It is no secret that I love wine ( enter dramatic gasp here ). I have written numerous wine related posts, for instance She Did What With Wine Corks?! and my wine cork collection simply continues to grow. So it was only a matter of time before I had a wine cooler. I've been eyeing this amazing NewAir wine cooler for awhile, and now... I own one! I could not be more excited, the wine cooler holds 29 bottles of wine ( sounds like trouble and an excuse to buy more wine ). It even has what is called dual zones, which means that I can set one section of the wine cooler to a certain temperature for white wines, and the other to a temperature perfect for red wines!
Getting this wine cooler was a no-brainer. The hard part was figuring out where the heck I was going to put it! After all, we are currently renting our place, so it is not like I can just starting cutting right into out kitchen cabinets and install the wine cooler there. Trust me, I was plenty tempted to, especially sine the NewAir wine cooler was purposefully built at a size that is perfect for under cabinet storage.
No, I had to come up with a more "renter friendly" place to store my new wine cooler. I could have just used it as a stand alone unit, it is built to be able to look great whether it is built in or not. However, instead I decided that I wanted to build my own custom cabinet to house the new wine cooler ( So incredibly like me right? You can't possibly be surprised ). This post details exactly how I made it!
Here is what I needed
- Three 3/4" x 24" x 49" pieces of wood (tops and bottom)
- Four 3/4" x 24" x 35" pieces of wood (inner and outer sides)
- Two 3/4" x 24" x 14" pieces of wood (shelves)
- Four 3/4" x 3/4" x 18" strips of wood (rails to hold shelves up)
- Five Small Bun Feet
- Five Straight Top Plates
- Circular Saw (Optional)
- Drill / Driver
- 1/8" Drill Bit
- 3/8 Spade Bit
- Eight 1" Screws
- Twelve 1 1/4" Screws
- Sixteen 1 1/2" Screws
- Orbital Sander / Sand Paper
- Measuring Tape
- Wood Glue
- Wood Stain
Step One: Determine The Size
First I needed to spend some time and figure out the exact size of the cabinet. I watched this product video to find the dimensions of the NewAir wine cooler and went from there. I decided that I wanted to have shelving on either side of my wine cooler to store my stemware and to decorate on of course. Keeping all of that in mind, the image below shows the exact dimensions I came up with for the cabinet!
Step Two: The Wood
It should be noted that I was able to build this entire cabinet from just five slabs of 24" x 72" wood at 3/4" thickness. I chose to cut the wood down myself to the sizes I needed, but you can also have the wood cut for you at your favorite hardware store ( or wherever you choose to buy your wood from )
Step Three: Assembling The Sides
When I began to assemble my wine cooler cabinet, I took each of the sides ( 24" wide x 35" long x 3/4" thick ) and attached the "railing" to them ( 3/4" thick x 3/4" wide x 18" thick ). These rails were meant to hold up the two shelves that I planned on adding to the cabinet. There are only four rails because the will only need to be attached to one side of each of the 35" long pieces. To attach them, I first measured halfway up the length of each side, 17.5", and drew a line across the width.
Then I found the center of that line, at 1', and made a mark. I also found center of each of my rails, at 9", and made a mark there as well. Next, I applied wood glue to one side of my rails and line up my two marks to secure it.
Once that wood glue was dry, I used two 1" screws per rail to secure them further. Be sure to repeat this step once on all four of the 35" long pieces.
Step Four: Attaching The Bottom
To attach each of the four sides to the bottom of my cabinet, I decided to screw right through the bottom into the sides. I figured why bother hiding the hardware on the bottom. Taking my bottom ( 24"wide x 49" long x 3/4" thick ), I first measured 1" in from both ends and drew a line across the width at that measurement. This will be where I wanted to screw in the outside ends of my cabinet to give the top and bottom of the cabinet a 1" lip. Making sure that my rails for these two pieces are facing the inside of the cabinet, I used first my drill bit to create pilot holes and then my 1 1/2" screws to secure the wood in place. Next was the two inside 35" long pieces. After measuring 14" in from each of my already secured sides, I screwed in my inside pieces in the exact same way. First, by drilling pilot holes and then by screwing them in with 1 1/2" screws. However, make sure that these two inside pieces are facing the opposite direction so that the rails are facing each other on each end. Refer to the dimensions diagram as a guide if this gets confusing.
Step Five: Adding The Feet
Once the bottom of the cabinet was secured, I attached feet to the bottom. I was pretty surprised with how easy it was to install the feet. First I attached the five straight top plates to all four corners and the middle of the cabinet bottom. I just used the screws that came with the plates. Them I screwed my five wooden bun feet directly into the plates. Just like that, the feet were installed!
Step Six: Attaching The Top
Knowing that I wanted the top of my cabinet to be double the thickness of cabinet's bottom, I decided just to use two pieces of wood secured together. Each piece was 49" long x 24" wide x 3/4" thick. With this in mind, I chose to screw in the first of the two tops right through to each of the cabinet's sides. Essentially this was done in the same fashion as how I screwed in the bottom of the cabinet, the only difference was that I used a spade bit to start off each of my pilot holes. This allowed my to countersink each of the screws so that the wood would remain flush when I attached the second piece of my top.
After screwing in the outside pieces first, I measured 14" in from each to determine the correct place to screw in the inside pieces. This insures that the vertical pieces will be perfectly level. I also used my shelves ( 14" wide x 24" long x 3/4" thick ) as a bit of a guide by placing them in the rails while I measured and drilled.
Next up was the second piece of the top. First I applied plenty of wood glue onto the already secured top. Then I placed my second piece right on top of it and clamped it down while the glue dried.
Lastly, I secured the second pieces to the first by screwing it in with pilot holes followed by 1 1/4" screws.
Step Seven: Sand It Down
At this point my cabinet was completely built, I just needed to sand it down to give it a nice smooth finish. I paid extra attention to all of the edges so they would be rounded, all the sides of the tops so that they looked to be one piece, and all four corners of the tops to give them a rounded appearance.
Step Eight: Wipe It Down
Next, I cleaned the entire cabinet with with a TSP substitute to remove all of the saw dust. This also opened up the grain of the wood and prepared it to be stained and painted.
Step Nine: Stain And Paint
I decided that I wanted my wine cooler cabinet to have a dark stained top and a white painted base. So first I stained the top espresso. Then once the stain had completely dried, I used painters tape to protect the stain and painted the entire base of the cabinet white, feet included. Next I sprayed the entire cabinet down with polyurethane sealer.
Step Ten: Customize It
The second that the polyurethane was dry, I installed two wine glass racks to hold all of my stemware. I moved my cabinet out of my garage and into its new home. I installed my NewAir wine cooler into the center of my cabinet, and went right to decorating the cabinet!