Living in a production run house has both positives and negatives. They are typically set up conveniently for “today’s” lifestyle, and often have open floor plans or spacious living areas. However, they lack the character or custom features of the early homes we see renovated on HGTV.
The Laundry room isn’t a place that many enjoy spending time in. However, it's both a necessity, and in our house, the entrance from our garage into the kitchen. Since this space will have some traffic, and is viewable from the kitchen, we thought it would be a nice place for a simple upgrade!
We decided that to add 4 cabinets across the laundry room to replace the builder grade shelf that was existing, and hide all our stuff. After reviewing plans and other articles on the topic, I was disappointed in the options out there for DIY Cabinets. So, here is how we did it:
How to Build DIY Upper Cabinets
Time: Weekend or so…
Materials: We used MDF, Corse Thread Screws, Wood Glue
Because I’m so cheap, I got my MDF on craigslist, and purchased a whole stack of 12” x 31.5” MDF for $20, and it had some water damage and dirt. We wanted our cabinets to go from wall to wall, and I knew no one would see the sides of my cabinets, and I could hide screws and imperfections in my wood.
We have 60.5” from wall to wall, and I wanted 4 cabinets. That means each cabinet needed to be 15 1/8” wide.
Since my wood is already 12” wide, I am just using the pieces and constructing the cabinets. First I cut the top and bottom pieces at 13 5/8” to fit inside the ¾” thickness of the sides. Next I used my Kreg Shelf Jig to drill the holes for my adjustable shelf.
Note: I made a mark at 9” from the bottom, and then made my holes. After the first, I inserted the pin and made the other 5, just holding it in place. Next I moved the jig up, putting the pin in the first jig hole and last hole I drilled to add 5 more holes. My thought was to only make holes toward the center, and we will never need a shelf lower than 9”.
I then screwed and glued the top and bottom onto the sides from the outside of the cabinet.
Note: Most people use a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig, but since the outside edge will never be seen with our cabinets, we don’t need to make pocket holes. However, pre-drilling will help prevent splitting.
Once again, being frugal with my material, I chose to only put 2 strips on the back for mounting rather than a full back board. I ripped some 3” pieces that were then screwed and glued into the cabinet so we can screw the cabinet to the wall!
Now I wanted to do a test fit. I found and marked the studs and then hung the 2 cabinets in the corners, making sure the were level! I then measured for the larger center cabinet, which was constructed in the same way as the first two.
Note: Since we have a top load dryer, we needed to raise the cabinets up a little higher than we first wanted so the washer lid and the cabinet door could be open at the same time (to get detergent, etc.).
Next it was time to build the doors. I wanted a simple panel door to have a modern farmhouse style. To make the doors, I first cut strips of the MDF at 2.5" wide. Next I remeasured the cabinet openings, and subtracted 1/8" for the total door size (cabinet frame opening = 15 1/8" - Door width = 15").
Using the Kreg Jig, I assembled all the pieces with glue and screws. Once the glue had set, I used a router to make a channel around the inside, 1/4" wide x 3/8" deep.
After making the corners square with a chisel, the panels were cut to size from 1/4" plywood I reclaimed from a shipping crate. I glued each panel in place, and shot a 3/4" brad nail in at an angle to hole it in place.
Finally, I drilled holes for the hinges. I purchased my (awesome) soft close hinges from ebay, and got 10 hinges for $18! I used a hinge jig that I purchased from the hardware store, and it made lining things up really easy!
Note: These hinges are designed for a full overlay door. When buying hinges, think about the cabinet design - How the door fits? - Is there a face frame? - then buy the appropriate style.
My hinges were adjustable, so I put them on one at a time and made small adjustments up/down, in/out, left and right to get the best possible fit. After getting them all on, they lined up great! Side note, I did have to rip about 1/8" off each of the center doors as they were rubbing slightly.
The last step is paint for both the room and the cabinets. We are in debate on exactly how we want the room to look, but will most likely add a shelf to hide the outlets and plumbing, and put nick-nacks and whatnot on. More to come on that...