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DIY TV Lift Cabinet – Hide Your TV in a Credenza!

I’m Zoe.
My mission is to teach you to  confidently build magazine-worthy DIYs. I used to be terrified of power tools, which is why I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can DIY.
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< 2 Days

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Easy

I received a TV lift in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, I earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read our full disclosure.

DIY mid-century modern tv lift cabinet

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! 

Tools

What You’ll Need

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 

Add pocket holes to the back of the back based on the image below. 

pocket hole placement on back of DIY credenza

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. 

adding dowels for a faux back to tv lift cabinet

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. 

cutting corner out of shelves using hand saw

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.

clamping 1x2 to plywood to make thicker looking shelf

We’ll use our adjustable shelf pin jig to add holes for the adjustable shelves. 

using Kreg shelf pin jig

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. 

assembling mid-century modern credenza door front using tape

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. 

before and after of wood filler on mitered corners

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. 

Krylon gray primer

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. 

attaching concealed hinge to cabinet door

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. 

attaching door to 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. 

using Kreg multi-mark tool to correctly position legs on credenza

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. 

installing TV lift into cabinet

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.

TV lift cabinet mechanism

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. 

installing piano hinge to top of DIY tv lift cabinet

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. 

blue mid-century modern credenza with hidden storage

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. 

dark blue mid-century modern TV cabinet with hidden TV lift
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  1. Braden says:

    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?

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      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.

    • Alex says:

      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.

      • Zoe Hunt says:

        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.

      • JD says:

        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.

  2. Jennifer Philipson says:

    What are the dimensions of the finished product?

  3. Hay says:

    When the tv is up…do you find the credenza top heavy?

  4. suZ says:

    Love thi
    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.
    suZ

  5. Kathryn says:

    Omg this is so cool! Thanks for sharing!

  6. bradley says:

    Thank you, Ive been looking to do TV lift for my bedroom within the budget. It looks great.

  7. Rachael Pulu says:

    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?

    • Zoe Hunt says:

      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.

  8. Danny says:

    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!

    thanks

  9. Dawn Georgia says:

    I have a 50″ TV – does this plan need to be modified?

    • Rob says:

      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.

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