Trash Can Tilt Cabinet

12 Materials
2 Hours
Don't you love free stuff? I know I do! What I love even more is when I get free stuff from someone else that I can turn into something unique and functional for my household. This project is just that! My mother-in-law gave me this little cabinet she had purchased from TJMaxx several years ago and no longer needed. It definitely needed a major facelift, but I never got around to it, so I threw a pile of books in it, a lamp on top and it sat in our living room for a year or better until this week when I decided it needed it's long-awaited overhaul. I absolutely love how this came out -- it's not perfect, but it now serves an everyday purpose: holding my scrap vinyl (Rob and I have a small apparel business and I have a small decor & gift business where I/we use vinyl). This little cabinet fits perfectly against my new work station, and I'm so happy with it!
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.

-small cabinet

-small trash can



-1" hinges (comes 2 in a pack)

Not pictured:

-1 piece of 1x12 common board

-wood glue

-Kreg jig

-pocket hole screws

-measuring tape

-drill (aka: screw gun, as Rob calls it)
STEP 1: Make a base

Create and assemble base for trash can & sides for tilted cabinet door.

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.
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 and 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.
Then Rob added the triangle pieces. Once he added them, he let everything sit overnight to ensure the glue cured properly and got a good bond.
STEP 2: Fill holes

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.
STEP 3: Prep cabinet for paint

Once the hole was filled, I sanded the whole cabinet so that the paint would adhere better. I didn't go totally crazy with this but just enough to rough it up a little.
STEP 4: Paint

Next, 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.
STEP 5: Distress

I wanted my trash can cabinet to look a bit distressed, so I took a piece of fine grit sandpaper and went over the edges and accents so that the paint underneath showed through slightly.
STEP 6: Attach hardware and cabinet stop

Next, I added 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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Frequently asked questions
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3 of 12 questions
  • Mary Howard Mary Howard on Jan 06, 2018
    What changes did you make other than changing out the hardware and painting it a different color.

  • Adele Kurtz Adele Kurtz on Jan 06, 2018
    hmmmm. Rather than adding another piece of furniture that will be in my way... I think I'll adapt an inconvenient underused cabinet that's already in my kitchen and redo the hinges on the bottom for Recycle bottles etc. I think I'll put a magnetic snap on the top, not velcro. Whatcha think?

  • Jody Frasnelli Jody Frasnelli on Jan 06, 2018
    I have an area where a built in dish washer was. I'm thinking of using it and adding a glide system for my Pots and pans and will accomplish two projects in one hole I can get cabinet doors to match my other doors. Does it sound like a good idea?

Join the conversation
2 of 93 comments
  • Ref28079538 Ref28079538 on Jan 09, 2018
    eye bolts or cup hooks attached to the back side of the door to attach the ends of a bungee cord looped around the basket ought to keep it in place.

  • Sharron Sonders Sharron Sonders on Jan 17, 2018
    Rather than make a piece for bottom of cabinet, which it already had, I would have put on bottom hinges but would have screwed the new handle through the garbage can and it would never move. Just another idea....