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Ever wondered how to hide your TV in a cabinet? Let me show you how easy it is to make your very own TV lift cabinet!
It might sound complicated, but it’s really not. You just need a few pieces of plywood and a TV lift mechanism.
I can’t speak for other brands, but we got our lift from TVliftcabinet.com and it was shockingly easy to install. It was really just a matter of a few screws and drilling a hole for the plug.
Who knew it could be so easy to hide your TV?
Alright, let’s start DIYing!
- Circular saw with track
- Kreg K4 or any pocket hole jig
- Nail gun
- Electric sander
- Hand saw with miter box
- Shelf pin jig
- Concealed hinge jig
- Optional: table saw
What You’ll Need
- 2- 3/4″ 4×8 plywood sheet
- 1 – 1/4″ plywood sheet
- 1- 1x2x8 board
- 4- 5/8″ square dowels
- 4 – .75″ wood trim
- TV Lift Mechanism
- 1.25″ Kreg screws
- (4) Concealed hinges
- (4) Inside corner brackets
- (1) 1.5×30″ piano hinge
- (8) Shelf pins
- 1.25″ Kreg screws
- 1 and 1.25″ nails
- Paintable wood filler
- Edge banding
- Wood glue
- Painter’s tape
- Primer – we used Krylon Gray Primer
- Paint – we used HGTV Home by Sherwin Williams Blue Midnight
- 220-grit sandpaper
How to Make a DIY Credenza with a Hidden TV Lift
New to DIY? Download our free 5 Steps to Getting Start with DIY guide!
Now I’m going to show you have to make a DIY mid-century modern credenza with a TV lift, but you can also use these plans if you weren’t wanting to add a TV lift.
If you just want the DIY credenza, follow these plans, skipping steps 5, 13 and 15. The only changes you’ll need to make to the dimensions are to cut the top 1/16″ less wide (and don’t cut in it half), cut the shelves to the full depth of the cabinet, and cut the back to be the same height as the sides.
STEP 1: CHOOSE YOUR WOOD
What type of wood you should use for your TV stand is really dependent on the final look you’re going for.
If you want something rustic, common pine is a great (and inexpensive) option. If you want something with a strong wood grain that will last for years to come, oak is the way to go. Since its a hardwood, oak will produce a really heavy, solid TV stand that will resist dents and scratches.
We opted to use pre-primed plywood to build our TV stand because it was less expensive than oak plywood and it had less of a grain. Since we’re planning to paint our tv stand, pre-primed and minimal grain pattern was the way to go.
If you’re planning to stain your TV console, oak or maple plywood would be a better option.
STEP 2: CUT
Using a circular saw with a track and/or a table saw, cut your sides, bottom, back, and top according to the cut list.
Prefer printable plans? Grab your PDF TV lift cabinet plans!
STEP 3: ADD POCKET HOLES
Pocket holes are the foundation of most DIY furniture. Become a pocket hole pro in less than an hour in Pocket Holes: Explained.
Add pocket holes to the back of the back based on the image below.
Then add 3 pocket holes to either end of the bottom. These will be used to attach to the bottom to the sides.
STEP 4: ASSEMBLE
Using glue and 1.25″ screws to assemble the sides, back, and bottom.
Start by attaching the first side to the bottom. Then attach the back.
If you’re adding a TV lift, the bottom will indent about 1/16″ from the top of the sides.
This gap is for a hinge that will allow the top to open and close when the TV is lifted or hidden.
Once the back is attached, attach the second side to both the bottom and the back.
STEP 5: ADD A FAUX BACK
When you open the cabinet, you don’t want to just see a TV, you want to see a cabinet with some storage.
So, to hide the TV and TV lift, we’re going to add a faux back.
Cut the back out of 1/4″ plywood according to the cut list. Cut 4 dowels to the same height as the sides – the bottom.
Once your dowels are cut, glue the back ones 6.5″ from the back of the console. Then leave a hair more than a 1/4″ gap (we want the back to be able to come out easily) and add your second dowel.
We attached our dowels with glue and nails.
Slide your faux back between the dowels.
STEP 6: ADD SHELVES
First, cut your plywood and 1x2s according to the cut list.
