Update Your Medicine Cabinet


Nothing screams “I was built in the 90’s” quite like a mirrored front medicine cabinet. (Well, maybe blue checkered floor…but we fixed that here remember?) You can always rip that sucker out of the wall, but what do you do after that? I’m not about patching giant holes in drywall. If you have been living anywhere with your eyes open recently, you’ve probably seen some open shelving a time or two! I know I’m a HUGE fan! I’ve even contemplated plotted how to rip down my upper kitchen cabinets and add open shelving. (Don’t ask me where I am going to hide all my crap in order to display pretty dishes, but I’ll figure it out!) 

If you are nervous to rip out your ugly medicine cabinet, don’t be! This was a super easy and quick project that brought our bathroom into this century. And the best part, it cost me $12. Yes, twelve whole bucks.

So, this is what we were working with. Standard. Ugly. Dated. You get it!

First, we removed the cabinet to see what we were working with…



Lovely, a giant hole. I will say, painting over that lime green wall was at least a step in the right direction. I measured my length and width. Mostly importantly, I measured the depth. My opening was 3 inches deep, so that made buying lumber really easy!

Supply List (Yours might differ slightly depending on your measurements!)

Keep in mind, if you do not have the proper saws, Home Depot will make the cuts for you! Just bring your measurements and ask politely. I have included some affiliate links to the tools and supplies that we own and love in case you are in search of some to add to your collection. Read more about affiliate links here.

First, we made a frame for our shelves. I measured my opening and used a 1×3 board to create the frame. Since the depth of my opening was 3 inches, this was a perfect fit. We used a drill with 1.5 in screws to hold the frame together. Use a level (or better yet, a square) to make sure all your angles are 90 dg and your middle shelf is truly level.


Once you have the frame, you need to add a back to it. We choose an MDF Handy Panel board. I felt it was sturdy enough that I wasn’t going to punch a hole through it (in case I get crazy putting my perfume away) but it was thin enough not to take up a lot of the depth of the shelf.


We laid the frame on top of the board, and traced it onto the MDF board. My husband used our Jig Saw to cut this piece. We then flipped it over and screwed the MDF board to the back of our frame. Then we took it into the bathroom and slid it into the drywall opening. It was a snug fit! Perfect!


My husband screwed the shelf in along the right and left sides to make sure it wouldn’t wiggle at all.

Next, measure and cut your decorative trim. This will hide the messy sides of your shelf and give it a finished look. We cut ours on a 45dg angle for the edges. I didn’t want to risk poking holes through the front of the trim and making a mess, so I used Liquid Nails to glue the trim onto the dry wall and painters tape to hold it in place. I left it overnight to dry.



So much better than a giant hole in the wall! And MUCH better than the mirrored cabinet. I used putty to fill in the screw holes and chalked all the edges to make them smooth and finished. Then, I used white semi-gloss paint to make my shelves white.

Here is the finished shelf!




Glad you stuck around for all my bathroom renovations! If you missed anything, start here for all the details! Let me know what you think!


5 thoughts on “Update Your Medicine Cabinet

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