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Bridger Steel Project News, Highlights & Helpful Tips

DIY Kitchen Island With Corrugated Metal

[fa icon="calendar"] 07/30/2015 / by Katie Smith

When you walk into Jim Greenbaum’s house in Manhattan, MT, his personality bleeds through every corner. From the surfboard hanging on the living room wall, to the electric guitar, microphone and amp in the corner, to the smell of pork chops baking in the oven - everything is uniquely his style. “I think a home should smell like coffee and home cooking when you walk in,” he tells me. “It makes people feel more at home.”

The house is Jim’s own design built in 2005. Acting as general contractor he and a crew added every detail from the large picture windows in the living room to the light and airy kitchen. Since then Jim has been adding personal details as the house evolves. Most recently he began experimenting with galvanized corrugated metal to accent a kitchen island and below his living room windows.

kitchen island usinf corruagted galvanized steel
This kitchen bar with 1-1/4 x 1/4 Galvanized Corrugated  Metal was the first interior metal project Jim attempted in his house.

“Recently a friend of mine was at Bridger Steel getting his materials for a metal roofing and siding project. I went with him and when I walked inside the showroom I was so impressed with all the applications of the different corrugated metal materials," explains Jim.  

“I thought, ‘I’d love to do something in my house and create an added level of texture with the corrugated metal. I’ve got the wood, I’ve got the granite, but I don’t have the metal look,’” he recalls.

While Jim has plenty of construction experience, he had never worked with corrugated metal before.  When he decided his first project would be the kitchen island, he went back to the Bridger Steel show room to talk with the experts. “Definitely talk to the guys at Bridger Steel before your start your project, and get the best tools for the job,” Jim advises new DIYers.

DIY kitchen island no sheet rock
Jim recorded his process from demolition to completion, adding pillars with granite and tile as well as the metal accents.

To begin the DIY project, he first built out the sides of the kitchen bar with plywood and added the granite and tile pieces to frame the metal. The area was originally sheet rocked, which he ripped out so he could attach the pieces with the fasteners from Bridger Steel, instead of searching for studs. “It was a lot more work, but it was worthwhile to build out and start fresh,” explains Jim.

To replace the sheet rock, he chose 1-1/4 x 1/4  Galvanized Corrugated Metal 28ga with a contrasting black 1/2” J-Metal trim. “I like the art deco aspect and the light gauge,” he says. Since this was his first project with corrugated metal, he decided to use the lightest gauge available to make it easier to cut and bend around the corners.  

Even with the lighter gauge, Jim still came across challenges with his first project, including bending the metal corners around the radiator panel at the bottom of the bar, which encouraged him to come up with creative solutions like the striking band of black metal in the center. “It was difficult for me, having no experience with corrugated metal. I added the black trim down the middle to split things up and make it easier,” he says.


Jim poses by the finished project: a beautiful conversation piece and an addition to his house.

Jim’s choice of the bright and reflective galvanized corrugated metal paired with the rich black trim creates a stunning focal point with clean lines that play off the ample light in the kitchen. He is pleased with the results. “The metal work fits in extremely well with the design of the house,” he says. “I have a lot of people say ‘Wow, I love what you’re doing.  I never would have thought metal could be used for interior.’”

Jim used the left over corrugated metal as accents under his living room windows and plans to tie it into other areas of the house. One area he is keen to tackle is behind his wood stove, perhaps this time moving up to a heavier gauge metal and a wider corrugation now that he’s got some experience under his belt.  

“Metal fits in with any decor,” says Jim. “I wish I had known about it earlier. I would have planned things differently and used metal from the start.”

Jim encourages others who want to try adding metal accents to their own homes to work with Bridger Steel. “Anybody who’s looking forward to doing this project should come to Bridger Steel and get advice from the guys in the show room.” 

We are always happy to show anyone who is new to metal working how to add a touch of steel to a home. Read 5 ways to update your home with corrugated metal to get some inspiration for your next DIY project. 

Topics: Interior Metal, DIY

Katie Smith

Written by Katie Smith