Planning and materials
As you plan your rack, consider building multiple racks. Building two or three doesn’t take much more time than building one. Also think about (and measure!) the items you want your rack to hold. You may want to mount the upper shelf a little higher or lower than we did.
Most home centers carry everything you’ll need, including 1/4-in.-thick wood strips in species like pine, oak and poplar. If you don’t find thin material alongside the other lumber, look for ‘mull strip’ or ‘mullion’ in the millwork aisle. The wood quantities on our Materials List will yield a rack sized for most cabinet doors, but you may need a little more or a little less.
Figure A: Cabinet door rack
How to do it
Photo 1: Measure to size the rack
Measure the width of the door and cut the rack shelves 4-1/2 in. shorter than that measurement. Measure the height of the cabinet opening and cut the rack sides 1 in. shorter.
Photo 2: Build the rack
Mark the location of the top shelf on the sides. Drill screw holes and fasten the sides to the shelves using 2-in. screws and finish washers. Add the slats, apply a finish and screw brackets to the rack.
Photo 3: Mount the rack
Center the rack on the door and drill screw holes. Wrap tape around the drill bit to act as a depth guide so you don’t drill through the door. Clamps aren’t absolutely necessary for this step, but they’re a big help.
Begin by looking inside your cabinet. With the door closed, this rack will project 3-3/4 in. into the interior. Make sure the installed rack won’t bump into your sink, pipes, garbage disposal or other fixed object.
Measure the cabinet door and opening to determine the measurements of the sides and shelves (Photo 1). Mark the position of the upper shelf on the sides: We positioned ours 12 in. from the bottom, but you can adjust the location based on your needs. Secure the shelves to the sides using 2-in. screws and finish washers (Photo 2). Drill holes in the four cross slats 3/8 in. from the ends and fasten them to the sides with 3/4-in. screws.
With the rack assembled, we gave it two coats of lacquer. Lacquer is a durable finish, dries in minutes and comes in spray cans for quick, no-mess application.
After the finish dries, screw the four L-brackets to the sides of the racks, making sure to position them so they won’t interfere with the door hinges. Clamp the rack to the door, predrill mounting holes using the L-brackets as guides, and secure the rack to the door (Photo 3). Put a strip of tape 4 in. back from the front of the cabinet to indicate a ‘No Parking’ zone for items stored inside.
Required Tools for this Project
Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.
- Circular saw
- Drill/driver - cordless
- Miter saw or jigsaw
Required Materials for this Project
Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here’s a list.
- 1-in. L-brackets (4)
- 1/4-in. x 1-1/2-in. strip (6 ft.)
- 1x4 (6 ft.)
- 3/4-in. screws, 2-in. screws
- finish washers
- Spray lacquer