Built-in MDF closet for coats and shoes

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Project by TheBelgian posted 05-02-2011 07:05 PM 4499 views 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all,

being a new member of this great community I want to start sharing my 5p worth of projects. As already said, until now they mainly involve MDF built-in closets in our house, so not exactly the usual kind of solid wood projects posted here. But I’m looking forward to start working on some solid wood projects myself.

The latest realization is a hallway closet to store coats and shoes. It is entirely made of 18mm (3/4”) green MDF, except for the back which is 9mm thick. oh, and the drawers are 12mm (1/2”) MDF.

For the closet only screws are used to keep the thing together. Basically it’s a box placed on a plywood base which I leveled (almost) perfectly using shims.

The overhang to accommodate for the lights was a bit of an experiment: I mitered all joints and ‘dominoed’ them together. Since it’s 4 sides of a box, the glue-up was kind of a challenge, but it came out pretty good. To avoid screwing the box to the ceiling, I slid it over a cleat which I screwed into the ceiling. In the back it overlaps about 10cm with the closet, so there I screwed the two parts together.

The grooves in the doors are made with a plunge router. Challenge was to have them perfectly square and aligned across the three doors. The width of the three doors was wider than the width of a MDF panel, so I could not make the grooves first, and then cut out the doors.

The sides of the drawers are also dominoed, the bottom is a simple panel/groove construction, while the front is just glued to the drawer. To hold the shoes conveniently I put two aluminium bars in each drawers. They fit quite snugly in the holes, so no need to fix them in any other way

Hinges are blum blumotion with integrated dampers so the doors close softly. The right door had to move out of the way of the drawers and is a special kind of hinge which opens 155°. Drawer slides are also blum blumotion. A bit difficult to install, but the nice thing is they are completely hidden when the drawers are opened.

I painted it using 2 coats of waterbased lacquer on top of a waterbased ‘primer’. Boy oh boy, what a drawback of working with MDF! It took ages to get all the painting to done. (the walls of the hallway still need their final coating so that’s why the edges aren’t perfectly done yet).


-- Hans

5 comments so far

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 4489 days

#1 posted 05-02-2011 07:49 PM

Very nice work. Very clean look.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View ChrisK's profile


2046 posts in 3885 days

#2 posted 05-02-2011 09:28 PM

Very nice, I like the way you did the drawers. I try spray the MDF when I paint for that perfectly smooth finish and the thinned paint can take 4 or 5 coats to cover! Again great job!

-- Chris K

View dakremer's profile


2748 posts in 3895 days

#3 posted 05-03-2011 02:12 AM

This looks great! I love the modern blue look! Welcome to lumberjocks!

-- Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!!!!

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3998 days

#4 posted 05-03-2011 04:47 PM

Nice setup, I like the way the shoes are setup. It’s hard to get a clean setup for shoes.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View tedth66's profile


458 posts in 3993 days

#5 posted 05-03-2011 05:27 PM

OUTSTANDING!!! I likey. BTW – Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Ted

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