Decorating | DIY | Painted Furniture

How to Create an Outdoor Serving Station

Today, we’re sharing how to create an outdoor serving station from an old workbench.

Honestly, we’ve had an outdoor serving station set up on the back patio for the longest time.  We use it in almost every season. So, I wanted to share how you can create one too.

How to Create an Outdoor Serving Station with Salvaged Finds 

Deciding to create an outdoor serving station really came together when I decided to marry several salvaged pieces, I picked up here and there.

The serving station is centered around an old workbench I found at a warehouse.  The body was in great shape, but the top needed a bit of TLC.

After a lot of sanding, I painted the entire workbench in “off the shelf white” exterior paint.  Then I stenciled the phrase “Gather & Enjoy” on the back board.

Adding Lights to the Serving Station 

Once the workbench was finished, I decided we needed a way to have more lighting out on the back patio.  Especially, around where we would be serving food and drinks.

The weather in Florida is pretty mild and whenever we’re entertaining, we have a lot of people come over in the early afternoon.  Most of the time they linger way past my bedtime.

During the summer months it works out great because it stays lighter outside longer.

But once we lose an hour in Fall and Winter, it’s hard to see what’s being served unless we have a lot of candles and a good fire going.

Shortly after I found the workbench, I also found an old shutter style door with a wide top.

The minute I saw how wide the top was I knew it would make the perfect spot to hang a few barn lights.

I found the lights from Lowes at a really reasonable price and used Rust-oleum Spray Paint in Hammered Bronze to give the barn lights an aged look.

I asked my bestie S to help me attach the lights to the door.  As always,

remember to use caution and care when working with wires, lights and electricity. Seek professional help if you are not comfortable with this step.

Adding a Chalkboard – Menu Board

Once we got the lights in place, we used an old chalkboard to cover the upper slats of the shutter style door.

Trimming the Menu Board with Tobacco Sticks 

Then we used tobacco sticks to frame around the chalkboard in order to give it a more finished look.

Marrying Multiple Salvaged Pieces 

Marrying these pieces not only gave us space to set up an outdoor serving station for food and drinks on the back patio, it also gave us a place for a menu board too.

Decorating an Outdoor Serving Station

As I shared above, we’ve used this outdoor serving station for so long, I can hardly remember what our patio looked like without it.

It’s been so nice to have a designated place to serve family and friends outdoors in every season.

We’ve used it for Fall gatherings,

Winter dinners,

as a potting station early Spring,

lazy Summer nights,

and even special occasion breakfast celebrations too!

I hope this post on how to create an outdoor serving station shows you just how easy it is to repurpose furniture pieces or salvaged finds you already have at home.

Let us know if you try something similar.  We love to see what you’re making!

Other DIY Projects You Might Enjoy:

Until next time, I’ll see you on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

Many blessings,

Coco

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35 Comments

  1. Oh my, Coco! This is amazing!!! Please come make one of these at my house! I already have a mint condition cast iron vintage sink you can use for the project!!!! I just love this project and the styling is perfect! JEALOUS (in a nice way)

    1. I appreciate it, Marsha, thank you so much. I can’t believe you have a mint condition cast iron sink – I’m so excited for you! We’ve definitely gotten a lot of use out of this space which is fun 🙂 I wish we lived closer, I would totally help you with your sink. Hugs, CoCo

  2. super cute! Would love to have something like this at my house. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Christina! It definitely makes the trips to the kitchen a lot less when we have company over 🙂 Hope your day is an awesome one, Coco

  3. Absolutely awesome! You have the combination of creativity and skills to make great things!

    Happy TOHOT!

    1. Thank you, Stacey! I so appreciate your kind words! Hugs, CoCo

  4. This is so awesome!! I want one!!! You covered every detail so beautifully. It’s going to be a great addition to your outdoor entertaining. Thanks so much for linking to #fridaysfurniturefix. We love having you!!

    1. I really appreciate it, Susie, thank you so much! Hugs, Coco

  5. Your darling serving station truly is so versatile.
    Thank you for linking up this wonderful post on Thoughts of Home on Thursday. May you have a glorious Easter!

