How to Make a TV Slide Out of a Cabinet


A slide out television shelf provides easier access to the back of the TV and, with a swivel mechanism, increases viewing angles from around the room. Kits designed for this purpose require minimum tools and carpentry skills, and can be found online or at many electronic and home repair retailers. With this kit, a slide out shelf can be installed in most cabinets and furniture within a few hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Television slide out/swivel kit
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • 3/4 inch plywood
  • 45 degree right triangle
  • Power saw
  • Medium grit (80 to 120 grit) sandpaper
  • Fine grit (220 to 240 grit) sandpaper
  • Spray paint or lacquer
  • Drill
  • 1 5/8 inch drywall screws
  • 1/2" screws
  • Power screwdriver
  • Clamp

Build the Shelf

  • Purchase the slide out shelf kit that is best designed to handle the weight of your current television and any TV upgrade you anticipate in the future. Include the weight of the plywood you will use for your shelf when you choose the shelf kit. Measure the width and depth of the cabinet space in which you plan to place your shelf.

  • Reduce the width measurement by 2 inches and the depth measurement by 2 inches. Transfer these dimensions to a ¾ inch piece of birch plywood and cut it to size. Use a 45 degree right triangle and pencil to mark the left rear and right rear corners of the shelf for angle cuts.

  • Cut the left and right rear corners as marked to provide maximum swivel when the shelf is extended. Sand any rough spots on the cut edges of the shelf with medium grit sandpaper. Follow up with fine grit sandpaper to achieve paint- or stain-ready edges.

  • Paint or stain the top, bottom and sides of the shelf using spray paint or lacquer to fit your decor. Follow directions on the spray can to avoid drips and runs in the finish. Allow the shelf to dry completely before installing the slide out kit.

Install Slide Kit

  • Measure and mark the horizontal center point of the cabinet surface on which you intend to install the shelf. Measure and mark the center point on the slide out kit platform and align the two center marks. Position the platform back away from the edge far enough for doors to close, if your cabinet has doors.

  • Ensure that the two center lines on the cabinet and on the kit platform are still aligned. Pull the platform forward to expose the platform glides. Screw through the glides with 1 5/8 inch screws to attach them securely to the cabinet.

  • Pull the platform to the front and center. The finished shelf should be on top of it with the angled corners of the shelf facing toward the rear of the cabinet. Clamp the platform and shelf together. Insert 1/2-inch screws through the pre-drilled holes in the bottom of the platform and screw them into the bottom of the shelf.

  • Be sure to center the television on the shelf so the weight of the TV is evenly distributed. Secure the cabinet to the wall if it tends to tip forward when the TV is extended on its shelf.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remove cabinet doors temporarily while installing the slide out shelf.
  • Assure stability of a flat screen TV on the slide out shelf by centering it on the shelf and screwing the TV base plate into the wooden shelf.
  • TV slide out platform kits come in a variety of prices and strengths. Be sure to choose a platform that will support the weight of your television.

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  • Photo Credit Birthing Room image by Leticia Wilson from electric fret-saw image by Cherry-Merry from sandpapier image by Thomas Aumann from spray image by Dragana Petrovic from spring clamp image by Jim Mills from
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