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If your garage looks like a junk shop, this storage project can solve the problem. With this simple system, you can build full walls of storage that are easily accessible behind the attractive sliding doors. We’ll show you how to build and customize the cabinets for your garage. Here's more information on garage makeover.
 

The high-capacity cabinets shown above are one upgrade; here are the others:

A BUILT-IN
ENTERTAINMENT CENTER

If your garage serves as a gathering spot, consider including a bar and TV like we did.

LEVEL THE BASE

Rest the 2x4 frame in position and level it with shims. Attach the leveled 2x4 frame to the wall with screws.

ATTACH THE FLOOR

Screw the plywood floor to the 2x4 frame. Trim-head screws hold well and are less conspicuous.

MARK FOR THE LEDGER

Align the edge of a partition panel with the end of the bottom plywood. Plumb it with a level and mark along the edge and along the top with a pencil.

ATTACH THE LEDGERS FOR THE TOP AND SHELF

Align the end of the ledger with the plumb line and the top with the level line. Drive 2-in. screws through the ledger into the studs. Position the shelf ledger 14-1/4 in. below the top ledger.

We ordered hollow-core birch veneer doors for our cabinets, but you can use any 1-3/8-in.-thick doors. For a more traditional look, inexpensive six-panel composite doors would work well. To complement the birch doors, we found 3/4-in. maple plywood at a local home center to use for the cabinet construction. The four-door cabinet shown at the top left cost us about $600, or about $60 per linear foot. But you could reduce the cost by choosing less expensive doors and paint-grade plywood.
With help from a friend or two, you should be able to finish constructing one six-door section of cabinets in a weekend, not including the painting and varnishing. The most time-consuming and difficult part of the project is cutting the plywood parts. For this, a good-quality table saw is helpful. But if you don’t have access to a table saw, you can use a straightedge guide and a circular saw to make accurate cuts. In addition to a table or circular saw, you’ll need a drill, a level and standard carpentry tools like a tape measure and square. We used a miter saw to cut the trim and brad nailer to attach it, but these aren’t required.

Getting started

Every garage is a little different. Before you order materials, take a close look at your garage walls to find the ideal location for your storage cabinet and to identify possible obstructions like pipes, outlets, windows or doors. Use a level to see if the floor is sloping, and note any protruding brick or concrete at the bottom of the wall. We had to modify our plan to avoid an outlet, and we shimmed the base to compensate for the sloping floor.
If you’ve found a suitable location to build the six-door version shown here, you can use the Materials List right above to order materials and the Cutting List for reference to cut the parts. See "Customize the Plan for Your Garage" below for helpful tips.

Build the base

As with many other construction projects, a level foundation is the key to success. In our case, this is the 2x4 frame. Build the ladder-type frame and set it in place against the wall. Then use a level and shims to level the frame from end to end and front to back (Photo 1). Screw the frame to the wall. We used masonry screws to attach the frame to the concrete curb.

Cut the parts

Rip the plywood for the bottom, top, ends and partitions with a table saw or circular saw. For the best results, fit your saw with a blade that’s labeled for crosscutting plywood. Cut the parts to length. We used a crosscutting guide for quick, accurate crosscuts. You won’t regret taking time to build one.
For instructions, "click crosscutting guide" at familyhandyman.com.
To save finishing time, we applied satin polyurethane to all of the plywood before cutting the parts.
Label the parts with masking tape to simplify assembly.

Build the cabinet box

With the parts cut, building the box goes quickly. Start by attaching the floor (Photo 2). Next, locate the studs with a stud finder and mark them with masking tape. Then use one of the interior partitions and a level to mark the location of the top ledger board (Photo 3). Photo 4 shows how to attach the ledger boards for the top and the shelf. With these in place, it’s easy to attach the end panel (Photo 5). The 3/4-in. cleat attached to the bottom of the end panel helps position the panel accurately. The top of the end panel should be exactly 3/4 in. above the ledger. After attaching the end panel, repeat this process for each of the partitions (Photo 6). Attach the partitions to the cabinet bottom with 3/4-in. cleats. Finally, nail or screw the opposite end panel to the wall and install the final two ledgers. Complete the cabinet box by adding the top (Photo 7).
We purchased two wall cabinets that were 30 in. x 30 in. x 12 in. deep to fit between the center partitions. If you decide to do the same, mount the cabinets and add 3/4-in. spacers to the tops to support the countertop that fits over the cabinets. This allows you to add a 1-1/2-in.-wide piece of trim to the front of the counter.

