Instructions for Constructing a Cupboard Under the Stairs

Home Skills Drywalling Drywall Repair

Do you require additional storage space? You could have it right under your feet right now. Builders rarely use the space beneath a staircase; it's far easier to simply wall it in than to create custom pullouts. However, you can reclaim that unused space in a couple of weekends. I designed three pullouts to hold everything from shoes to coats and backpacks. You can modify this design to get exactly the storage space you require.
  • 1 x 6 x 8-ft poplar-3
  • 1-1/4-in screws for trimming
  • 1-1/4-in 2-inch wood screws and 2-1/4-in screws for construction
  • 1/2 x 48 x 96-in 2 sheets of Baltic birch plywood
  • 5/8-in 18-gauge brad nails ;1-1/4-in and 2-in
  • 3/4 x 48 x 96-in birch veneer-core plywood-1
  • 34-in Extra Heavy Duty (500 lb) drawer slides )-3 pr
  • construction adhesive with a high tack
  • Primer-1 quart 1 quart satin enamel paint
  • Shims
  • Spackling paste or wood filler
  • 2 quarts waterborne polyurethane

My design is similar to one shown 65 years ago. The construction process was similar, but I upgraded the plywood, used modern ball-bearing slides, and chose concealed push latches for a more streamlined appearance. There is a lot of accessible, organized storage space hidden behind the paneled wall.

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  • Remove the drywall after prying off the baseboard.
  • I first removed a small section of drywall to inspect the cavity and ensure that there were no wires or other obstructions.
  • If there is an existing outlet, it must be relocated. I cut the drywall with a reciprocating saw, being careful not to cut into the stair stringer.

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Reframe the Introduction

  • Remove the studs and save what you can for framing.
  • Attach a stud to each end of the opening and divide the remaining space into three equal-width openings.
  • Make sure the two inner studs are plumb and accurately placed before cutting and attaching them.
  • I installed the tallest stud to ensure that my pullout wouldn't hit the baseboard on the adjoining wall. 1-1/2-inch trim away from that nook

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Construct the Drawer Slide Supports

  • Glue and finish nails the T-shaped drawer slide supports together.
  • After that, add 1-1/4-in wood screws for sturdiness
  • I used 34-in because the available depth under my stairs was 36 inches. slides for drawers
  • Taking 3-1/2-in 30-1/2-in for the stud plate for the length of the slide support

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Set up Slide Supports

  • Using construction adhesive and two-inch screws, attach the slide supports directly behind the studs.
  • Make sure the supports are square to the bottom plate with a framing square so the drawer slides don't bind.

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Trim the furring strips    

  • I went with inset drawer faces, but I wanted the faces and trim to be flush with the skirt board.
    • This meant adding 1/2-in. Before attaching the trim, attach furring strips to the adjacent wall stud and floor stud plate.
  • Because the drawer faces cover the other three studs, no furring strips were required — just 1/4-in. -thick trimming Before installing the trim, I primed and painted it.

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Create a Model

  • It was difficult to construct for this angled opening. For calculating drawer and drawer front sizes, a full-size plywood template of the opening proved useful.

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  • To determine the width of the drawer, measure the opening and subtract the thickness of two drawer slides. Make the drawers as deep as the drawer slide length.
  • Make each drawer box 3/4-in. less than the opening's height, for 3/8-in top and bottom clearance
  • Glue and nail the boxes together, then add trim screws for strength later.

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Re-saw F rame Stock

  • Putting a hardwood frame around a 3/4-in. Plywood is an inexpensive way to replicate a frame-and-panel drawer front.
  • Rip the frame stock to width before resawing it into 1/4-in pieces. -heavy stock
    • Set the fence on your saw to 1/4 in. , then raise the blade to cut just over halfway through the board Make the first pass, then flip the board and finish the cut with the same side against the fence. As you get closer to the blade, use a push stick.
      • You can skip this step if you have 1/4-in. -thick lumber from your local home improvement store

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Remove any saw marks with sandpaper.

  • Using a random orbit sander, remove any saw marks.
    • A new or freshly sharpened saw blade virtually eliminates them.
  • Mark the sanded surfaces for gluing so that the factory sides of the drawer fronts face out.

Use Frames

  • Cut the drawer fronts and frame parts to rough length.
  • Mark, cut, and glue the frame pieces together, using 5/8-in. brad nails
    • Instead of taking measurements, hold each piece in place, then mark and cut them to length. Make the two vertical sides, or "stiles," as long as possible to conceal the end grain of the horizontal rails.

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Fill in the Gaps

  • Putty or spackling compound should be used to fill any voids and gaps on the drawer front edges.
  • Also, fill in the nail holes on the faces.

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The drawer fronts should be sanded.

  • Sand the drawer fronts after the filler has dried. I used 120-grit sandpaper on a block for the edges, and a random orbit sander for the large surfaces Make any sharp edges softer.

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Drawer Fronts Should Be Painted

  • After priming the frames, apply two coats of paint.
    • I didn't have to prime the drawer fronts because I used prefinished plywood. I simply sanded down the gloss with 120-grit sandpaper before painting.
  • Because the drawer boxes cover the majority of the backs of the drawer fronts, they only require painting around the perimeter, about three inches in from the edge.

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Set up the Drawers

  • Set the slides to 3/16-inch spacing. back from the finished furring strips' faces and secure them to the supports, making sure they're level.
  • Because these heavy-duty slides do not separate, the mounting procedure is slightly different.
  • With the slides extended, place the drawer's back end on a 3/8-in. shim in the hole
  • The drawer should then be leveled and the slides attached using a 24 and shims.

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Place the Drawer Fronts

  • Drive a few screws from the inside of each drawer until the points poke through.
  • Lean the drawer fronts into the opening by placing them on two shims with an equal gap on top and bottom. Adjust the gaps around the drawer front with shims by sliding it right or left and raising or lowering it.
    • I usually eyeball the gap, but you can mark it on a shim and use it as a gauge for all of the fronts.
  • After you've determined the gap, push the drawer front against the protruding screws, leaving two indents. Drill pilot holes in these locations.

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Connect the Drawer Fronts

  • Drill and countersink holes where the marking screws were, then screw the drawer fronts together with 1-1/4-in. screws. screwdrivers for wood Check that the gap is still correct before adding more screws.
    • I used eight for the large front, six for the middle, and four for the small.

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Set up the Push Latches

  • Using the two oblong holes, secure the push latch in its approximate location.
  • Magnetically attach the latch plate to the end of the fully extended latch. Insert the drawer front until it makes contact with the plate.
  • Pull the drawer front and plate free of the latch while holding the plate.
  • Attach the plate after marking the location.
  • Install the final two screws after testing the latch and adjusting it as needed.

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Initially published on November 4, 2020
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