How to make a retro bar front

Brighten up your outdoor entertaining area with this retro bar front. It’s simple to make and looks fab!

Bunnings magazine, January/February 2020

What you need

Safety equipment

9mm-thick 2440mm x 1220mm sheet marine plywood

Measuring tape and pencil

Circular saw

180-grit abrasive paper with sanding block

Mini roller with tray

Three-in-one primer (we used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 Undercoat Primer Sealer Stain Blocker)

1m-long ruler

Mimosa ‘Coral Bay’ aluminium bar table

50mm paintbrush

24mm-wide painters tape

Sample pots of exterior paint (we used Dulux Weathershield in Mallard Green, Marlin Green, Naked Rose and High Blue)

30mm x 30mm x 17mm reinforcing brackets (pack of 12)

8G self-tapping sheet metal screws in 9mm and 18mm

Drill with driver bit


1. Use measuring tape to mark out the plywood to 1490mm x 990mm, and cut with a circular saw.

Tip: Have the sheet cut in store so its easier to manage.

2. Lightly sand the plywood, then use a mini roller to apply primer all over, ensuring the edges are saturated. Apply two coats, leaving to dry between each.

3. Use a ruler and pencil to draw your own graphic design on the plywood. With painters tape, mask off one area of your pattern at a time. Start with the darkest colour, leaving to dry before removing the tape.

Tip: Work with one colour at a time, washing out the brush as you go and leaving it to dry in preparation for the next shade. Repeat for the remaining colours.

4. With the design facing outward, place the plywood in position against the leg braces, checking the space from the edge is the same all around. Working from underneath the table, position four brackets along the top and each side, using a drill to attach them to the plywood with 9mm sheet metal screws and to the table with 18mm screws.

Find out more

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