Add the trim and door track

Using Figure A as a guide, cut the wood trim pieces to fit and use wood glue and finish nails or brads to attach the trim (Photo 8). Painting or finishing the trim before you install it will save you time. Later, you’ll only need to fill the nail holes and touch up the paint or finish.
We used two 6-ft. door tracks and cut them with a hacksaw to meet in the middle of the cabinet. For best results, butt the uncut ends together when you install the tracks, being careful to keep them accurately aligned. Photo 9 shows how to use a 7/8-in.-wide spacer to position the tracks before attaching them with 3/4-in. screws.

Install the door hardware and hang the doors

Mark the less attractive side of each door with masking tape and mount the hangers to this side. Mount hangers 1 in. from the edge of the door. You’ll notice that the hangers have different offsets. Doors with the wide offset hangers hang on the back of the track. The ones with the narrow offsets go on the front. After mounting the hangers, hang the doors to test how they fit (Photo 10). If the doors don’t meet properly or appear crooked, loosen the two adjusting screws on the back of one hanger and move that door until it’s aligned with the other. Then retighten the screws. When you’re happy with the fit of the doors, mount the door guides to hold the bottom of the doors in alignment.
With the doors mounted, you’re ready to add a storage system to the cabinet interiors. We mounted Rubbermaid FastTrack rails and slat wall panels to the walls in some of the bays. If you want more shelving, add cleats to the sides and back to support additional plywood shelves, or mount shelf standards to the walls and use shelf brackets to support the shelves. The result will be an attractive storage space in your garage neatly concealed by the convenient bypass doors.

INSTALL THE END PANEL

Position the end panel by snugging the end cleat against the bottom of the floor plywood. Then drive screws through the end panel into the ledgers to hold it in place.

ADD THE PARTITIONS

Screw a 3/4-in. cleat to the floor plywood. Press the partition panel against the cleat and ledgers and attach it with screws. Add the ledger and cleat for the second partition and attach it with screws.

NAIL ON THE TRIM

Cut the trim pieces to fit. Apply a bead of wood glue to the plywood before placing the trim and attaching it with brads or finish nails.

INSTALL THE TOP

Rest the top plywood on the ledgers and partitions. Drive screws through the plywood top into the ledger and partitions.

NAIL ON THE TRIM

Cut the trim pieces to fit. Apply a bead of wood glue to the plywood before placing the trim and attaching it with brads or finish nails.

MOUNT THE TRACK

Cut the tracks to length so they meet in the middle. Space the tracks from the front trim with a temporary 7/8-in. wood block and attach them with 3/4-in. screws.

HANG THE DOORS

Starting with the inside doors, hook the hangers on the track and tilt the doors into place.

RYOBI
One battery platform that powers more than 100 tools
CUSTOMIZE THE PLAN FOR YOUR GARAGE

Your cabinet can be any length you want. Using scrap lumber, cut layout sticks to represent the common door widths (24, 30, 32 and 36 in.). Mark the desired end of your cabinet with tape and lay out different combinations of sticks. The sticks should overlap by about 1-1/2 in., but you can adjust the overlap to get the exact cabinet length you want. Mark the overlap locations on the floor to later position the partition panels (F).
To customize the depth of your cabinet, start with the desired shelf depth. Add 4-5/8 in. to get the depth of the end, top and floor panels (C, D, E).

ADD STYLE AND FUNCTION WITH A NEW GARAGE DOOR

A new garage door dramatically boosts the curb appeal of your home, but the benefits don’t stop there. This Clopay door features top-of-the line polyurethane insulation for maximum insulation value and sound deadening. That, combined with the quiet nylon rollers, gets you one step closer to converting your garage to the perfect man-cave hangout. The door we chose cost about $3,000 including professional installation and removal and disposal of the old door.

