Storage solutions for the home shouldn’t be limited to visible shelves and cabinets.  For the last few years I have been utilizing space “inside” the walls for fun and practical storage areas.  It may seem difficult to do at first but really isn’t all that hard to do when you take it step by step.


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I started by locating the studs inside the walls.  Check and make sure you won’t have any obstructions like pipes, vents or electrical wires.  Chances are, if you have an electrical outlet or heating vent above or below, you should pick another location.  Make sure and check both sides of the wall.

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Using a level I marked out the location of the hole to be cut in the wall.  Double check with your stud finder to make certain your marks are correct.

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Using a drywall saw, pound the sharp tip into your cut line.  If you have never cut drywall before, try a scrap piece to get the feel for it.  This way you will be able to feel the difference if you run into any obstructions.  Be very careful to not cut into any water pipes or electrical lines.  It would also be a good idea to shut off any electrical power just to be safe.

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In my home I have drywall covered in a “skip trowel” texture.  Once you have pierced through the drywall, I like to use “push” cuts, then pull the out slightly and repeat.  This makes the chance of plaster pulling out a lot less likely.  It also makes for a cleaner cut.

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Once you have the opening cut, this is what it should look like.

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Cut (2) 2×4’s to the length between the studs and place them at the top and bottom of the opening.  Drive in a couple screws at an angle to secure them in place.  These finish up the framework for the opening.

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Minor obstructions (in my case a wall anchor) can be dealt with accordingly.  I just left it alone in the case.  You can see me using a damp cloth to moisten the wood and surrounding drywall.  This is a good tip to keep the joint compound we are going to apply in the next step from drying out to quickly.

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Buy premixed drywall joint compound to avoid messy mixing.  For this project I used approximately 1/2 gallon.

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Being my wall had a skip trowel texture, I mimicked that texture with a spreader or wide putty knife.  Your texture may vary.  Most home centers sell aerosol spray textures in a can if that is the texture you have.

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Once the joint compound had fully dried, I came back with a damp cloth to smooth out any imperfections and do any cleanup needed.  This is much nicer than sanding it, as it creates no dust!

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Paint your new cubby opening with your color of choice.  In my case, I had some extra matching wall color left, so I just used that.

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I recommend using “soft close” hinges to eliminate slamming of the picture frame on the wall.  This is really nice if the picture frame has actual glass in it.  No one want broken glass.

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I proceeded to drill some mounting holes to install the hinge plates.

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Once the hinge plates were in place, I could connect in the other half of the hinges.

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These openings work great near mudrooms to drop keys, phones or garage remotes.  It also keeps them out of sight and looking nice.  Remember that there are studs on both sides of the opening.  Installing a small shelf inside and/or a couple key hooks would be a great add-on.

Hidden Storage Picture Frame (ep14) 20Have fun!


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