Introduction: Bar Top Deck Railing

About: Around here you'll find we love to: refinish old furniture, re-purpose old pieces, build it from scratch and continue bettering our home one step at a time!

Bar top deck railing. I’ve been seeing this idea all over the internet the past year and it occurred to me that its definitely something we would get a ton of use out of! Since I started the renovation in 2014 I’ve been hacking away at using all of the wood leftover in the barn from when my Grandparents’ were wood workers. Besides random stashed wood there was one very special, very hidden, pile that I spotted right away: VERY old, rough cut oak and pine that was simply gorgeous.

Since then I’ve used it for absolutely everything I could think off in the garden, the home, the garage, the yard, the deck, etc. It took me over six years but I whittled it down to one last board.

An over nine foot long, twelve inch deep, two inch thick, piece of oak.
I had the plan to make it into a bench since last year until right now, when I realized how much we would use a bar top deck railing instead. Currently on our deck (with its brand spanking new cable rails that we love) we have a table and plenty of seating but where Lodi and I always end up is on the sun loungers I built a few years ago. I realized it would be ideal if we had a place to eat in that same area but we didn’t really need another full blown table out here. So, a bar top deck railing would be perfect!

Step 1: Heavy Duty Bolts and Attachment

For such a large deck (over 700 square feet) its not the easiest space to furniture plan. For one thing the reason we spend so much time in this corner (and why the sun loungers are here) is because its really the only space on the entire deck that gets consistent sun.

We have a tone of tree cover but I absolutely love the sun and sun bathing in the backyard after my day job is mandatory for my happiness. So though I think a table and chairs would be great in this corner the only thing that belongs here (in my opinion) are the loungers. Besides that I also have some pretty serious plans for the future of this deck that I don’t want to interfere with.

Fortunately there was plenty of room in this corner for a bar top without making it look cluttered! I purchased outdoor stools off of Amazon first thing and waited until they got here before tackling this project. I wasn’t going to determine the height of our bar top until I knew exactly the height we would be sitting at!
(I am aware its a bad habit but I like to cross my legs and if I can’t do that under the surface I’m sitting at I am just straight up uncomfortable!) I purchased heavy duty shelf brackets off of Amazon and we attached them to the two posts that the oak was long enough to reach. With those level and in place, we attached the oak. (The screws that came with the shelf brackets were a joke for this situation – that oak weighs at least 80 pounds. So, I aired on the side of caution, and purchased heavy duty bolts for this project.)

Step 2: Enjoying for Years to Come!

All that was left was to give the oak a power wash and wait for it to dry. I don’t always soak wood before I sand it down but because this is oak I wanted the grains to all stand up as much as possible. Oak is a little like sanding concrete!

I’m planning on sealing it with something eventually but, because this is MN and we have such a harsh climate, I feel like my only option would be using an epoxy pour of some kind… that’s something I’m going to contemplate about for a bit. I love how the main rail now acts as a perfect place to set a drink above the bar top! And the oak is deep enough to set a regular size dinner plate etc. What’s really nice is the view.

The farmyard is really where its at and having a place to sit, have dinner and enjoy the backyard is our favorite evening activity. (Yes, I know the barn is “broken” but she’s my barn and I’ve accepted her.) This was such a simple project for something that we’ve used almost every day since we put it up!