CLOPAY
How to buy a new garage door
DURABLE, BEAUTIFUL DIY FLOOR

If your garage floor looks a little shabby next to your beautiful new storage cabinets, Rust-Oleum’s RockSolid Metallic Floor Coating Kit could be the answer. The two-part polycuramine coating creates a stunning high-gloss finish that’s tougher than epoxy and impervious to oil and gasoline. Rust-Oleum RockSolid is available in kits (about $120 each) that cover 75 to 100 sq. ft. It comes in eight colors, including Brilliant Blue and Cherry Bomb. Careful prep work is critical. After that, applying the coating is an easy DIY project that you and a helper can finish in an afternoon.

AFTER PREPPING, MIX THE FLOOR COATING

Prep the floors by first removing any oil or grease deposits with a heavy-duty degreaser. Then etch the surface with the citric acid supplied with each kit and thoroughly rinse the floor. After the concrete has completely dried, you can apply the polycuramine floor coating. Roll the pouch until the seal breaks and then mix the two parts together for two to three minutes. Pour it into a clean pail, add the mica flakes and stir for another couple of minutes.

MASK, CUT IN, THEN POUR A RIBBON

Protect the walls with masking tape before mixing any of the coating. After a bucket is mixed, cut in along the walls with a synthetic paintbrush about 5 ft. in both directions from the corner. Pour a ribbon of coating onto the floor about 5 in. wide, 1 ft. away from the wall and 5 ft. long.

ROLL IT OUT, THEN SWIRL

Roll out the coating into a 5 x 5-ft. square until it’s evenly distributed. Then create circular patterns by swirling the roller throughout the patch of coating. After that section is complete, move immediately to pour another 5-in. strip and begin rolling and creating the same swirling look. Keep mixing, pouring and rolling until the entire garage floor is complete.

RUST-OLEUM
How to finish a garage floor

Cutting List

KEY QTY. SIZE & DESCRIPTION
A 2 2x4 x 122-3/4" bottom frame
B 7 2x4 x 9-7/8" crosspieces
C 2 3/4" x 15-7/8" x 92-7/8" top and floor panels
D 2 3/4" x 15-7/8" x 32-7/8" top and floor panels
E 1 3/4" x 15-7/8" x 84" finished end panel
F 2 3/4" x 11-1/4" x 81-3/4" partition panels
G 1 3/4" x 15-7/8" x 81-3/4" end panel
H 2 3/4" x 11-1/4" x 31-3/4" shelf panels
J 1 3/4" x 11-1/4" x 60" counter panel
K 2 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 31-3/4" top ledgers
L 1 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 60" top ledger
M 2 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 31-3/4" shelf ledgers
N 4 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 10-1/2" shelf cleats
P 2 3/4" x 3/4" x 11-1/4" partition cleats
Q 1 3/4" x 3/4" x 15-7/8" end cleat
R 1 3/4" x 3/4" x 60" counter spacer
S 3 3/4" x 3/4" x 10-1/2" counter spacers
T 1 3/4" x 3-1/2" x 12-7/8" toekick
U 1 3/4" x 3-1/2" x 123-1/2" toekick
V 2 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 84" end trim
W 1 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 123-1/2" top trim
X 1 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 123-1/2" bottom trim
Y 2 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 81-3/4" partition trim
Z 2 3/4" x 2-1/2" x 31" shelf nosing
A1 1 3/4" x 1-1/2" x 60" counter nosing

Materials List

ITEM QTY.
2x4 x 12' treated lumber 2
2x4 x 8' treated lumber 1
4' x 8' x 3/4" plywood 3
3/4" x 3/4" x 6' trim boards 3
1x2 x 6' trim boards 2
1x2 x 8' trim boards 4
1x2 x 12' trim board 1
1x3 x 6' trim board 3
1x3 x 12' trim board 1
1x4 x 12' trim board 1
32" x 80" hollow-core doors 4
Composite or treated shims 2 pkgs.
3" wood screws 1 lb.
2" trim-head screws 1 lb.
Trim nails 1 lb.
1-1/4" brads or finish nails 1 lb.
2" brads or finish nails 1 lb.
2200 36" 2-door hardware sets (Johnson Hardware No. 2200722H) 2
Wood glue