I’ve been wanting to cover the middle section of my workshop cabinets with sliding doors. I really don’t like how chaotic the visible storage looks. Other than the visual appeal, cabinet doors don’t serve any function besides keeping some dust out of the cabinet. So they haven’t been a high priority on my mile long to-do list. Until now. Since I’m finally investing some real thought, time and energy into revamping my shop, I finally built some sliding cabinet doors for my workshop.
Track for sliding doors
After experimenting a little with a DIY track, I decided a simple solution would be a simple bypass closet door hardware kit.
I bought two 72″ hardware kits for $20 each. There isn’t one track long enough to fit all the way across my cabinets so I got two. I wanted the seam right in the middle so I cut a bit off each one one with my reciprocating saw.
I didn’t want my doors rubbing against my cabinet faceframes so I attached a strip of 1/4″ plywood at the top and bottom rails.There is a joist right above the front edge of these upper cabinets so I butted a 2×4 up right against the front of the cabinets and drove 3″ screws in at an angle in order to secure it to the joist. The 2×4 is there to give me something to mount the rail onto as I didn’t want to rely on anchor screws.
Cut door panels
After installing the track, I determined the approximate height for the doors. I got four doors out of two sheets of 1/2″ plywood.
Most of the cabinetry in my workshop is painted grey and I wanted to tie that in with some natural wood. I decided to paint the “panel” portion of the doors grey and frame them in wood. It’s not just grey paint though, it’s chalkboard paint. I thought writing on the chalkboard would be a fun way to remind myself of what’s inside each cabinet.
Frame the sliding cabinet doors
I framed the panels with the 1/4″ plywood I had left over after cutting out my four door panels.
- cut some 1/4″ plywood into strips
- most of the strips are 2 1/2″
- cut some additional strips at 5″ for the top rails.
I applied a couple coats of polyurethane before attaching them to the door panel since I’d already painted the panel. Put them together and boom– done. That was the plan.
I used glue and my DeWalt cordless nailer to attach the strips to the panel, starting with the sides (stiles).Then I attached the 5″ top rail. I made the top rail wider since the door rollers will be attached to the top of the doors and I’ll be hiding the rollers and…you’ll see, stick with me…I determined the space in between my “rails” and cut a scrap of wood to that length. Then used that scrap to quickly space my rails on all four sliding doors without having to measure and mark each one.
Done! That was easy and for my workshop — it’ll do!
Sand and finish
I didn’t cover the edges with banding or edging. Just sanded them good and smooth.
Filled all my nail holes. I used my favorite wood putty. The stuff is awesome!
However the wood patch was visible because I’d already polyurethaned the strips. So I grabbed a rag and wiped on some gel stain to even out the color carefully trying to wipe the wood and NOT the painted panels.
Install sliding door hardware
I used a combination square to quickly locate each roller 4″ from the door edge.
I predrilled and secured each roller with #6 5/8″ wood screws.To install the rollers into the sliding door track, the door has to be tilted out slightly. Then the weight of the door keeps the rollers in the track.
Lastly, hid the track and rollers by creating a cornice. I simply attached a strip of 1/4″ plywood to the front of the wood above the track.
Inside view of the cornice. I had to remove some of my trim to install these sliding cabinet doors. I’ll have to install crown molding again at some point. Though that is not currently high up on my to-do list.
I like looking at these sliding doors so much more than the stuff IN the cabinets!
And they slide really smoothly on this closet door hardware so it’s easy to get to what I need when I need it.
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