Then, we need to cut out a little notch on both ends so that the shelves will fit around the dowels that hold in the faux back. We’ll use a handsaw for this.
Use glue and nails to attach the 1×2 to the front of the plywood. The 1×2 will give the shelves a thicker appearance and will help prevent sagging.
We’ll use our adjustable shelf pin jig to add holes for the adjustable shelves.
STEP 7: MAKE THE DOORS
Cut the doors to size according to the cut list.
Now we’ll use our little trim boards to add some detail. Our boards have slightly rounded edges, so we’ll need to use miter cuts for all of the seams.
And since these boards are so thin, we can’t use a miter saw, so we’ll use a hand saw with a miter box to make all of our cuts.
Once you have your cuts, mark 3.25″ in from the edge of the door on each side. Then mark 3.25″ in from that rectangle and repeat the process one more time.
These marks indicate where the inside side of your trim pieces should fall.
Mockup the spacing with the trim pieces and make any adjustments needed. Once you’re feeling good about the layout, add glue to each piece and place them where they should go.
Add a few pieces of painter’s tape to each wood piece to help “clamp” it in place while the glue dries.
Once the glue has dried, remove the painter’s tape and add paintable wood filler to any visible seams.
STEP 8: ADD EDGE BANDING
If you don’t want to use edge banding, you can also apply spackle to the edges to help smooth them out.
To apply the edge banding, iron it on and cut off any excess.
STEP 9: PREP + PAINT
Since the plywood we chose was already sanded, I’m just going to quickly run over everything with 220-grit sandpaper to make sure it’s nice and smooth.
Then wipe with tack cloth and prime. If you’re using a darker paint color, use a gray primer instead of white. This will help minimize the number of coats of paint you need.
Once the primer has dried, paint your media credenza and doors.
STEP 10: ADD THE HINGE HARDWARE
First we’ll attach the hinges to the door itself.
To make it as easy as possible, we use the Kreg Concealed Door Hinge Jig to drill everything in the correct location and depth.
Once the hole for the hinge is drilled, insert the hinge and screw it in.
Now we’ll attach the hardware to the cabinet.
Technically the holes for the hardware that attaches to the actual cabinet should be at the same height as the hinges on the door and set by 37mm from the edge of the cabinet.
Instead of measuring, we’re going to latch in the hardware then line our doors up with the bottom of the cabinet (which shouldn’t be too difficult since the bottom of the bottom is the ground) and the sides of the cabinet.
Then we’ll mark where the holes for the hardware that attaches to the cabinet should be drilled.
We’ll move the doors, pre-drill, and then screw in the hardware.
Check that the doors do in fact hook on and are generally in the correct place before moving onto the next step.
If you got adjustable hinges (most are), then the doors don’t have to be perfectly lined up just yet. We’ll adjust them when we put the doors on in a minute.
STEP 11: ADD THE LEGS
Remove your doors and flip your console over.
Position your legs approximately 4″ in from the sides. For the front legs, we’ll put them just a hair from the edge of the front. For the back legs, we’ll place them .75″ from the back.
Once your legs are all screwed in, go ahead and flip your cabinet over again.
Step 12: INSTALL THE DOORS
Now we’ll re-latch the doors to the cabinet.
Once you have them hooked in, you can adjust your hinges until you’re content with the fit of your doors.
STEP 13: INSTALL THE TV LIFT
Y’all, I might love building furniture, but I dread assembling it (cough cough IKEA) mostly because I’m way too impatient to try to decipher what the instructions mean.
Luckily, the included instructions from TV Lift Cabinet are super straightforward and easy to understand.
It also helps that the installation is basically just 12 screws and 4 bolts 😉 The whole installation took maybe 10 minutes.
One additional step you’ll need to do is to cut a hole through the back of your cabinet for the power cord to go through. We cut ours using a 1.25″ wood paddle bit.
STEP 14: INSTALL THE TOP
We’ll start with the front piece.
Installation for this one is pretty simple. Grab 4 inside corner brackets and attach them to the cabinet and then to the top.
As you’re installing, just make sure that the top is aligned with the cabinet on the front and sides.
