Turn a Shelving Unit Into a Cupboard!

Rachel | mapleandgrey
by Rachel | mapleandgrey
14 Materials
6 Hours

We had two shelving units in our living room to store books and DVDs. I painted them to fit in with the room as they were previously an orange tone of wood. However, having the DVDs on display didn’t fit in with the decor, constantly looked untidy and small children always pull them off the shelves. So I decided to construct cupboard doors to turn the shelf into a cupboard to hide them away.

This is the before, the shelf is made from pine and very inexpensive. I had previously painted it with an ivory eggshell paint to blend in with the room.

My husband got to work constructing the door for me from reclaimed pallet wood we had stored in the garage. He measured the height of the shelf and took planks off the pallet and cut them to length.

We sanded the wood planks individually to remove all the splinters and then laid them out ready to put together.

He placed four vertical planks next to each other and then nailed a horizontal plank across the top and across the bottom, securing with two nails per vertical plank. Where the horizontal plank was longer than required he removed the excess wood with a saw.

A plank was placed diagonally from top to bottom and, with a pencil, marked where it touched the horizontal planks.

A clear line marked the angle where the diagonal plank needed to be cut to fit between the top and bottom horizontal planks.

The wood was cut down with a saw on the diagonal planks at the angle which had been marked.

The diagonal plank was nailed into place with two nails going into each vertical plank behind it.

The completed doors.

I then painted the wood using ivory eggshell paint to match the shelving unit.

Once the doors were painted we screwed one black screw per vertical plank into the horizontal plank. So four at the top and four at the bottom.

To ensure the screws were equidistant along the diagonal plank we drew a line on the diagonal plank where it crossed the vertical plank.

We then measured down the center of the diagonal plank to where it crossed the vertical plank and halved this measurement. This is where the first screw went.

As the other door wasn't exactly the same, in order to obtain symmetry we drew a line across both doors and marked where the first screw would go on the other vertical plank.

We did the same for the screw at the top of the vertical plank. Then measured between the two, divided by three and marked where the other two screws would go.

On the shelf we attached a flush hinge and measured the distance from the top of the shelf. We attached another flush hinge the same distance from the bottom of the shelf. Then repeated this on the other side.

Once we screwed the doors to the hinges there was a gap in the middle which was larger than predicted. To fix this we had to use one more plank and cut it size to fit between the two doors.

This was then painted white and screwed onto the shelf in the middle. We then fitted two magnetic catches at the top of the shelf to ensure the doors stay shut.

Finally, we attached black drawer pulls to the doors that I had left over from a previous project.

We also secured the whole thing to the wall as the doors were heavier than the wood the shelf was made from. Also as the shelves didn’t have a wide base it could have easily tipped over when the doors were open.

I am just so happy with how this turned out and love that we were able to use surplus wood to construct something new. Most of all I’m so happy that our DVDs are hidden away from sight and little hands that are tempted to grab them!

Resources for this project:
See all materials
Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.
Hometalk may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.More info
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Itsmemic Itsmemic on Apr 04, 2020

    great job !! I love the farm house look but would've loved to see that beautiful baby too !!! Also how about adding another shelf on top for those extras? Looks like the DVD's would fit in that space.

Join the conversation
4 of 78 comments