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DIY modular storage shelves

These modular storage shelves are so easy to make using 16mm supawood, PAR pine and masonite backing board. Add a splash of colour to your modular shelf unit with Plascon paint or Rust-Oleum 2X spray paint.


We show you how to make a square box, but you can easily make interchangeable boxes to create a shelf arrangement to suit your needs. Everything you need for this project can be found at your local Builders Warehouse.





Using a combination of rectangular and square boxes you can build a modular storage unit that fits in with the space and your storage needs.

Make a modular storage unit

The shelf for the modular storage unit a standard hollow-core door*, available at your local Builders Warehouse. Use a jigsaw or circular saw to cut off the side sections to a width of 300mm and frame the edge with a strip of 20 x 32mm PAR pine. Paint this to match your storage boxes.


Supplies shown below are to make a square box.

2 of 300 x 300mm - 16mm supawood - top / bottom
2 of 300 x 348mm - 16mm supawood - sides
1 of 236 x 316mm - 3mm masonite - backing
2 of 32 x 332mm - 20mm PAR pine - top / bottom front face
2 of 32 x 284mm - 20mm PAR pine - sides front face
Hollow core door for shelves (*see above)
Strip of 20 x 32mm PAR pine for face of shelves
Pattex No More Nails adhesive
Panel pins
Masking tape
Paint in your choice of colour (see options below)
Wood filler, white
180-grit sandpaper

Optional: Corner clamps


1. Painting the panels is easier before you assemble. Mask off the edges that will be joined before you paint. Refer to the diagrams below and allow for the raised bottom of each box. This allows the inside base of each box to be flush with the front face.

2. Paint the inside of each panel with a foam roller. You will want to use a paint that is easy to wipe clean, and we recommend Plascon Double Velvet or Plascon Velvaglo. If painting onto pine or plywood, apply wood primer before painting. On supawood a primer isn't necessary.

You can also use one of the Rust-Oleum 2X colours to spray paint the panels prior to assembly.

3. The boxes are glued together and a couple of panel pins hammered in for added strength. Place a bead of adhesive along the unpainted strip to attach one of the sides to the base. Let the glue dry for about 10 minutes before hammering in a couple of panel pins. Repeat this to add the top to the side, and finally to add the last side to the top and base.

4. Now you are ready to add the front faces. Again, these are glued and then a couple of panel pins hammered in. Only the bottom face sits flush with the base of the box.

If you have a pneumatic nail gun, now's the time to take it out of it's box and put it to use!

5. Although not shown here, it is easier to paint the front faces before attaching. Any pin holes can be filled in with wood filler, sanded smooth with 180-grit sandpaper and touched up with paint once you have completed the assembly.

6. Attach the backing board using panel pins and a hammer. The backing board is slightly smaller than the size of each box, so align centrally at the back before securing in place.