wax, which came out alright. Wax can be tricky over dark paint, because it can leave a streaky sheen. To avoid this, we applied the wax, let it dry for about an hour, then used very fine steel wool to remove excess wax, and then we buffed it with a buffing pad. It came out alright, but we’ll probably put a second coat of wax on it at some point to get rid of some of the streaks.

We decided to use wax because we didn’t want the piece to have a strong sheen, and the paint was flat, which means it was porous enough to take in wax and make a hard finish. Putting furniture wax over paint that has a sheen to it (satin or semigloss, for example) doesn’t do much because the glossier the paint, the less porous it is, so the wax will just sit on it like a film. We did put water based polyurethane over the paint on the shelf, just because this will be a more durable finish for storing bar tools that have hard metal edges.

bar 3               bar 4

So here’s our finished bar! We love how it came out, and finally we have a place to store all the fancy liquor and wine bottles we’ve been accruing. One thing we might change on it is spray painting the door hardware with a copper finish spray paint since the gold clashes a bit, but for the time being we can settle with it!


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