Using Stock Upper Cabinets for Built Ins

2 Materials
2 Days

I have been wanting to create built-ins in our downstairs family room forever now, but didn’t really know how I wanted to go about it. So while we were at the Cottage a few weeks ago I figured I would create built ins on this wall as my practice project.

This wall was basically a blank slate. It looked cluttered with items shoved on top the little table as well as overflowing storage in the box below. We desperately needed storage.

Instead of starting shelves and cabinets from scratch, we purchased basic stock, unfinished cabinets from Lowes. 

For our space, we purchased two 30×30 upper cabinets as well as two 36×30 cabinets. Once we got them into the space they needed to be leveled. Since our Cottage is old it’s very uneven. With the help of shims we got them perfectly leveled!

For the top of the cabinet, we used a 1×12 piece of pine and played it across. Since the upper cabinets are 12′ deep we also put a 1×3 in the back so the 1×12 would create a small overhang on the cabinets to give it a finished look.

For the shelves on top of the cabinets, we used 2×10 boards. We created a frame attached to the wall, ceiling and down the side. 

We then screwed in our shelves at the height we wanted.

I painted the cabinets and shelves using Benjamin Moore’s Advanced paint in Simply white. The same paint I used on my  kitchen cabinets.

What a huge difference this has made in the room. So much needed storage, a non cluttered wall and I think it actually makes the room look bigger!

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Tara Boettger
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  • Yvette Mozol Yvette Mozol on Jul 27, 2021

    Love what you did, the whole look is amazing. I agree with you Teresa re the designers “demolishing” the cabinets & think it’s so funny, when they could be repurposed for something else. Your cottage might be old as you say, but has a real cozy atmosphere.

  • Linda Abate Linda Abate on Aug 01, 2021

    Absolutely beautiful. Love how you added the shelves for added room for showing off some of your favorite plants, pretty dishes/bowls or collectibles. You have gained so much storage with the cabinets to house games, puzzles, books etc.

    A fantastic job.