How to Build Outdoor Kitchen Cabinets

Updated March 23, 2017

Kitchen cabinets for indoor kitchens do not have to be build to withstand natural elements, such as harsh winds and frequent rainfall. However, if you have an outdoor kitchen near your barbecue and outdoor patio set, where you would like to install some storage cabinets, you need to prepare them for these natural elements. If you do not, the kitchen cabinets will start rotting and eventually break, dismount and potentially destroy your belongings in the cabinets.

Measure the space where you want to hang your outdoor kitchen cabinets. Measure the overall length of a single cabinet, the height of a single cabinet and the depth of this cabinet. Write these three measurements down. Determine how many cabinets you will need and write down the new measurements, in case they differ from the first set.

Lay the plywood sheets down on the ground. Take the measurements and sketch the panels needed for a single cabinet frame. It consists of two side panels with the height and depth measurements, two panels for the top and bottom with the depth and length measurements and a back panel with the height and length measurements, plus an additional inch to the length measurement. Draw an additional panel identical to the back panel for the cabinet doors.

Turn on the table saw and place the plywood sheet up to the blade. Apply slight pressure to the sheet, so the blade starts cutting the plywood. Use the lines you have drawn as your guidance to cut the pieces out. Once the cuts are completed and the table saw has been turned off, remove splinters from the plywood's edges by sanding them.

Construct the cabinet frame by placing the side panels across from one another and the top and bottom panels across from one another, but perpendicular to the side panels. The top and bottom panels should go in between the two side panels. Hammer nails into the corners to attach the panels to one another, using two nails per corner. As you attach the panels, have the level placed on top of the frame to ensure it is even.

Place the back panel on top of the frame constructed in step 4. Hammer nails into the perimeter of the back panel, so the nails attach themselves to the cabinet frame. The nails should be spaced 2 inches apart across the perimeter. Turn the cabinet right side up, when done.

Take the cabinet door panel and locate the centre. Draw a line down the middle and cut it into two pieces, which will be two cabinet doors. Sand the edges. Place two hinges on each cabinet door and space them evenly apart on one side of each cabinet door. Use the 1/4-inch screws and the screwdriver to attach the hinges.

Install the cabinet doors to the cabinet frame, so the hinges are attached to the side panels of the original cabinet frame. The hinges should be installed inside the frame. Once the doors are installed, attach the doorknobs to the outside of both doors. Use the 1/4-inch screws and the screwdriver to attach the doorknobs.

Spray the entire outdoor kitchen cabinet with a water repellent spray, so the cabinet can withstand any rain or natural elements the cabinet may be exposed to. Let the cabinet dry completely from the spray before you attempting to mount it.


You can use lumber or any other wood of choice for the cabinet, as long as you prepare it for outdoor conditions with the water repellent. Use the same procedures as outlined in the article. You can use any type of plywood you wish, as long as you prepare it for outdoor conditions prior to putting it outdoors.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 1/2-inch plywood sheets
  • Pencil
  • Table saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Level
  • Hinges
  • Doorknobs
  • Screwdriver
  • 1/4-inch screws
  • Water repellent spray
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About the Author

Based in Toronto, Mary Jane has been writing for online magazines and databases since 2002. Her articles have appeared on the Simon & Schuster website and she received an editor's choice award in 2009. She holds a Master of Arts in psychology of language use from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.