How to Add Doors to Open Shelves

Are you looking for an easy and creative way to add doors to your open shelves? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this blog post, we’ll show you how – in just five steps – you can quickly and easily transform any open shelves into a stunning piece of furniture with stylish doors that will draw attention and make them look like custom-made cabinets.

How to Add Doors to Open Shelves

Plus, if done correctly, these DIY projects don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. We’ll also explain the pros and cons of adding the doors yourself compared with hiring a professional. Now let’s dive into how to add doors to open shelves so that before you know it, your open shelving is as good (if not better) than anything at the store!

Why Add Doors to Open Shelves?

Before we get started, let’s highlight some of the reasons why you might want to add doors to your open shelves.

  • Conceal clutter: Let’s be honest, sometimes our shelves can get a little messy and disorganized. Adding doors gives you the option to hide any clutter behind closed doors, keeping your space looking clean and organized.
  • Protection: If you have valuable or delicate items displayed on your shelves, adding doors will protect them from accidental bumps and dust.
  • Aesthetic appeal: Doors can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your shelving unit. They also allow you to customize the look of your furniture by choosing different styles, colors, and hardware.

10 Simple Step-by-step Guidelines on How to Add Doors to Open Shelves

Step 1: Measure the Shelves

Measure Your Shelves Accurately

Before you start, make sure to measure your shelves accurately. This will ensure that the doors fit perfectly and save you from any unnecessary mistakes. It’s also essential to measure the space between your shelves so that you know how much clearance you have for the doors to swing open. But we’ll get back to that later!

Step 2: Choose Your Doors

You can purchase pre-made doors or make them yourself using materials like wood, metal, glass or even fabric. Keep in mind that using different materials will give you different aesthetics and levels of durability. If you’re making the doors yourself, make sure to cut them according to your measurements from step one. However, if you choose to purchase pre-made doors, make sure to measure them as well before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: Prep the Doors

Hinges and Door Knobs

If you’re using store-bought doors, skip this step. But if you’re making your own, now is the time to sand, prime and paint or stain your doors according to your desired finish. It’s also essential to add hinges and door knobs or handles at this stage if they are not already included. You can find these at any hardware store.

Step 4: Install Hinges

Depending on the style of door you’ve chosen, you may need to purchase hinges separately. Once you have your hinges, you’ll need to measure the distance between them and make sure they line up perfectly with the shelves. It’s best to use at least two hinges per door for stability. You can also use a level to ensure that the hinges are straight. It’s essential to take your time with this step for the doors to open and close correctly.

Step 5: Measure and Drill Holes

Using a tape measure and level, mark where you want the hinges to be on both the shelf and the door. Make sure to drill pilot holes for each hinge before attaching them. You can also use a door stopper to ensure that the doors stay closed when not in use. But don’t forget to make sure that the doors open and close correctly before attaching them permanently.

Step 6: Attach Hinges

This step can vary depending on the type of hinge you’re using, so make sure to follow the instructions carefully. It’s essential to screw in the hinges tightly to ensure that they are stable and provide enough support for your doors. You can also use a screwdriver or drill to make this process quicker and easier. It’s also a good idea to have someone help you hold the door in place while attaching the hinges.

Step 7: Install Door Handles or Knobs

Install Door Handles or Knobs

If your doors require handles or knobs, now is the time to install them. You can choose from endless styles and materials to match your personal taste and the overall aesthetic of your shelving unit.

It’s best to drill pilot holes first, and then attach the handles or knobs using screws. You can also use a drill or screwdriver to make this process quicker and more comfortable. It’s also a good idea to double-check the placement of the handles or knobs before attaching them permanently.

Step 8: Install Magnetic Catches

Adding magnetic catches will help keep your doors shut when not in use. Make sure to install them at the same level on both the door and the shelf for a proper fit. Otherwise, you may have trouble closing or opening the doors. You can also install door latches for added security, especially if you have children or pets.

Step 9: Hang Your Doors

With the hinges attached, it’s time to hang your doors onto the shelves. This is where having an extra pair of hands can come in handy! But if you’re doing it alone, make sure to use a level and take your time to ensure that the doors are hanging straight and even. You may also need to adjust the hinges or make minor alterations at this stage.

Step 10: Adjust as Needed

Once everything is installed, make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your doors are straight, level and aligned with each other. Always double-check the clearance between your shelves and doors to make sure there is enough space for them to open and close smoothly.

If needed, you can also add rubber bumpers or felt pads to prevent the doors from slamming shut. It’s also a good idea to apply a top coat or sealant to protect your doors and give the finish a polished look.

Add Doors to Your Open Shelves

Following these simple steps, you can easily add doors to your open shelves and transform the look of your furniture. Remember to take your time, measure accurately, and have fun customizing your new doors! Now that you know how to add doors to open shelves, you can enjoy a clutter-free and stylish space in no time. Happy DIY-ing!

Hiring Professionals vs DIY

While adding doors to open shelves may seem like an easy DIY project, it does require some skill and patience. If you’re not confident in your abilities, or if you don’t have the time to spare, hiring a professional is always an option. They will have the necessary tools and expertise to ensure that your doors are installed correctly.

However, if you enjoy DIY projects and want to save money, following these simple steps can help you achieve the same results at a fraction of the cost.

How Much Will It Cost?


The cost of adding doors to open shelves yourself can vary depending on the materials you choose, the tools you have on hand, and any additional hardware or decorations. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $50 to $300 for a standard-sized shelving unit.

Hiring a Professional

If you decide to hire a professional, be prepared to spend a bit more – anywhere from $200 to $500 for labor costs alone. This does not include the price of materials and hardware. If you’re on a budget, this is something to keep in mind when deciding whether to hire someone or tackle the project yourself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Is It Necessary to Use Hinges for the Doors?

A1: Yes, hinges are essential for attaching and opening/closing your doors. It’s important to choose the right hinges for your specific shelving unit and door design. But if you’re using a sliding door mechanism, hinges may not be necessary.

Q2: Can I Add Doors to Any Type of Shelving Unit?

A2: In most cases, yes. As long as you can securely attach hinges and drill holes for handles or knobs, you should be able to add doors to your shelves. However, if your shelving unit is too flimsy or unstable, it may not be suitable for adding doors.

Q3: Can I Use Different Materials for the Doors and Shelves?

A3: Absolutely! Using different materials for your doors and shelves can add a unique and personalized touch to your furniture. Just make sure that the materials are compatible and will work well together.


In conclusion, open shelves are a great way to instantly make a room look more organized and stylish. When adding doors to open shelves, the possibilities are endless! Measure your shelves, take into account the materials you plan on using for your doors, and decide if customizing or buying pre-made doors is best for you. With just some time and effort, you’ll soon be fully committed to beautifying your room with fantastic shelving.

So don’t wait any longer—begin your project today! And remember: safety first. By taking all appropriate precautions when installing and handling hardware, you can enjoy your updated shelving with peace of mind for years to come. Thanks for reading this article on how to add doors to open shelves.

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Adrian Green

Adrian has been interested in woodworking since he was a child. His father had a woodworking shop, and Adrian would help him out and learn from him. He gained basic carpentry knowledge as well as an understanding of how to work hard and take care of business. He enjoys woodworking as a hobby. He loves the feeling of creating something with his own hands, and the satisfaction that comes from seeing his finished products used by others. So he started this blog to spread his passion and knowledge to those interested in DIY wood-working projects. He knows that with a little guidance and practice, anyone can create beautiful pieces of furniture or décor from scratch.

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