Craft a Whiskey Barrel Sink

Looking to spend a few hundred bucks (on a whiskey barrel sink) instead of thousands on this new trend? Then join us as we look at how to transform barrels for the perfect, unique addition to your home or business. This whiskey barrel sink may be your next DIY mission, should you choose to accept it. You can finally say goodbye to traditional sink installments and high-dollar barrel look-alikes. It's time to make a statement with this one-of-a-kind creation!

Where do I put a Whiskey Barrel Sink?

If you’re wondering about the best place for your whiskey barrel sink, don’t worry. You have so many options! We recommend them for your home bar and/or guest bathroom. Although putting the sinks in your master bath, outdoor kitchen, garden, or restaurant/bar restrooms could be awesome as well. The man-cave, she-shed, or even the garage could use a sweet touch like this, don’t you think?

Materials You’ll Need

  • One 55-gallon oak whiskey barrel
  • Sink (We like the 17” copper Make  sure the size you choose fits your barrel!)
  • Faucet
  • Nails and screws
  • Silicon sealer
  • Drain (if sink doesn’t come with one)
  • Support straps (metal to hold the sink base door together)
  • Latch, handle, and hinges
  • Plumbing (connectors, drain extenders, etc.)
  • Masking or painters tape
  • Wood glue, staples, stain, clear coat, epoxy (optional)

Tools You’ll Need

  • Electric drill
  • Titanium drill bits (for metal rings and sink, if necessary)
  • Jigsaw (complete with fine-tooth blade)
  • Miter saw (complete with fine-tooth blade)
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Clamps

How to Build Your Own Whiskey Barrel Sink


Old whiskey barrels are new gems Old whiskey barrels are new gems! [Photo cred: Pexels]


STEP 1: Find yourself a whiskey barrel

They aren’t plentiful, unfortunately, and you’ll be lucky to get your hands on one for less than $150. A lot of times, you’ll have to pay more. Check antique and thrift stores, as well as garden centers and, of course, the Internet.

STEP 2: Decide your style

Choose your sink and faucet. Select what you like.

STEP 3: Make sure your wood staves are secure

These vertical boards will come loose if you don’t take this necessary step. So, you’re looking to secure the staves to the barrel’s metal rings. To prevent splitting, drill your holes first, and then insert the screws. You’ll need to do this for the front cabinet door access and the back opening (for pipes). (See the screws in the photo above.)

STEP 4: Label the staves

Before you miter and jigsaw the door out completely, use your masking or painters tape to label the staves 1, 2, 3, and so on. The staves will likely fall apart when you remove the door that you cut. Remember, you want a clean finish on this cabinet front, so be neat as you’re sawing.

STEP 5:  Assemble the cabinet door

You’ve already labeled your staves, so if they’ve fallen apart (which they almost certainly have), you know how to put them back together. This is where your metal support straps and clamps will come in handy. You might even use a little wood glue if you think that’ll help. As you put the cabinet door together, consistently check the curvature and be sure it’s matching with your barrel's opening. You might have to slightly bend your metal straps. Saw off and shim where you need to.

Pro Tip: The edges of your cabinet door (top, side, and bottom) will be exposed wood after the cuts, so the light colored wood is going to stand out. You might opt for some wood stain to make those edges match the rest of the barrel. (You can see the light-colored wood on top of the cabinet door below. The DIYers had not yet stained the edges.)


Whiskey barrel sink is going in the guest bathroom of log cabin This whiskey barrel sink is going in the guest bathroom of a log cabin.  [Photo cred: @diana86reaves]


Step 6: Be sure about the cutout

It’s time to flip your sink upside down and trace for your cutout. Measure in about ⅞” - ½” so that you allow for a lip that will let you secure the sink to the barrel. Make a few pilot holes in the lid, then use the jigsaw.  If you notice that the barrel lid staves seem loose, use staples to secure the staves together.

Step 7: Deploy the seal and safety measures

Secure the sink with nails and silicon sealer. Allow the silicon to dry before turning on any water.

Step 8: Fix the cabinet door

Use whatever you like to attach the cabinet door. You’ll need some hardware--a latch of some sort, and hinges. The whiskey barrel sink above doesn’t have a handle since the owners opted to use the bung hole to pull open the cabinet door. Whatever your hardware, remember the curvature of the barrel. You’ll need to allow for that.

Step 9: Workout the plumbing mechanics

If you’re good with plumbing, go right ahead. For the rest of you guys, hire a professional. We don’t play with fire because we might get burned. We don’t play with water because…well, you get the idea.

Video Guide: For the finished product and more guidance, watch this DIY whiskey barrel sink slideshow to give you more ideas and some extra tips. We especially liked the instructions regarding the clear coat spray and epoxy.

Design Ideas: Make it your own!


Wash Hands in Style with DIY Whiskey Barrel Sink Washing hands in style!  [Photo cred: @diana86reaves]

You can also use wine barrels for this project. And you might decide to stain the wood to match particular interiors. You don’t have to use a copper sink, although the patina effect you’ll witness over time really complements the aged barrel. Shop around to find the sink and faucet set that speaks to you and your tastes.


Share Your Projects With Us!

First of all, for another DIY project, check out our article Penny Bar Countertop.

Don’t forget to head over and take a look at another barrel--our barrel wine and liquor decanter. You’ll love it. And since this project centers on wood, we’ll give a nod to our custom engraved barware. We enjoy offering our fans and previous customers unique items for their home bars and more.

Completed your own whiskey barrel sink or a similar project? Share the details and/or any tips you might have in the comments section below. We love hearing from our Prestige fam!