How to Conceal a Closet Door

Four Methods:Closet Door PlanningCutting your MaterialsAssembling your ShelfAttaching your Door

Closet doors in living rooms, bed rooms or hallways can often feel as though they are in the way. If you have a closet door but you are short on wall decorating space, you may wonder if you can convert the door into a decorative area. One of the best ways to conceal a closet is to cover it with a bookshelf. You can obtain the feeling of a secret lair while gaining wall storage. In order to hide a closet door with a shelf, you will need to remove the existing closet door and make a new model. Learn how to conceal a closet door with a bookshelf.

Method 1
Closet Door Planning

  1. 1
    Measure the height and width of your closet door frame. Your new closet door/bookshelf will be bigger than the 1 you already have, so make sure there is enough space in the room.
  2. 2
    Plan to make the shelves approximately 5.5 inches (14 cm) deep. Draw a diagram of a shelving unit with approximately 4 to 5 shelves, depending upon your preference.
    • If you believe there will not be space in your room for 5.5 inch (14 cm) shelves, you can make them more shallow. This will still give the effect of a bookshelf, but may only be suitable for knick knacks instead of books.
    • You will need to account for the fact that your top shelf pieces must be the exact width of the door, while your shelves will need to be 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) skinnier to account for 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) plywood on each side. Subtract 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) from the side shelf panels to account for the same measurement.
  3. 3
    Visit a home improvement store with the dimensions of your door. Buy 2 to 3 sheets of 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) plywood. One home improvement source recommends using birch veneer plywood.
  4. 4
    Set up a work station in your home. You will need a work table and an outlet for a circular saw.
  5. 5
    Put on your work clothes. When using a saw, you will need safety goggles and a breathing mask. It is always a good idea to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.

Method 2
Cutting your Materials

  1. 1
    Lay a piece of plywood on top of your work table. Measure a piece of plywood to be the same size as your closet door. Use a long metal straight edge as you cut with a circular saw to ensure that the edges are uniform and straight.
  2. 2
    Set that piece of plywood aside and use another piece to cut your shelves. You will need to cut 4 or 5 shelves that are 5.5 inches (14 cm) across. Cut them to the right width first, before cutting them to the right length.
    • Remember to use your metal straight edge after you measure your width to keep your saw blade straight.
  3. 3
    Cut an extra shelf, which you can use as a support for your moldings later on. It will also give the bookcase more support at the bottom.
  4. 4
    Cut pieces to frame the shelf in the same width. You will need 2 top frame pieces and 2 side frame pieces. Once you have used up the second piece of plywood, move on to the third piece.
  5. 5
    Set up a station to cut your shelf and top and bottom frame pieces to the right length. Attach a work stop to your craft table that is exactly the shelf width away from the blade. You will pull a piece of plywood across the saw's platform and it will automatically stop at the correct measurement, avoiding shelves of different widths.
    • A work stop is usually drilled into a work table with screws to secure it. You can find a work stop at a hardware store. Make sure to measure the shelf's width 3 times to ensure an accurate measurement.
  6. 6
    Remove the work stop and cut the side shelf frame pieces to the right length. Then, cut the top and bottom shelf pieces to the right length.

Method 3
Assembling your Shelf

  1. 1
    Stack a wood square on your work table. This will help you to get clean 90 degree angles when you are assembling your bookshelf.
  2. 2
    Drill 3 pilot holes into the top frame piece at equal distances. They should be about 1/3 inch (0.8 cm) in from the edge so that they will drill into your side frame piece. Repeat this on the opposite side of the top piece and in both ends of the bottom piece.
  3. 3
    Spread a ribbon of wood glue across the holes and the entire width of the wood piece. Place the top shelf piece down and place the side frame piece below it to connect the top right corner. Place your small wooden box at this intersection.
  4. 4
    Align the long side frame piece on the other side of the block at a 90 degree angle. Press the corner edges together. Smooth any excess glue with a cloth.
  5. 5
    Drill long wood screws into the pilot holes to connect the top and side frames together.
  6. 6
    Move the small wooden block to each subsequent corner. Spread a ribbon of glue over each set of holes and connect the corner pieces. Screw in each corner with 3 screws.
  7. 7
    Set your shelves inside the body of your shelving unit. Experiment with the height of the shelves until you are sure it will fit your books, photo frames or other items. Mark the measurements on each side with a combination ruler.
  8. 8
    Place a ribbon of wood glue on each side of the shelf. Place it along the marked measurements. Drill 3 screws into each shelf through the outside frame piece.
    • Repeat this with the remaining shelves. Use an adjustable vice grip to hold the shelves while you screw them into place.
  9. 9
    Measure your shelf lengths and draw straight lines across the back piece of your bookshelf, where it will intersect with the shelves.
  10. 10
    Place a ribbon of glue along all the back edges of your frame. Place the back piece onto the frame with the lines facing out.
  11. 11
    Use a nail gun to securely attach the back to shelf and frame. Use a half dozen nails on each shelf and more through the frame.

Method 4
Attaching your Door

  1. 1
    Attach moldings to the outside edges of your bookcase with glue and a nail gun. You should consult with a clerk at your hardware store to choose the right type of moldings for your shelf and home d├ęcor.
  2. 2
    Glue the moldings to the bottom and top of your bookshelf frame. Attach corner moldings and a side molding piece to the side of your door that will open. Do not attach a molding piece to the hinge side of the door.
    • Use your nail gun to more securely attach the moldings to the shelf frame.
  3. 3
    Detach your existing door.
  4. 4
    Remove the wallboard by placing a putty knife beneath it to protect the wall. Then, use a small crowbar above the putty knife to pry off the wallboard.
  5. 5
    Place your bookshelf inside your door. Make marks where the hinges will go when it is in place. You may need 2 people to hold the shelf slightly up so that the door won't drag against the ground.
  6. 6
    Remove the hinges from the original door and attach them to your shelf with an electric screwdriver.
  7. 7
    Hang your bookshelf door with help from a few friends.
  8. 8
    Attach the remaining molding strip to the wall on the hinge side of the door. This will help you conceal the bookshelf.
    • Glue the molding strip to the wall. Then, add in nails with a nail gun.
  9. 9
    Prime your bookshelf. Allow it to dry completely.
  10. 10
    Paint your bookshelf door and hinges the same color as your wall. Allow it to dry completely and cure for a week before placing anything on the shelves.

Things You'll Need

  • Work space
  • Work clothes
  • Breathing mask
  • Safety goggles
  • Circular saw
  • Work table
  • Straight edge
  • 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) plywood
  • Electric drill
  • Screws
  • Wood glue
  • Wooden box
  • Combination ruler
  • Vice grip
  • Nail gun
  • Screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Small crowbar
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Molding strips
  • Molding corners
  • Nails
  • Paint brushes

Article Info

Categories: Maintenance and Repair