How to Build a DIY Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Article Posted By: Home Depot Staff

Red Outdoor Buffet Cabinet open and hanging on a wall outside

Impress your guests with a delightful DIY Outdoor Buffet Cabinet. Follow the step-by-step instructions to build this one-day project. We also have downloadable instructions you can print.
Skill Level: Difficult
Time: 4-6 hours (including drying time)
Cost: Under $50

Tools and Materials

Step 1

Grab all of your supplies from your local Home Depot.

The wood can be cut to size at your local Home Depot store or you can do it yourself with a power saw, carefully measuring and cutting each piece to fit.


Click this image to enlarge

Step 2

Assemble the sides, top and bottom pieces to make the frame. Ensure they are accurately put together using a level or T-square.

Carefully apply wood glue on both sides of where the pieces will meet before joining. Then, fasten together with wood screws, making sure to quickly take off any excess wood glue that is visible.

Using a power drill to build the frame for an Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Step 3

Next, place the back top, middle, and shelf pieces, making sure all are flush and square.

Install and fasten them to the frame using the same steps and materials used in Step 2.

Applying wood glue to wood to build an Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Step 4

Center and then attach continuous hinge onto the front plywood piece with the screws provided from the hinge.

Make sure the other side of the hinge is fastened to the bottom portion of the bottom piece of the buffet. Test the hinge to make sure the front piece closes and opens properly.

Using a power drill to install the hinge for an Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Step 5

Next, attach eyehooks and S-hooks a few inches from the inside edge of the front piece and on the inside sides of the buffet frame.

Install your chain onto the S-hook, making sure it is secure. Having extra chain at this step is fine, as you can cut and change the length if it is too long.

At this stage, test all parts to ensure the front piece works efficiently.

Adding S hooks to the sides of the frame for an Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Step 6

Inspect where you’ll be putting the two square dowel rod bottom stops, ensuring they will stop at 90 degrees when the front piece is folded down. Before fastening them to the front, make sure they will be placed a few inches from the edges of the front piece.

These bottom stops are important; they will help the front piece support weight from whatever is being placed on it once it is opened for use.

Then inspect all areas of the buffet, sand down rough areas and be sure to fill any screw holes or gaps with wood filler.

Any remaining wood glue can be sanded, leaving you with a smooth professional-like finish.

Using a power drill to add stops to the bottom of the frame for an Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Step 7

Apply paint or stain of your choice to all wood surfaces.

You may choose to take off the metal hinges and eyebolts at this step, or mask off to ensure the metal pieces are unaffected. Make sure whichever stain or paint you decide to use is exterior grade and has a durable finish once it is dry.

Most stains will need a top clear coat of exterior polyurethane or similar clear coat. If you choose to paint the wood surfaces, a primer is recommended to ensure a professional and even-looking finish for the final top coat.

Brushing on a red coat of paint onto the Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Step 8

After your paint or stain is dry, apply the top latch and back mounting clips to ensure the buffet is secure and will stay in place.

The type of screw or mounting system you will need depends on the wall surface where you’re placing the buffet. Always refer to the mounting system instructions to determine if it will work.

Using a power drill to add mounting clips to the frame of an Outdoor Buffet Cabinet

Step 9

Mount the assembled and completed buffet cabinet, checking it with a level after installation to make sure that it will be fully functional and safe.

Red Outdoor Buffet Cabinet open and hanging on a wall outside

 Download printable instructions for this DIY Outdoor Buffet Cabinet and get started!

And while you’re at it, take a look at more DIY projects here on The Home Depot blog.