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Create a home office this weekend by turning ready-to-assemble storage cubes into a custom workspace.
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Pack a lot of storage and a home-office workstation into an underutilized corner. Custom bases give ready-to-assemble storage cubes a truly built-in look. You can easily flip the positions of the deep and shallow cabinets to suit your room.
Cut the long base front and back (A), long base dividers (B), base front/backs (C), and dividers (D) to length (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Clamp the base parts together, drill countersunk holes through the rails into the dividers, and drive the 2-inch drywall screws (Project Diagram, Drawing 1).
Use a square to mark the vertical baseboard cuts in the existing baseboard (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Cut the baseboard with an oscillating multi purpose tool fitted with a woodcutting blade.
Carefully remove the baseboard between the cuts and the corner.
To spread the load and protect the wallboard when prying the baseboard off the wall, place a 3/4-inch-thick scrap board under the heel of the pry bar.
Position the bases against the wall. To compensate for walls that are not perfectly square and straight and to avoid distorting the bases, insert wood shims between the bases and walls at each screw location (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). Drill countersunk holes and screw the bases to the wall studs with 2 1/2-inch drywall screws. Cut the shims even with the top of the base with a utility knife.
Cut the wall cleats (E) and nailers (F) to size (Project Diagram, Cutting List). Secure the wall cleats in position (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) using construction adhesive.
Add the nailers to the wall cleats and secure both to the wall with glue and 2-1/2-inch drywall screws. Keep the edges of the nailer 1 inch back from the face of the wall cleats where the cabinet sides will be attached later. This will result in the opposite edges of the two parts being even with each other.
Assemble the three Storage Cubes following the manufacturer’s instructions.
The units are held in place by construction adhesive. Spread the adhesive along the top edge of the bases and place the cubes (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) so the front edges of the cubes are even with the fronts of the bases. The side of the double unit pushes up against wall cleat E. The single unit is centered on the width of the base and even with the base front.
From medium-density fiberboard, cut the narrow side (G), wide sides (H), long top (I), and top (J) (Project Diagram, Cutting List) to size. Ease the edges on the front and exposed ends -- not where the tops join. Paint the edges and faces that will remain exposed. Also paint the edges of the wall cleats (E).
Before painting MDF, seal the exposed edges to prevent them from soaking up excess paint. Brush or roll on a mixture of one part woodworking glue to one part water. After the sealer dries, sand the edges with 120-grit sandpaper.
Adhere the sides (G, H) to the wall cleats and nailers (E, F) and to the sides of the storage cubes with construction adhesive (Project Diagram, Drawing 3). Clamp the sides to the cubes until the adhesive cures. You can drive nails through the sides into the nailers, or use clamps to help hold the parts while the adhesive cures.
Adhere the long and short tops (I, J) to the tops of the cubes with construction adhesive (Project Diagram, Drawing 4).
Cut the baseboards needed to wrap the two bases into lengths about 3 inches longer than required for each segment. Starting on the sides of the deep base, fit the ends of the side baseboards against the house baseboard, mark the miters at the front corners, and miter-cut the pieces to length. Nail the side baseboards in place with 4d finish nails. Miter one end of the front baseboard, fit it in place and mark the miter at the other end. Miter-cut the part to length and nail it in place.
In similar fashion, fit, mark, and miter-cut the front baseboard and side baseboard for the double cube base. Nail the parts in place. Set the nails in all the baseboards.
Fill all nail holes and the screw holes, let dry, and sand it flush.
Prime any unfinished parts and apply a paintable caulk to any small gaps in the trim or where the top or sides meet the wall. Finish by touching up the paint as needed.