Best DIY tips for making a pull-out shelf (kitchen cabinet)

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Pull-out drawers and shelves are an awesome addition to our kitchens, but the prices are often way beyond our budgets! However, thanks to the best DIY tips, we can make durable pull-out shelves for our kitchen and other storage at little cost.

A pull-out shelf resembles a drawer slides out and helps you to access items stored within your cabinet. When you install a pull-out shelf in one or all of your kitchen cabinets, you can manage your kitchen space better. If you're ready to learn how to make a DIY kitchen shelf, here's a simple guide for you. The measurement for the shelf in this description is a standard 24-inch-deep by 33-inch-wide base cabinet with a 1x4 pine frame and 3/4-inch birch plywood bottom. But you can always adapt to whatever measurement you need.

An Overview of the pull-out shelf

Illustrated by Gregory Nemec

You can cut the sides of the drawer with a miter saw and use a circular saw to cut the bottom part. Then, join both parts together with simple butt joints that you glue and screw, after which you can use a tough and fast-drying spray lacquer for the finishing process.

The measurement for the shelf shown here can carry over 100 pounds of weight, just in case you were wondering, so all your kitchen accessories are safe.

How to Install Pull-out Kitchen Shelves Step-by-Step

  • The measurement

If you want the shelf to slide past the cabinet door and hinges, then you need to place cleats at the cabinet sides.

To get the right measurement for the cleats, open the cabinet door and place the drawer slide as close as possible to the door hinge. Measure how much space exists between the back of the drawer slide and the side of the cabinet.

Make out a pair of 2-inch high cleats from plywood and ensure that they have the same length as the drawer slides.

Place the two cleats against both opposite sides of the cabinet, measure between them, and remove 1 inch to account for the thickness of the drawer slides. You'll be left with the dimension which is the total width of the shelf plus the pine frame. Now you can set aside the cleats.

Note that the depth of the shelf from front to back same as the drawer slides' length

  • Building the Drawer

Measure 1 1/2 inches from the shelf's width and subtract it from the depth to find out the dimension of the bottom. Then cut out the bottom from ¾-inch birch plywood with the aid of a circular saw.

Use a miter saw to cut 4 pieces of 1x3s for the frame length and ensure they are the same length as the bottom when measured from front to back. Make the back and front pieces 1 1/2 inches longer than the sides to cover the side pieces. Join the back and side pieces to the plywood bottom. Ensure that the plywood and the bottom edges of the 1x3s are flush.

Drill holes for screws into the plywood through the 1x3s at every 8 inches or 10. Drill two holes each at the ends of the back pieces where it overlaps the side pieces. Use a combination countersink bit for the drilling.

Use 15/8-inch drywall screws and glue to fasten the side pieces to the bottom, and then use the same screw and glue to add the back frame to the plywood bottom.

  • Finish the front of the drawer

Drill a 1/4 inch deep counter boreholes on the ends and along the bottoms of the front piece using 1/2 inch-diameter spade bits in the same pattern as the back piece. Clamp the front side to the rest of the shelf and drill holes into the plywood and the 1x3s.

Remove the glue and clamp, and use 1 5/8-inch drywall screws to attach the front sides to the bottom. Cover the screw heads by gluing wood buttons with ½-inch-diameter to the counterbore holes.

  • Lacquer Finishing

Use 120-grit sandpaper on the shelf and remove all the sanding dust with a damp rag when done. Take the shelf outdoors and apply spray lacquer to the shelf in a light coat. (Protect your eyes and nose) Give the lacquer 30 minutes to dry and sandpaper the shelf again lightly with 180-grit sandpaper. Wipe the shelf with a damp rag and apply a second lacquer coating.

  • Attach the slides to the cabinet

Remove the sliding rail section from all the drawer slides.

Cut put two shims with a thickness of 1/8 inch out of cardboard or masonite and place them on the cabinet floor. These shims will lift the cleats and slides to ensure they don't scrape the bottom. Place one of the cleats you cut before against the cabinet side and on the shims and use a 1 1/4 inch screw to hold it in place.

Place the drawer slide on the shims and against the cleat, using screws to fasten it to the cleat. Follow the same instruction in installing the second drawer slide on the other side.

  • Secure the slides to the shelf

Pick one of the sliding rail sections you removed from the drawer slides and place it against the side of the pull-out shelf. Adjust it to ensure the rail's end is flush against the shelf's front and slightly raised from the bottom.

Use screws to secure the rail to the shelf, and install the second rail in the same manner.

  • Install the shelf

Take away the shims from under the cleats and slide and sweep out the cabinet. Close the slides and then hold the shelf a little outside the cabinet and make it level with the drawer slides.

Align the drawing slides within the cabinet with the sliding-rail sections on the shelf. Use a firm and careful push to send the shelf into the cabinet and then pull out the shelf to ensure that the sliding rails are well installed. If not, install them again.

  • Conclusion

This pull-out shelf will change your kitchen space and storage patterns forever once you get it right.

You no longer need to worry about where to place your bowls, plates, utensils, and other cooking ingredients.

Feel free to check out pointdesign if you're shopping for kitchen appliances. We also have an amazing lighting collection and a bath collection for simple bathroom upgrades. (Use code "drawer10" for 10% off)

There's so much you can do to upgrade your life by yourself. Do it!

See how pull-out drawer works.