If you don’t want to include a TV lift in your DIY credenza, you can attach a solid top using the inside corner brackets.
For the back piece, we’re going to use a piano hinge.
Center your hinge on the back and pre-drill for each of your holes. Then screw your hinge to the top of the back.
Then line the top up with the sides of the console and screw the piano hinge to the top in 3 places. This should help hold it into place.
Then pre-drill the rest of your holes and screw in the top with the remaining screws.
Step 15: INSTALL YOUR TV
Follow the provided instructions from TV Lift Cabinet. Again, the installation is pretty straightforward and only requires a couple of bolts.
STEP 16: ADD THE CENTER DIVIDER AND SHELVES
Sorry friends. You’ll have to undo the front of the top to add the center divider in. Luckily it’s just a few screws.
Once your top is off, simply drop the 1/4″ plywood between your dowels and then screw your top back into place.
Add your shelf pins and place your shelves.
There you have it! Now you know how to make a DIY TV console with a TV lift.
Get ready to impress all your friends with your new hidden TV. Open it up, show them it’s a just a simple credenza and then break out the remote or the TV Lift Cabinet app and prove to them that it’s actually so much more.
What size of TV and TV Lift Mechanism did you use?
Also, I’m guessing the overall pricing at the start of the build isn’t including the TV Lift Mechanism correct?
Hi there! We have a 43″ TV and used the 29″ mechanism. The price without the TV lift will vary a lot based on where you live, but was about $150 for us, with the bulk of it coming from the plywood.
Braden, any anyone else looking for the answer to this question – I was disappointed to see that $150+ actually meant $150+$500. However, as of writing this message, I’ve found a number of lift mechanisms for sale online that have good ratings by purchasers, and are more affordable. I have a small television, and I’m going to be buying a lift mechanism designed for 36-48″ flatscreens off of Amazon that costs $150 before taxes.
Sorry for the confusion Alex! We only have 4 price categories on our blog, so we have to choose which option fits best. Wood type, location, and time of year play a large role in exact costs which is why we provide a general estimate rather than exact pricing.
For anyone else on this same boat, I also started the search on Amazon and then looked at the same products listed there on the manufacturer’s website. I bought mine (32″ tall) for $65 less, compared to the listing on Amazon. I don’t want to specifically mention the product here because it’s probably against this site’s rules, but a quick Google search will hopefully give you the same results.
What are the dimensions of the finished product?
Hi Jennifer! It’s approximately 45″ wide, 36″ tall and 16″ deep.
When the tv is up…do you find the credenza top heavy?
Hi there! When the TV is up, the back rests up against lift. We haven’t had any issues with it and the board itself is pretty lightweight.
See plans. I will surprise my mother with this time permitting. Still have to make coffee table, end tables, shelves, ………and the list goes on.
One day I won’t have to take my mother (82), one of my Golden’s (13 & 7), or myself 56 (disabled veteran) to the doctor.
Starting work on my galvanized pipe shelves. I have soaked everything in vinegar (boy did that do something), scrub them with Dawn dishwashing liquid, and have spray painted a couple of items. It is going to be a work in progress. Everything is at my home, but that is part of the fun of DIY.
Keep doing what your doing.
Omg this is so cool! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Ive been looking to do TV lift for my bedroom within the budget. It looks great.
Do you think this could be done with a pre-made cabinet like an IKEA cabinet or maybe another brand that does solid wood furniture? I don’t have the tools or skills to build the cabinet but I think I could install the lift in an existing cabinet with the right wood. What are your thoughts about limitations?
Hi Rachael, you could definitely install this in a pre-made cabinet! The key would be making sure the cabinet is the correct size and that the top is able to lift up.
If there is anyone who has perfected the build out on this credenzas lift and would like to build and sell a he unit, please let me know!
I have a 50″ TV – does this plan need to be modified?
This is what I am calculating right now. My recommendation would be to measure the width and height of the TV and make sure it will fit within the cabinet. This can be based on the dimensions of the back. Based on the pictures in step 3, the sides are outside, so if the TV fits, it should work. Otherwise I think you just have to expand a few of the measurements. I am making a cabinet for a 55″ or 60″ TV and I adjusting.