How to Build a Dry Bar

How to Build a Dry Bar For Your Man Cave

Are you wanting to learn how to build a dry bar? A well-equipped bar looks great, makes drinks easily accessible and is great for entertaining!

Overview of the Project

  • Working Time: 5 Hours
  • Total Time: 2 Days
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

This DIY dry bar can be tailored to your needs. It is perfect for any room that has a blank wall and power outlet. Build an attractive waterfall frame by starting with a mini-fridge, buying an upper cabinet that you like, and using stock lumber. To create a built-in appearance on a budget, you can use a custom toe kick for the cabinet. The perfect finishing touch is new cabinet hardware. After installing the dry bar, fill it with all your favorite games, books, drinks, and other items for a night of fun at home.

What you’ll need

Equipment and ToolsHow to Build a Dry Bar

  • Measurement tape
  • Miter saw
  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Tack cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Lint-free rag
  • Stud finder
  • Nail gun


  • Mini refrigerator or wine refrigerator
  • Stock upper cabinet
  • Craft board 1×3
  • Wood glue
  • 1-1/2-inch screws
  • Paint
  • Stock lumber, size dependent on fridge
  • Wood stain
  • 1×6 plywood
  • Pneumatic nails 1-1/2 inch
  • Wood Filler
  • Clear polyurethane
  • Cabinet knobs and pulls


  1. Install Cabinet Toekick

    Measure your mini fridge first. All of the rest of this project will revolve around its dimensions. You will need to build a toe kick for your upper cabinet once you have determined the height of the fridge. A base cabinet is likely to be deeper than the fridge. Cut a 1×3 craftboard to the right size to build a toe kick. Four pieces will be needed to form a rectangular shape that fits the base of the cupboard. Use clamps and wood glue to create a rectangle using the craft boards. Drill together with 1-1/2 inch screws.

    Line up the craftboard rectangle with the cabinet base to attach the toe kick. Attach with wood adhesive; allow to dry. To secure, drill 1-1/2 inch screws through the bottom of your cabinet and into the craft board. Paint the toe kick in a color that matches the cabinet or the cabinet and the toe kick in the desired shade.

  2. Cut and Stain wood

    Next, cut your stock lumber. The size of the lumber depends on your refrigerator and cabinet dimensions. Two pieces will form the sides, and one for the top. When cut to size the boards should sit flush against the front of the fridge when pressed up against the wall.

    Add four to six inches on top of the width of your refrigerator or cabinet. This will allow for proper ventilation and mitered corners. After you’ve taken this measurement, trim the surface to fit with mitered corners at both ends. Add 1 inch to the height of the fridge in order to accommodate a mitered corner. One side of the board should be mitered so that it lines up with the surface piece on top. Repeat the process to make a second sideboard. Now you should have three boards that are mitered and fit together in an upside down U shape.

    After you have finished your cuts, use a tackcloth to remove any sawdust and sand the rough edges. Stain the three boards you have cut, including their mitered edges, with a lint free rag. Let the stain dry before you continue to build.

  3. Install and Assemble SidesBar With Lots Of Bottles

    Connect the side boards to the 1×6 board with a drill, and use 1-1/2 inch screws to create an H-shape. The mitered edge of the side pieces must be facing up. The height at which the 1×6 board is attached to the side pieces will depend on where your outlet is located. Be sure that it won’t cover the outlet for your refrigerator.

    Locate the nearest studs with a studfinder. Attach the assembly to a wall by drilling 1-1/2 inch screws through the 1×6 boards into the wall studs.

  4. Remove wall trim (Optional).

    You may need to remove the baseboard trim from the wall you will be installing your bar on. Use an oscillating trimming saw to cut out the section, and then use a pry bar and putty blade to remove the trim from the wall.

  5. Place the Cabinet and Fridge

    Place the cabinet flush against the front frame, butted up against the side panel. The back of the cabinet will have a gap. Then, plug the mini-fridge into the outlet and place it next to the cabinet. The fridge should sit flush against the front of the frame with ventilation space on either side. Each model has a different amount of recommended space. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for your mini-fridge to learn how best to use it.

  6. Install Wood Top

    The final board is placed on top of the frame. Align the mitered corners, then clamp and glue. Attach the top to the side pieces using a pneumatic nail gun. Be sure to carefully nail through the side pieces. Drill 1-1/2 inch screws through the top of the cabinet and the side pieces to secure it to the frame.

  7. Install Hardware and Finish

    Fill in any holes with woodfiller, and then sand with a sandpaper. Finish with polyurethane. Apply a second layer of stain on the exterior. Let it dry. can be used to replace the existing cabinet hardware with new knobs and pulls by using the screws provided.

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