How to Build a Floor-to-Ceiling Storage Cabinet

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape

  • Reciprocating saw

  • Pry bar

  • 3/4-inch plywood

  • Table saw

  • Stud finder

  • Nail gun

  • 4 metal hinges

  • 2 metal knobs

  • Interior-grade latex primer and paint

Reduce the clutter in your home by building a floor-to-ceiling storage cabinet.

Built-in storage solutions are an in-demand item among many modern homeowners because they eliminate the cost of purchasing extra furniture. A built-in floor-to-ceiling storage cabinet, for example, can be useful in many places, from the kitchen for food storage to the garage or workshop. Constructing this type of built-in provides homeowners with a convenient way to reduce clutter and stay organized without having to fork over the cost of expensive custom cabinetry.


Step 1

Measure the length, depth and height of the space in which you plan to install your storage cabinet, using a measuring tape. After you have determined the desired depth of your cabinet, remove any baseboard or trim from the wall by cutting through it with a reciprocating saw and pry it away from the wall using a pry bar.

Step 2

Cut two pieces of 3/4-inch plywood on a table saw using the length and depth measurements you just took. These pieces will serve as the top and bottom of the cabinet. Cut two more pieces of 3/4-inch plywood to serve as the sides of your storage cabinet, using the depth measurement and the height measurement minus 1 1/2 inches.


Step 3

Lay the plywood base you just cut flat on the floor in the desired position of the storage cabinet. Use a stud finder to locate the floor studs, and secure the board in place by driving nails from a nail gun through the top of the board into the floor studs. Attach the top of the cabinet to the ceiling following the same procedure, using a stud finder to locate the ceiling studs and driving nails through the plywood in the ceiling studs.

Step 4

Slide the side panels of the storage cabinet into place so they sit snugly between the top and bottom panels and are flush with the wall on either side of the cabinet. Use a stud finder to locate the wall studs, and secure the plywood side panels in place by driving nails from a nail gun through the plywood into each of the studs. Place the nails approximately every 6 inches along each stud.


Step 5

Determine the ideal height for the shelves in your storage cabinet, and divide the total height of the cabinet by the height of the shelves to determine how many shelves you can fit into the cabinet. You may need to make some minor adjustments, depending on the height of the cabinet, to make the height of all the shelves even.

Step 6

Measure out and mark in pencil the positions of each shelf on the plywood side panels.

Step 7

Cut the shelves for your storage cabinet out of 3/4-inch plywood using the table saw. The dimensions of each shelf should be equal to the depth of the cabinet and the length of the cabinet minus 1 1/2 inches.


Step 8

Install the plywood shelves by driving nails from a nail gun at a downward angle through the top of the shelf into the wall studs along the back of the shelf and into the side panels of the shelf on either side. This process is called toe-nailing. You may need someone to help you hold the shelves as you nail them in place.

Step 9

Cut two pieces of 3/4-inch plywood to the height and half the width measurement of your storage cabinet to serve as the cabinet doors.

Step 10

Screw one side of a pair of metal hinges to the back of one of the doors on the left side, one near the top and one near the bottom of the door. Install the hinges on the back of the second door on the right side, mirroring the position of the hinges on the first door.


Step 11

Hang the doors by screwing the other side of each of the hinges to the side panels inside the storage cabinet. Install the hardware on the outside of the doors by measuring them to find the exact center, about 1 inch from the center edge, and screwing a metal knob into the face of each door. Open and close the doors to test the hinges.

Step 12

Paint the storage cabinet using the color of your choice by first applying a layer of interior-grade latex primer. After the primer dries completely, apply a layer of interior-grade latex paint. Allow the paint to dry completely before using the cabinet -- this could take up to 24 hours.



Katherine Barrington

Katherine Barrington has written on a variety of topics, from arts and crafts to pets, health and do-it-yourself projects. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a creative writing concentration from Marietta College.