By Christie Vanover | Published April 23, 2012 | Last Updated October 10, 2020
Usually all of my posts are about food, but I don’t just love to create recipes. Give me any materials and a challenge, and I will try to make something beautiful out of it.
My dad taught me early on how to use tools and how to do basic repairs. My husband has expanded my knowledge, teaching me how to work on cars and giving me even more pointers in carpentry.
When he deploys, I get kind of out of hand with projects. My creative juices start flowing, and I begin to build all sorts of things. Since he’s been gone, I’ve already built an outdoor sectional, an outdoor sofa table, coffee table and end table…and now…
I’ve built a BBQ prep station/outdoor buffet.
A tool that helps you piece together furniture virtually invisibly. It’s quite a step up from me screwing through the side of the wood.
Another inspiration for this piece is Morning Living on Martha Stewart Radio (Sirius/XM 110). I listen to Betsy, Brian and Jon every morning on my drive into work. Together, they discuss new ideas about food, home décor, furniture and being earth-friendly all while discussing the trending topics of the week. I wish my commute were longer, so I could listen to them more.
When the idea for this piece began, I had planned to go to Lowes or Home Depot to pick up some 1x3s to build the frame, but I knew I wanted to somehow use old doors for the sides.
I traveled to Salado, Texas, a town known for its high-end and rustic antiques. My favorite Vietnam vet from Bee’s Antiques sold me a beautiful blue 5-panel door and some old pegs from a railing of some sort.
Then, it was off to Fletcher’s Books. Out in front of this used bookstore, lie all sorts of dusty old treasures. First, I came across the shutters. I knew these would work perfectly as cabinet doors.
Then, just to the right, I spotted some 1x4s. I had to have these, and I had to know more about them. The clerk said that the wood pieces were solid pine baseboards from a 150-year-old home. The shutters came from the same home, although he doubted they were as old. At $5 per 8-foot piece, I knew I had what I needed to frame up my BBQ table.
Next, I got everything home and started laying out the plans on the driveway.
I cut the wood, washed it up, drilled my pocket holes with my Kreg Jig and moved it all to the backyard for assembly.
Making the frame was easy, but I realized that adding casters to the bottom would make it easier, not only to assemble, but to relocate in the future. I also put a piece of trim along the inside bottom and dropped a piece of plywood inside to create the bottom shelf.
The next step was adding 2 panels of the 5-panel door to each side, 4 shutters to the front and 4 shutters on the back. To top it off, I bought another piece of plywood that I had Lowes cut for me.
I topped it with cement backer board. It was the right width, but I had to add an extra foot of length. I used tile adhesive to attach it and I secured it with screws.
Then, I smeared adhesive all over the top, so I could lay down the tiles.
While you could use big tiles, I’m not comfortable cutting tile yet, so I like to work with the little pieces. Unfortunately, the pattern I picked wasn’t even on the ends, but I found some square tiles from another tile that I could pop in with no problem.
After grouting and wiping off the excess to create a smooth finish, my prep station was ready to entertain.
I left the scratches and nicks and different colored paints because I love the character and the story behind each component. I do see a few imperfections on the tile work, but that’s okay. That gives me an excuse to practice on another project.