Shannon’s Basement Bar

Viewer Project - By Shannon Huber from Lakeville, MN
Added on July 3, 2013

I recently finished a big project that has taken me almost 2 years to complete. This is a custom designed and built bar in my basement. The design is one my wife and I came up with. We knew we wanted an old style bar, so we went to numerous bars to come up with ideas. The refrigerator is elevated to eye level, and the wine rack complements the other end of the bar. I built and installed soffit cabinets with under cabinet lighting. I added in cabinet lighting for the glasses, and built a light box for the bottles. I also added several accent lights, along with under bar top lighting. The sink was a must. It took a little work, but we were able to do all the plumbing and wiring ourselves. The only things I had to hire out were the sewing on the padded bar rails, and cutting the glass for the shelves, doors, and mirror.

We wanted a sturdy top, so I designed and built the corbels that support the upper bar top. The lower bar top is made from a laminate that looks like granite. The bar is made from red oak (to match the other wood in my house) along with a tiger maple upper bar top. For the top, I had to make a road trip to get the amount of tiger maple required for the project, but it was well worth the drive in the end. The whole bar except for the top is finished with cherry color oil stain, and topped off with 3 coats of oil polyurethane. The bar top was more challenging. Since I wanted to use an epoxy coating, I was concerned about using the oil stain as a base. I spent 2 days experimenting with alcohol based dyes before I was able to match the color and technique without streaking. It can be very difficult to stain tiger maple a dark color, but with patience, my time paid off. I wound up using a dry rag to work in the dye in very small amounts to get the look I wanted. I finished the top with 2 coats of pour epoxy. I built and finished 30 raised panel doors, along with 6 doors. Everything was finished after building except for the wine rack, which I finished before I assembled, and then I added a face frame and finished that in place. The bar top finish was poured prior to placing the finished bar top on the sub bar top I made from MDF.
We still have to add the ceiling, and will be trimmed with crown molding. The finished part of the soffit extends up to where it will meet the crown molding.

This was a long project that I worked on while working on other projects, along with having to work my real job to pay the bills. That being said, now I can sit back and relax and enjoy a cocktail until I start the next project…Tomorrow.