Trash Can Tilt Cabinet

11 Materials
2 Hours

We were so tired of seeing that garbage can in the corner of our kitchen and we really needed a better storage solution. Then, out of the blue, my mother in law gave us an old-but-cute little cabinet. The wheels started turning and soon we had our DIY tilt-out garbage cabinet ready to join the kitchen staff.

Isn't it cute?! The only thing I might add is velcro on the bottom of the trash can because it tends to fall over when it's empty and the door is closed -- this way it will stay put when it's opened or closed but can still be removed if need be.

Here's the cabinet my MIL gave us. It was nice on it's own but it had a higher calling!

Materials and tools:

  • small cabinet
  • small trash can
  • knob
  • handle/pull
  • 1" hinges (comes 2 in a pack)
  • 1 piece of 1x12 common board
  • wood glue
  • Kreg jig
  • pocket hole screws
  • measuring tape
  • drill (aka: screw gun, as Rob calls it)

First we made a base. Using a piece of 1x12 common board from Home Depot, Rob started by cutting a square piece to be slightly smaller than the width of the door using his chop saw. You can also use a circular saw to do this step.

Next, he fastened the board he cut to the door to form the base that the trash can would sit on. He used wood glue, then drilled pocket holes and used pocket hole screws to do this. He recommends buying a Kreg jig for this type of work -- it is easy to use and comes with instructions and some basic hardware to get started. You could also use trim nails if you don’t mind filling and sanding the nails holes later on.

If you don't have a kreg jig, there are some other creative tricks you can use to drill pocket holes using just a drill.

The next step was to cut triangle piece for the sides of the tilt-out cabinet to hold the garbage bin in place. Again, you can use a circular saw for this step.

Next, Rob drilled pocket holes on the triangle pieces and then drilled those into place. Once he added them, he let everything sit overnight to ensure the glue cured properly and got a good bond.

The next day, I filled in the original knob hole. I didn't have wood filler on hand at the time, so Rob taught me a cool trick to create my own. I mixed a little sawdust and wood glue together (should be the consistency of Play-Doh) and filled the hole with the mixture. Once it was dry, I sanded it smooth.

Once the hole was filled, I sanded the whole cabinet so that the paint would adhere better. If you don't know how to sand furniture, it's really not very difficult. After a little practice, you'll be a pro. I didn't go totally crazy with this but just enough to rough it up a little.

Next step was painting! I used to get really nervous any time I had to paint furniture, but I've gotten better at it over time.

I applied my acrylic paint (I used Behr exterior flat "Cozy Cottage"). I painted the entire cabinet, let it dry, then applied one more coat of paint and allowed that to dry completely.

After it was painted, I decided to distress my cabinet. I wanted my trash can cabinet to look a bit worn in, so I took a piece of fine grit sandpaper and went over the edges and accents so that the paint underneath showed through slightly.

It's not tough to learn how to distress furniture -- you basically just add a few scratches here and there until you like the look.

Next, I drilled on the hinges, knob and handle. Instead of adding a chain to keep the door from flying all the way open, Rob had a cool idea of simply drilling in a screw far enough that the inside of the cabinet grabbed the screw to keep the door from completely flying open.

What a difference huh?! I feel like this little gem looks like a totally new cabinet. I'm excited to start using to figure out how to keep Bo out of it! :)

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Have a question about this project?

3 questions
  • Karen
    on Dec 16, 2019

    Think we could do this tip opening to our built in kitchen cabinet?

    • Deloris Barker-Houk
      Deloris Barker-Houk
      on Jan 5, 2020

      We did it with our regular cabinet. Took the door off and got a piece of 1x8 8 inches long nailed it to the door just above where it would clear the base. After nailing it there hooked a chain on each side to keep it level from outer corner to the door about 12 inches up using eyelet screws. I used a piano hinge to attach the door at the bottom moved the magnet closer to the top. Took a lightweight bungee strap and put the can in. Oh I forgot you have to take your shelf out if you have one.

  • Glenda
    on Dec 24, 2019

    There are several partial sentences cut out of this article. Perhaps it could be edited?

  • User
    on Dec 30, 2019

    Hi, How to connect with you ?

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2 of 11 comments
  • Helen
    on Dec 24, 2019

    Great idea thanks.

  • Sue Sanders
    Sue Sanders
    on Dec 30, 2019

    Really like this idea to hide the trash can. I will go to H.O.W. foundation to find an old cabinet to refinish for this project. Hope this article can be pulled up when I need the instructions after I find a cabinet.

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