Backyard Oasis: DIY Outdoor TV Cabinet

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Last Updated on July 17, 2021
Doug Stephen

A long-time contributor to SeriouslySmoked. Jim has had a lifelong relationship with the art of grilling, passed on from his father and grandfather to him.  

Doug is a hardcore barbeque enthusiast and connoisseur. While he spends most of his time on editing and research, he sometimes moonlights as a product tester for particularly interesting things he comes across.

diy outdoor tv cabinet

Image Credit: Preston Stoll

An outdoor TV cabinet is a unique entertaining feature that allows you to host friends for the big game or enjoy a themed outdoor party around the pool during awards season. Having a spot to put the TV on your patio will certainly make you a popular host, especially when it’s opposite your pool or grill.

So how can you achieve this dream without breaking the bank? Many DIY solutions and ideas to make it possible for you to install an outdoor TV cabinet on your property without hiring a professional.

Outdoor TV Cabinet Styles

One of the most exciting aspects of taking on a DIY build project is that you get complete creative control over your DIY outdoor TV cabinet design. You can choose from several styles, so you’ll need to make choices about what level the TV will sit at and how you want the doors that conceal the TV to look and move.

For a touch of inspiration, consider these trendy design ideas:

1. Wall mounted

If you have an outdoor bar area by your pool, it will look extremely high-end to mount your TV cabinet on the wall behind the bar. This puts the television in an optimal position for viewing from more angles because it’s higher up, and you and your friends can hang out in the pool or at the bar while watching.

2. Outdoor media unit

For those who don’t have an exterior wall that they feel comfortable mounting a TV cabinet on, you can also opt for an outdoor media unit that will sit on the deck, patio, or pool deck. You can take advantage of building a larger unit to encase your TV by adding in shelving for storage of your outdoor drinkware.

3. Rustic barn door

Planning to mount your TV cabinet on an exterior brick wall? Choosing a sliding barn door design with a rustic wood aesthetic is the perfect pairing. Barn doors are convenient and easy to move around to reveal the TV when you want to use it, and they’ll make your TV cabinet a focal point.

4. Flip lift

If you want a simpler way to enclose your TV in the outdoor cabinet but don’t want standard swing doors, the wind can blow around when left open, consider installing a flip lift style door. These are contemporary and easy to install.

5. Bi-fold doors

For a classic pub feel, cover your TV with bi-fold wooden cabinet doors. This style is perfect for concealing your TV in an outdoor media unit so that the doors take up minimal space on your patio when left open.

How to Build an Outdoor TV Cabinet?

wood cabinet

Image Credit: Owens

After taking some time to think about what DIY outdoor TV cabinet design suits your outdoor space best, you’re ready to begin building. Before you start, gather the appropriate safety gear and materials necessary for the task.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Tablesaw
  • Drill
  • Safety glasses
  • Measuring tape
  • Nail gun
  • Stain
  • Sealant
  • Door handle
  • 3-inch screws
  • Wood glue
  • 4 corner brackets
  • Hardie board
  • 2 gas struts
  • 3 door hinges

You’ll also need to get the wood for framing the cabinet, backing trim, and the doors of the cabinet. The first thing you’ll do is determine the desired size of your cabinet. Once you know these dimensions, you can begin building.

1. Measure and cut

Knowing the size you want your cabinet to be, start by measuring and cutting two pieces of wood to the appropriate height and two pieces for the appropriate width using a tablesaw. Wear your safety glasses when cutting. These four pieces will come together to create the enclosure frame.

2. Assemble the enclosure frame

Lay out the four pieces of wood to form a rectangle. Using wood glue, attach them at the four corners. Make sure the frame is straight by measuring from corner to corner on the inside at the top and the bottom. These measurements should be equal. Now you can attach the brackets in each corner using screws.

3. Add the trim backing

Once you’ve created the frame that will encase your TV, you need to add backing support to bridge the gap between the structural framing and the wall to which your TV is mounted. These pieces of trim will be the same dimensions as your original wooden framing pieces. Attach them securely to the frame using your screws and drill.

4. Cover in Hardie Board

For an outdoor TV cabinet, Hardie Board is an excellent choice for covering the exterior to protect it from the elements. Cover the wood frame in a ¼” thick Hardie Board paneling to give it a weatherproof finish. You should also cut and install finishing trim from the Hardie Board that will cover any exposed joints in the wood frame for protection from the elements.

5. Mount the enclosure to the exterior wall

Once the main part of the enclosure is built, you’ll mount it in the location you want to have the TV. The open back of the unit allows you to mount the TV directly to the wall of your home inside the enclosure.

6. Build your flip lift door

You can use cedar to make a durable and stylish flip lift door for your TV enclosure. Measure and cut your cedar trim to fit the dimensions of your enclosure, reducing the height by around ½” at the top to leave room for the door to open. After framing the door and securing it with wood glue, take 10-12 cedar pickets (depending on your door’s size) and lay them vertically over the frame, overlapping for a cool textured look.

Secure them in place using your nail gun.

7. Attach the hinges to the door and the door to the enclosure

When your door is complete, you’re ready to install hinges, gas struts and hang the door. Attach your 3 door hinges evenly spaced along the top of the door. You’re going to secure one side to the door with screws and the other side to the front of the enclosure frame, about a ½” from the top. Now that the TV cabinet is installed, it’s time to add a way of keeping the door open while you’re viewing.

8. Install gas struts

You’ll need to know the weight of the door to ensure you’re purchasing gas struts that can sufficiently support it. Measure the gas strut. Open the door to determine the upper and lower mounting points that will give you the opening distance you require. Mark them with a pencil.

Install mounting brackets on the door frame and fit the gas struts with the piston pointing down.

Just like that, you’ve got a gorgeous, modern outdoor TV cabinet mounted to your wall that you can be proud of. Let the entertaining commence with good television reception.

Doug Stephen

Doug Stephen

Why Not Try DIY This Summer?

There are plenty of reasons to consider a DIY outdoor cabinet build in favor of calling in the professionals. Not only will you save a lot of money on labor costs, but you can also feel proud of your handy work all summer long while you enjoy the outdoor TV cabinet with guests.

Looking for addition your outdoor projects? Try this with DIY grill stuff: