Semi-home made ‘LACKured’ media cabinet

Lack Shelving Unit, Power Drill, 2-1/2 in. Hole Saw, Key Hole Saw, 1/4″ brushed nickel aluminum channel, BIN shellac based primer by Zinsser, satin white spray paint, translucent white plexi-glass, plastic oval grommet, Loctite super glue

I was inspired by an Ikea hack done by Matt in Portland. Ever since I saw this I wanted to do this to our birch Lack shelf purchased in 2005.

When we moved into our new home, I took the opportunity to follow thru and transformed the old shelf (first picture) with white spray paint, 1/4″ aluminum channels in a brushed nickel finish and custom cut white translucent plexiglass doors and top. This semi-home made ‘LACKured’ (lacquered) finish gives the cabinet a more high-end look that matches the aesthetic in our new home. I modified Matt’s hack by adding a grommet hole behind the TV so I could hide all the cables. Also only one side of the shelf has doors so we could still use the open side to display objects and see the brick wall behind the cabinet.

Link to slide show and more pictures.

Step by step instructions after the jump.

See below for a list of tools required, materials used, instructions and diagrams for measurements
Tools required:
power drill
2-1/2 in. Hole Saw,
Key Hole Saw
Ikea wrench to dis-assemble
tape measure
drop cloth
saw horse legs and or blocks

Parts/materials required:
Ikea lack shelving unit
two sticks of 1/4″ aluminum U channel at least 34.375″ long (34-3/8″)
two pieces of 1/8″ translucent white plexi-glass door material – sized at 15.5″(L) x 9-9/16″(W),
1 piece of 1/8″ translucent white plexi-glass sized 74.75″(L) x 15″(W)
The plexiglass was purchased at Faulkner Plastics in Miami.
The metal channel was purchased at Atlantic Metal in Miami
1 quart of shellac based primer
white sating spray paint
oval plastic grommet cover, can be purchase online from Mockett


Step 1) Similar to Matt, i took out the upright supports except for the middle support and I measured the distance from the inside face of the center support to the inside face of the end support at 34-3/8″. This is the length for the metal channels. I had them cut at the metal shop, but any one with a hacksaw or pull saw can cut them at home. I recommend having them cut at home to get the most accurate cut.

Step 2) Measure the opening for the plastic grommet cover. Use the diagram provided. Drill the holes with a power drill and a 2-1/2″ hole saw. The remaining sections can be cut using the key hole saw.

Step 3) Install the metal channels. Before gluing the channels make sure the channels fit in the opening. Apply the glue to one channel at a time. On the backside of the first channel apply a small bead of the super glue and place at the edge of the shelf between the supports. Install the bottom channel first and repeat with the top channel.

Step 4) Prepare the cabinet for painting and if you are not painting, continue to step number 7. Prepare the cabinet for painting by doing the following; cover the metal channels with painters tape, roll up a small amount of painters tape and place into any open holes. Remove the top of the cabinet from the lower supports and base. Paint the top separately.

Step 5) Prim the cabinet with a shellac based primer. See this post on apartment therapy for tips on painting Ikea furniture.

Step 6) Spray paint shelf with satin white for matt finish or gloss white for glossy finish. Be sure to paint in a well-ventilated garage or studio space or better yet a covered outdoor patio. Do not paint indoors. Apply the paint with a light touch, to heavy a touch will cause drips and ruin the look. Allow the cabinet to dry, preferably over night.

Tips for spray painting: One, make sure the shelf parts are elevated off the floor, using sawhorse and or blocks. This will prevent the pieces from sticking to your drop cloth. Second, allow the paint to dry on the top of the cabinet before painting the underside of this piece. Third, if you are supporting your shelf on legs or casters there is no need to paint the bottom of the shelf.

When the parts are dry place the top of the shelf back on the supports.

Step 7) Install the plexi glass doors, by removing the lack end support next to the channels and slide the doors into the channel. Re-install the end support.

Step 8) Place the large plexi glass sheet with the pre-cut grommet hole on top of the shelving unit and then place the plastic grommet cover into the pre-cut holes. Install your media equipment in the cabinet, attach to your TV and enjoy the look of your semi-home made custom lacquered TV cabinet.

Measurements for the plexi glass top and doors can be found in the diagram. The diagram can be given to a plastic shop and cut on a CIC machine. I had mine cut at Faulker Plastic in Miami for $120.

The grommet hole in the plastic is 1/8th of an inch larger than the one in the top of the lack shelf. This is to account for small discrepancies in measurements and to allow one to line up the holes and install the plastic grommet cover.

~ Harris, Miami