Published on April 19th, 2013 | by Jules Yap


Custom End Unit Shelves for Kitchen

Materials: PERFEKT ÄDEL cover panels

Description: The pictures are a bit premature, we have no backsplash installed, but I was excited to share the outcome of this hack.

Problem: Ikea doesn’t sell upper cabinets in the size we wanted. They either didn’t come close enough to the window or too close, feeling boxed in.

Solution: Custom end cabinets made from Perfekt Ädel cover panels!

When we were planning our Ikea kitchen we ran into a problem with our upper cabinets. We had a choice to make; either they stopped 12″ short of the window or they extended all of the way to the window sill, not leaving room for a cover panel, and even if a panel were to fit we thought it would look boxed in. Ikea sells a perfect 9″ wide “Perfekt End Wall Unit” as either open shelves, box shelves, or wine shelves, in any color you want, as long as you want white, stainless, or birch. None of which come close to matching the medium brown of the rest of our kitchen.

So… I decided to make some of my own open shelved end units out of the normal cover panels used to finish the end of the shelves. The ones that Ikea sells have an interesting 3 faced shape, but when you cut MDF you get an unfinished edge that can’t be stained. So, I had to be creative with my shapes, leading to the design shown in the pictures.

Each unit is composed of 3 panels. 1 for the long end against the cabinet, 1 for the back & shallow side, and 1 for the shelves. Each 39″ panel yields 5 shelves, just enough.

Assembly was done prior to hanging. No 6 wood screws were used to assemble the shelves to the non-visible cabinet edge and back and 1/4″ dowel pins and adhesive were used to attach the visible edges near the window. The shelves were hung in the same way as normal end panels are hung and reinforced using 2.5″ cabinet screws just under the bottom shelve, screwed into a stud.

Tips & Lessons Learned:

Use a very high tooth count saw to ensure that the laminate layer doesn’t splinter.

Still expect a few splintered bits and mistakes… budget and buy extra materials. I ended up using two extra panels. Once you get your 20% off the entire kitchen, anything you buy on a separate order doesn’t qualify for the discount!

Ikea trim materials and cover panels have little bits of metal in them. They throw sparks and dull blades VERY quickly, yet you need a VERY sharp blade. Plan to replace your blade at least once.

It’s hard to find a matching pen, but touchup pens can hide some sins. :-)

Wear a respirator mask. The trim pieces make a horrible burnt smelling smoke when cut.

~ Rex Kerr

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The Author

Jules Yap

"I am Jules, the engine behind IKEAHackers and the one who keeps this site up and running. My mission is to capture all the wonderful, inspiring, clever hacks and ideas for our much loved IKEA items".

2 Responses to Custom End Unit Shelves for Kitchen

  1. Dave says:

    I love these shelves and wish Ikea sold an end shelf in this medium brown to match my new Adel Cabinets. I have the same issue with the tight space and need to build some custom shelves just like yours. If there were instructions on how to build these I would gladly pay. hint hint

  2. MyFuZZyButtZ says:

    Oh, I need a new kitchen sooo bad! This just makes me yearn for a change that much more.

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