How To Build Wet Bar Cabinets

How To Build Wet Bar Cabinets

A wet bar is a great way to finish off a recreational room in your home. Bars add a touch of class and are very useful when hosting parties or just hanging out around the house. Typically a wet bar will have quite a bit of alcohol on and around it. Having bottles everywhere isn’t any good and kids who use the room will have easy access to all the alcohol they want. This is where wet bar cabinets come in to play. With every wet bar you should get a set of cabinets to house all of your liquor and how to make drink books. Cabinets can be very expensive to buy but with a few simple power tools and a small selection of hand tools you can make your own cabinets at home for a fraction of the cost.

What You’ll Need:


  • ¾” Plywood (1 or two sheets per cabinet depending on the dimensions)
  • Fine trim for the front of the cabinet
  • 2” wood screws or large trim nails
  • Small trim nails
  • wood putty
  • wood glue


  • Circular saw with a trim blade
  • A hammer
  • A drill(optional)
  • Straight Edge or Chalk Line
  • Tape Measure
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Small nail punch
  • Miter Box or Saw (optional but recommended)

Steps To Build Wet Bar Cabinets:

Step 1:
The first thing you have to do before building your first cabinet is determine the dimensions for your cabinet. You can look at cabinet doors online to give you an idea of typical door sizes. Another good reference is to just go measure your kitchen cabinets. Think about any ways you would want your wet bar cabinets to be any different than your kitchen cabinets and make the changes.

Step 2:
After you have chosen the dimensions of your wood you will need to buy all your needed materials. Make sure to get smooth plywood for any surfaces that will be seen. You are going to need trim pieces for the front of your cabinet. You won’t need much, just enough to cover all of the end grains of the plywood. You will also have to buy cabinet doors but I would wait until after the cabinet is finished for that unless you are sure of the color.

Step 3:
Cut the 5 panels for your cabinet out of the plywood you bought. You should have a top and a bottom panel. Two side panels and the backer that you will be screwing in to the wall. You should use your straight edge or chalk line to make nice straight lines to cut along. After you have all of your panels it it time to get them ready for assembly.

Step 4:
While plywood does not normally crack you should pre-drill small holes in the wood if you are using really large screws. Put some wood glue in the pre-drilled holes and then put the screw or nail in the hole. This will create a very strong hold that will last for years. It is easiest to attach the sides to the bottom first. Then you simply place the top on and lock it together.

After you have the main box together you will want to make sure that everything is square. If you attach the two factory edges of your backer first you should have a nice square box. It doesn’t hurt to check all of the corners for square anyways though. After your main structure is together you will have to make up the trim pieces to fit over all of the end grains on the front of the cabinet.

Step 5:
Making all of the front trim fit together perfectly is difficult with a circular saw and would be accomplished much easier with a miter saw. If you don’t already own a miter saw you might want to consider buying one for this job. A miter box is also a cheap alternative that will give great results. Use your miter box or saw to cut all of the trim pieces to cover up the end grain. When you are attaching it with the small trim nails you will have to pound them in a little farther with a nail punch. After the trim is on you should take your wood putty and fill in all of the holes. Take care to make sure that the putty is flush with the surface of the trim. If it goes out past the trim you will have to sand it down and that isn’t fun.

Step 6:
After all the trim is on you just have to stain and finish the cabinets. It is a good idea to wait until after you have purchased the pre-made doors that way you can check to make sure your stain matches them. When they are all stained and you have fasted the doors you just screw the back of the cabinets to the wall you want them at. Make sure to hit a stud with your screws or nails or the cabinets won’t stay on the wall for long.