How to Build A Wine Cellar in Your Closet

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Things You'll Need

  • A Closet to Lose

  • Hammer

  • Power Drill

  • Spackle & Spackle Knife

  • Paint Brush & Roller

  • Paint

  • Track light

  • Modular Wine Rack

  • Wine

  • A Wine Tasting Party

Build A Wine Cellar in Your Closet

Do you have a small closet central to your living space that does not adequately serve your storage needs? Then clear it out and recapture the space for something that will enhance your home and entertain your guests!

Enjoy this step by step process that will reinvent your closet into a lovely wine cellar with wine racks capable of storing up to 100 bottles of vino and your beautiful stem ware.

Step 1

Demo time! And this has to be the easiest demo work I've ever specified.

Unscrew the hinges to the door and remove the door entirely. Store it or throw it away, you will be replacing this door. Remove any coat rack, shoe rack, shelving or storage apparatus on the walls or floor area. Tear them out with care.

Step 2

Prep your walls with care so the finish paint looks great

Patch up the walls from your destructive ways, err demo work. Use a 6" spackle knife and tub of spackling paste. Apply the spackle to smooth out any holes or abrasions to the wall surface. Please let the spackle dry overnight and then sand the patches lightly using 220 grit sand paper.

Step 3

Roll on two base coats and one finish coat of your chosen paint color

With the walls nicely prepped, it's time to re-paint the drab interior walls of the closet. If you have a surface mounted light fixture in the closet, remove it. If you don't know how to do this, reference an Ehow article regarding the process.

Choose an earth tone or accent paint color such as ruby red or chocolate. If you are more tame than that, just match the existing color of the outside room and maintain the straight laces. Apply one primer coat (tint the primer if using a darker color) and two finish coats.

Step 4

This wine rack set up is very functional with a tasting table, vertical bins and stemware storage

Shop for a modular wine rack system. You are looking for wine racks with the same width as your door opening. Most modular racks are conveniently 26-27" wide, which works for 90% of the closet doors out there. Pick out a system that has a built-in wine tasting table top and a modular wine rack that can be mounted above the table top. The upper unit is for your stem ware and/or more bottle storage.

Google "modular wine rack" to get started shopping. Referencing the dimensions of your closet while reviewing the available styles and pick one suited to your taste. There is not an incorrect decision here, this is purely creative bliss. You and your closet will be loving life as long as the racks fit. Mind your dimensions.

Step 5

Glass doors will bring this project to life and capture the beauty your wine rack display

Purchase a full lite glass interior door as pictured. You want this wine cellar to be a beautiful display. Be sure the glass is tempered for safety. There will be a lot of festivities around this closet once it is complete.

You can either purchase the door only or purchase a pre-hung door that is hinged to a new door jamb. The advantage of purchasing the door only is that you do not need to tear out the existing door trim and door jamb to install it. However, you will need to fuss around with the old jamb in order to get the hinge alignment to match the new door. This will require a wood chisel. The building supply company that sells you the door can get you squared away with this process, it's straight forward.

Step 6

Track lights can easily connect to the same junction box as your existing closet ceiling light

Purchase your new light fixture. A great choice is a track light with MR16 halogen bulbs. If you purchase a MR16 track lighting rail, you will need to buy one that has a built-in low voltage transformer. The new light is to provide style and accent; not just general lighting.

The choices are nearly endless for these M16 track light systems. You will be able to make a purchase through a local lighting supplier or over the web with no trouble.

Step 7

Assembly and Install Time!

First, install your new light fixture. Second, install your wine rack and cabinets. Last, install your door.

Step 8

If you have created a rack layout that leaves you with a bit of wall space between the table top and the rack above it, you can hang a picture there to further enhance the space.


Approach this project with a sense of creativity and inspiration. Wine is a celebration of tradition, romance and good living. Be sure to set up your small wine cellar to function as a small wine bar. Utilizing a modular system with a table top will allow you to set up wine tasting parties and serve your friends right from your new wine cellar.


Keep in mind that this wine cellar does not have a conditioned air space in the closet, which means you don't want to keep your best vintages in there, or at least not for months on end. Poor wine storage leads to cork failure and sour grapes. If the closet you have in mind receives a lot of direct sun light, you need to consider a different closet for the project. Use proper eye protection during any demolition and installation processes.