Sunday, December 16, 2012

HOW TO BUILD & INSTALL A PLATE RACK FOR A CABINET -TUTORIAL

This tutorial is to show you how I built a few plate racks to install inside the cabinet spaces of kitchen cabinets that I have painted.  A plate rack really adds another dimension to your kitchen and can display your decorative plates or your every day plates.
In this kitchen, my clients looked around to figure out where the open cabinet and plate rack would look the best.  Then, they removed the two cabinet doors that were on this space.  They added their cookbooks on the top shelf.
After they removed the doors there were holes where the screws had been.  You can just fill those in.  If they need to be touched up, just use a litte stain or craft paint that matches your cabinet finish.  But, I was there to paint one of my special aged finishes on the cabinets so I was able to fill in and disguise the holes with paint and stain.  Their cabinets were that pickled/white washed finish before I painted them.
If you don't want to repaint your whole kitchen, I think it would look really nice and decorative to paint the whole inside of the open area and plate rack an accent color.  A color that matches your decor.
First, I went to Lowe's and got trim that was about  l/8" x 1 1/2" wide and dowels that were about 3/8".  These trim pieces come in different lengths. They're usually in the section where you find other door and baseboard trim.  I measured the inside of the cabinet to see how long the top and bottom pieces of the plate rack should be.  I cut four pieces the same length.  The two racks need two of these cut pieces each, one for the top and one for the bottom to hold the dowels.  Then, I taped them together before I drilled the holes for the dowels.  You need all of those holes to be exactly the same so the dowels will be vertically straight and evenly spaced.  I drilled a hole every 2".  But, before drilling you need to go with the measurements of your cabinet space.  The space between your holes drilled may be a little more or a little less than my 2".
Oh, and, when I measured the width and height of the inside of the cabinet, I made sure I was 1/8" to 1/4" shorter so the plate rack would slide in, easily.
You need to measure the size of your dowel so you'll know which size drill bit you will need to drill your holes.  When I had everything cut exactly the same, I used Elmer's Wood Glue and pushed or gently hammered the dowels into the holes on the trim piece.
It's best to paint everything before you install these racks or you'll have a hard time getting your brush and hand in between all of those spindles.  It's just a neater, cleaner job painting before you install.
After painting everything, I got small finish nails and hammered/got them started in the bottom and top trim pieces so it would be easier to hammer them into place.  Before I hammered them to the cabinet, I put Elmer's Wood Glue all over the top and bottom trim pieces where they would be touching the top and the bottom of the cabinet.  Wood glue makes a much tighter bond than nails only.
Before the final step of hammering them into place, I measured where I wanted to place the two racks and the distance between them was important.  So, I measured 1 3/4" back from the front of the cabinet because I wanted the front rack to be placed there.  I penciled a line so the rack would be perfectly straight.  Then, I measured 5" from the back where the front rack would be nailed and that's where I drew my next line.  My lines were drawn where the front of each rack would be.  You have to draw these lines on the top and bottom of the cabinet opening, so everything will be perfectly straight.
THEN, I hammered them into place.

This is a free standing plate rack that I built and painted artwork on sides and top.
First, I built the box (like the inside of a cabinet).  I attached four drawer pulls for the feet.  Then, I put it together just like the instructions above.
This would be such a nice gift for someone.  You could stain the wood or you could paint and crackle.  You could stencil all over it, decoupage all over it.  Paint all one color or different coordinating colors to fit your or someone's decor.
Just a suggestion:  when you put your plates in the plate rack, if you put them straight in that's ok and you can get one more plate in it.  But, if you have decorative dishes and want them to show, just angle one spindle over in the back when you're putting the plates in and that little angle will show off your dishes.  If you angle there will be space for one less plate.  But, the angle looks really good.
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HAVE FUN BUILDING YOUR PLATE RACK!!
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11 comments:

  1. Wow, I love the plate rack in the cabinet but especially the free standing one. It's beautiful. I think plate racks are so charming and a great way to display china.

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  2. I've been searching how to do the same thing you have outlined building a plate racks and installing inside the cabinet spaces of kitchen cabinet. Very helpful. Thx.

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    1. So glad this post was helpful. A plate rack placed in just the right place is a nice decorative touch to a kitchen.

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  3. Thanks for sharing, I love it and I'm on my way to Lowe's for do it on my kitchen, Thank you again.

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    1. Have fun! I bet it will look very nice in your kitchen.

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  4. Love your rack but all the trailing vines and angels make it really tough to read

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    1. Thank you! I checked and everything looks ok on my computer. Not sure what the problem is. If you figure it out, could you let me know. Thanks,

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  5. Hi Lynda. I see you allowed about 1/4" less for the height of the rack so it would fit into the cupboard. How did you get a tight fit when you nailed the pieces at the top? It seems there would have been a gap - am I right, or just not seeing it properly? Thanks, I really want to make one!

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  6. Don't worry Lynda, I worked it out. Just fit the dowels, slide the frame in and then tap the top trim up to meet the shelf. Is that right? (Forgot about the depth of the drill hole) Thanks again

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    1. So glad you worked it out. Thanks for letting me know.

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    2. Also, if there is a gap use caulk to fill the gap. After painted you won't notice the caulk or gap.

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