How to Make Built-In Kitchen Shelves How to Make Built-In Kitchen Shelves

Built-in kitchen shelves are an efficient use of space, especially in smaller kitchens. You don't have to worry about wasted floor space and built-ins also offer a great deal of storage and help you keep your kitchen organized. Properly installed built-in kitchen shelves can also increase the resale value of your home.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Power drill
  • Laser level
  • Pencil
  • Hammer
  • Table saw
  • Miter saw
  • 1-inch thick wood for the frame
  • 2-inch wood for the shelves
  • 1 box of 1-inch or longer screws
  • Primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Measuring tape
  • Wood filler
  • Utility knife
  • T-square
  • Plywood
  • Screw anchors
  • Electric saw
  • Stud finder
  • 2-by-4s

Step 1 - Create a Shelf Design

Create a design on paper before you begin building. Measure the area where you would like to place the kitchen shelf to determine the amount of space you have available. Based on available space, determine the width of the shelf and the amount of shelves you would like. A width of 18 inches between shelves is standard. If you have a high ceiling and numerous large items to store, you can extend the width between some of the shelves to 24 inches.

Step 2 - Mark the Wall

Figure out the location of the studs. This will determine the width of your shelves. Mark where you want to place the shelf on the wall. Make sure the markings are level.

Step 3 - Cut the Drywall

Use an electric saw to cut out the drywall. Remove and dispose of the drywall and some of the insulation. Cut the studs where you'll be putting the shelf and reinforce the top and bottom with 2-by-4s to create a wood square where the shelf will be installed.

Step 4 - Prepare the Plywood

Cut a piece of plywood to fit the dimensions of your shelf. Use the measuring tape and a pencil to mark where you'll be placing the shelves and the sides of the built-in. Use a level to make sure the lines are level. Then score the shelf marks using the level and a utility knife. This will be a positioning guide. You'll be placing the scored line in the middle of them.

Step 5 - Cut the Shelves

Cut the two-inch wood to the desired length of your shelves. The length of the shelves will need to be slightly shorter than the length between the two sides. Cut as many as needed. Securely screw the shelves into the plywood. Use the one-inch wood to create the sides. You now have a box with shelves.

Step 6 - Attach Plywood to Wall

Get an assistant to help place the plywood in the wall. Screw the wood into the wall studs. Use as many screws as necessary.

Step 7 - Close in the Built-in Kitchen Shelf

Determine the length of wood required to close in the sides and cover the exposed studs. Then cut the two pieces to the length and width necessary. Cut the edges at a 45-degree angle so that they'll frame the shelf like a window frame. Securely glue and screw. Use the one-inch thick wood for this.

Step 8 - Prime and Paint

Prime all surfaces of the wood and allow to thoroughly dry before painting. Use a kitchen paint since it's hardier and moisture-resistant.

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