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Shutter Shelves

Using shutter doors, shelving board, and a little creativity, you can easily recreate these clever storage units. Storage cabinets, crafted from louvre doors, add an architectual element to a doorway. Lowe's is happy to provide this information as a service to you.


  •   • 2 sets (24") white louvre doors per cabinet
  •   • 1 (1 x 12 x 48") pine panel cut to size for top, bottom, and shelves
  •   • Drill/driver with bits
  •   • 18 (2-1/2") coarse drywall screws
  •   • 1 2 x 4
  •   • 1 (8') strip 3-1/2" moulding per cabinet
  •   • Hammer
  •   • 24 6-penny finishing nails
  •   • 1 (8') strip quarter round moulding per cabinet
  •   • 3 flat hinges
  •   • 1 (1 x 20 x 36") pine panel cut to size for cap
  •   • Primer
  •   • Paint
  •   • Clear glaze
  •   • Dust mask
  •   • Goggles
  •   • Hearing Protection

Assembling a cabinet

Step 1: Remove all hardware from two sets of bifold louvre doors, leaving four panels to make your cabinet. Purchase the primed and painted white doors to save work time.

Step 2: Select one panel for the back of the unit. Predrill six holes approximately 12" apart down the left side of a panel. Place this panel at a 90-degree angle to the back panel, and secure with 2-1/2" coarse drywall screws.

Step 3: Repeat Step 2 on other side of back panel. (Tip: For a clean look, make sure all louvres are facing down.)

Step 4: Create a top and bottom for the shelving unit out of pine board measuring approximately 10" deep x 12" wide. Predrill holes along the sides of panel at top and bottom, and secure the boards with 2-1/2" coarse drywall screws.

Step 5: Select the number of shelves needed for the unit, and cut boards 9-1/2" deep x 12" wide for each shelf, again predrilling holes on the panels where the shelves will be installed. Secure boards with 2-1/2" coarse drywall screws.

Step 6: Create a base for the structure using a 2 x 4, cutting two pieces down to approximately 14" and two pieces down to 11". Secure to the shelving unit by nailing through the bottom board at an angle and attaching the 2 x 4 underneath.

Step 7: Mitre three pieces of any 3-1/2" moulding to create a base for the structure and attach to the 2 x 4 base using finishing nails. (Tip: Leave off back so the unit will sit closer to the wall.)

Step 8: Attach the last panel to the front of the unit using three flat hinges at the top, middle and bottom. You may need to shave off some of the panel to ensure that it closes smoothly and clears the base moulding.

Step 9: Create a cap to add height using pine board and quarter round moulding. The cap, secured with wood glue and finishing nails, fits on top of the unit almost like a hat. Leave open for future option of installing a light fixture.

Step 10: Once assembled, patch and paint over any screws with primer. Shelving, moulding, and cap need to be primed and painted white.

Step 11: Colourwash the cabinet for a finishing touch. Mix one part flat interior latex paint in desired colour with three parts clear glaze. Paint glaze over the shutters, wait a minute or so, and then wipe away some of the colour with clean rags. Let paint to dry completely.

Step 12: Repeat steps to make a second cabinet.

Originally published in Lowe's Creative Ideas for Home and Garden November/December 2000 ©SPC Custom Publishing

Tools, products, materials, techniques, building codes and local regulations change; therefore, Lowe's assumes no liability for omissions, errors or the outcome of any project. The reader must always exercise reasonable caution, follow current codes and regulations that may apply, and is urged to consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Please visit our terms of use.

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