If your kitchen is too small to fit a full-sized table and chairs, but has a length of wall available, try a DIY built-in snack bar. The bar stools fit right underneath and out of the way, and your kids will have a place to eat their morning cereal or after-school snacks. Finish the bar to match your kitchen walls, or use a stain to bring out the beauty of the wood. Does this Spark an idea?
- 1-by-12 oak boards
- Palm sander
- 80- and 200-grit sandpaper
- Paint or stain
- L-shaped brackets
- 3/4-inch wood screws
Cut a 1-by-12 oak board to a length that fits your snack bar area. A 3-foot snack bar is enough space for two people, and a 5 foot section will seat four people. Ask the lumber yard to make the cut for you, or make it yourself with a jigsaw.
Sand the wood with a palm sander and 80-grit sandpaper. Sand again with 200-grit sandpaper. Wipe with a damp cloth to remove all sanding dust. Apply a coat of paint or stain with a paintbrush. Allow to dry and apply a second coat. Allow to dry. Finish with clear varnish.
Measure from the floor up 36 inches for 24- to 26-inch bar stools, or 42 inches for 29- to 31-inch bar stools. Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall; studs are generally 16 inches apart. Mark the studs, then draw a line the length of your snack bar. Use a level to make the line straight.
Screw an L-shaped bracket to the underside of the snack bar 8 inches from one side and every 16 inches across to the other side. Use a drill and 3/4-inch wood screws.
Have a friend hold the snack bar against the line you drew earlier, making sure the brackets line up with the wall-stud marks. Use a drill to screw the L-shaped brackets into the studs. Slide stools under the snack bar.