    1. Thank you so much, Laura! I hope you and your family had a blessed Easter as well. Hugs, CoCo

  6. Love it! The addition of the lighting is fantastic. I love your creativity 🙂

    1. I really appreciate it, Melanie, thank you so much! Hugs, CoCo

  7. Just stopping in again to let you know I am featuring your project at this week’s Friday’s Furniture Fix Party!!

    1. You’re so sweet, Melanie, thank you so much! I really appreciate it! Hope your day is a fun one, CoCo

  8. Coco, this is such a great idea. I can see so many uses for this. Great up cycle.

    1. I appreciate that Mary, thank you! It’s been nice to have the extra space especially when we have family and friends over. I love eating outside 🙂 Sending you hugs for a happy day, CoCo

  9. This is so awesome, CoCo! Especially love the addition of blankets — that is a sign of a good host in my book — I hate getting cold! 😀 Hope you’re enjoying your back deck this weekend! Cynthia

    1. ha ha thank you Cynthia! I’m totally with you – August in Florida is a total bear but I wouldn’t trade it for any day spent in the snow. I hate to be cold too! Thanks so much for your sweet words, CoCo

  10. I am coming from the painted drawer and I have to say I was very excited to see your outdoor serving station. Love at first sight! So so beautiful. Exactly what I’ve been looking for. Great piece!

    1. Thank you so much, Shari, I appreciate your kind words! We use that space all of the time which makes it really nice not having to make so many trips to the kitchen 🙂 Hope your day is a happy one, CoCo

  11. What a wonderful piece, CoCo! You married it all together so perfectly…to create a wonderful spot for serving and gathering! I love seeing it done for each season, too. I think a piece like this would also be great iused ndoors!

    1. Thank you, Linda! I’m totally with you, this serving station has been such a workhorse. I’ve thought about using it inside a million times. It would also be great in a garage or to use as a potting shed as well given the height. We were set to build out the she shed and the potting shed before social distancing but I know it would have been perfect in there too 🙂 Sending you hugs and hoping you’ve had a great week, CoCo

  12. Patty Foster says:

    CoCo, I absolutely adore this!!! This is a MUST HAVE for me, especially with all of the entertaining I do outside. The trick for me is finding these special items/repurposed items for the serving station. Where could I begin my search for items to create this awesome piece?

    1. So glad you like this piece, Patty! It’s been so great for us over the years and it’s come in handy while we’re building things outside too. Oddly enough, this is actually an old workbench so I would start with places that sell them. If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, I’m happy to send you the measurements for this one. I’m pretty sure it’s nothing but a mix of 4×4’s and 4×6’s but I would have to get S to back me up on that 🙂 Sending you hugs and hoping you’ve had a great week, CoCo

  13. I have an old gardening table that I wanted to turn into exactly what you did! I am having a hard time getting the Mister to agree. We’ll see who wins come this summer! LOL. You know it will be me. Ha! Right now we use an old baby bed but it’s to low. Love this! Pinned.

    1. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to wait on things like that Cindy! It’s too many to count 🙂 We’ve used this for everything from entertaining to cutting boards to potting plants. It’s truly one of the most utilitarian pieces of furniture we own. My only regret is that we don’t have a second one in our garage but it’s a great height for painting too! Can’t wait to see how it all comes together. Hugs, CoCo

  14. This is amazing! What a creative idea to turn an old workbench into a serving station. I love the lights you added to the top! I never thought of spray painting lights before but now I’m inspired! I can’t wait until our local habitat store reopens because they had some lights in there that I loved. I should have grabbed them when I had the chance. Have a great rest of the week!

    1. Speak to my heart, Michelle, treasure hunting and my family are the two things I’ve missed the most while social distancing. While you can’t spray the inside of the light (that would be a huge fire hazard) spraying the outside should be ok as long as the inside is all taped up 🙂 Fingers crossed we’ll all get back to “normal” soon, I’m so ready. Hugs for a happy week, CoCo

  15. What a fun piece to enjoy outside Love how you styled it! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm Party. xo Kathleen

    1. Our outdoor serving station has definitely been a fun piece to use in every season, Kathleen. We use it all the time! Hugs, CoCo

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