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How We Built Our Integrated Dog Cabinet

Our recent laundry room renovation includes a sweet spot for our puppy, Rose. We actually have two small dogs. The elder claims the master suite, while the new pup gets the doghouse, or in this case, a cabinet / kennel in the laundry room! Rose, is only 8 months old, and still in potty training school. For us, we do puppy potty training 101 with the help of a dog kennel. When we are away or sleeping, Rose is in the kennel.

Currently, we are using a traditional kennel, but hopefully around the time Rose celebrates her first birthday we can get rid of the kennel, and gain some space back.

I researched a bunch of ideas and ultimately decided to modify an unfinished pre-fab oak cabinet. Yes, you'll have to deal with a little oak grain (I can discuss that later), but overall, I'd say this is a fairly easy an inexpensive project.

Building An Integrated Dog Cabinet:

Materials: Cabinet with a real, solid wood door // chicken wire // staples // paint & primer // sand paper // 1/4 inch 8x4 sheet of flooring underlayment // finish nails

Tools: Skill saw // drill // large drill bit // heavy duty stapler // wire cutters // sander // finish nailer and compressor

Our Steps:

1. Make any modifications necessary to your cabinet. In our case, we had to knock out a shelf. Lightly sand the cabinet, wipe it down, and put first coat of paint on it.

We knock out this shelf!

2. Take the door off the cabinet and drill a hole in each of the 4 corners of the cabinet using a large drill bit. The hole needs to be large enough to fit the Skill Saw blade.

3. Using the Skill Saw, insert the skill saw blade into a corner hole. Run the blade down the groove on all four sides, in order to cut out the interior door panel.

4. Lightly sand and add another coat of paint to your door frame. This is the point when I realized that the wood grain was showing through, so I opted to put on a coat of zinsser primer. All of our cabinets were primed with this!

5. Measure the chicken wire needed to frame your door opening. Cut to size using wire clippers, leaving enough room to secure the wire to the door frame. Pull the wire tight on the backside of the cabinet door frame. Staple. (You'll probably need an extra set of hands for this step). Use caution, as we had a couple of areas where the staple split the wood frame.

6. Screw the door back onto the cabinet and add the door hardware.

7. Using 1/4 inch thick flooring underlayment, cut 4 pieces to fit around the interior side of the door. Make sure your pieces fit inside of where the door closes. The purpose of this step is to cover the chicken wire on the interior side. Caulk and paint.

We are slowly introducing Rose to her space. Yes, a few treats are involved, and hopefully one day she will choose the cabinet, over the kennel!

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