diy gun cabinet mounted on wall

How to build a DIY wooden gun cabinet?

While the most preferred method of storing your guns safely would be a gun safe, many people living in urban areas might want to display some of their rifles. Displaying your rifles over the fireplace or on the wall is something that could have your home looking more decorated, but instead of buying an expensive cabinet, you should know how to build a DIY wooden gun cabinet yourself.

DIY gun cabinet

Since many people don’t want to pay enormous amounts of money for a gun cabinet. Your gun might already be expensive enough and even though there are many affordable 9mm pistols, we have produced this simple step-by-step guide to building a wooden gun cabinet. You can use reclaimed materials, off-cuts and many other sources of wood for this project. The main material required will be some thick sheet materials such as ply or MDF.

DIY gun cabinet complete

What you will need

  • Pen and paper for planning
  • 3D rendering software
  • Supply of wood (recycled or restored) Ply and MDF
  • Nails
  • Door hinges
  • Sand, caulk & paint
  • Screws
  • Coloured felt
  • Locking mechanism
  • Glass panels (5mm toughened)

Step-by-step guide on how to build a DIY wooden gun cabinet at home

While this method is basic and effective, various other methods can also be used. Depending on the accessories, you want to add to the process, it could take much longer to build the gun cabinet.

1.     Planning

The first step would be planning the gun cabinet. You would need to measure the available space you have and draw a picture that could represent your gun cabinet. The picture could be locked in your mind, but indicating the measurements could make it more accurate. It can also be a great idea to map your cabinet out on 3D rendering software which can give you accurate measurements for cutting and joining pieces.

2.     Constructing The Frame

Once your planning is done, you want to move on to the frame. It is best to start building the outer frame first to ensure you have the correct measurements. The frame is constructed using 18mm plywood boards. These can be screwed together to make this simple frame. A shelf can be added for ammunition storage and smaller items.

DIY gun cabinet frame

3.     Adding the back panel

Next, you would want to add some panels to the rear of the wooden cabinet frame. For this, I would suggest a 9mm ply. This can simply be nailed into the frame from the back. This panel will add the rigidity to the cabinet.

An 18mm MDF board can now be fixed to the lower section of the cabinet. Two longer pieces of MDF or plywood should be screwed to the back panel and 30 10mm holes drilled in equal succession. Those will support the dowel pieces for supporting your guns.

DIY cabinet back panels

4.     Setting Up The Door

Every gun cabinet needs to have a secure door that will enable you to close the cabinet once you are done. You will need a few screws and door hinges to make sure that you have a functional door that can be opened and closed. It is optional to construct a door with a glass window to make your display more elegant. In this example I have added two doors with glass openings.

DIY gun cabinet doors

The glass panels can be inset into the door frame so that they are secure. This can be achieved by using a router to cut a 5mm gap at the back of the frame. The glass can then be placed into the gap and covered with a thinner piece of wood.

5.     The interior

On the inside of the gun cabinet, you might need to add a few additional features to hold your guns in place. Smaller guns like 1911 can make do with small racks.  These can be small racks that allow the gun to be firmly held or even slides as you would find in a safe. Your weapons must remain safe. Adding felt to the interior is also a nice finish and will prevent scratching and any other form of damage when placing items in there. You can pick from a number of colours to suit your taste.

felt colour options

The felt can simply be cut to size and glued into place using PVA glue. A camo backing might be perfect for this kind of job.

6.     Painting or varnishing the wood

One of the biggest frustrations you can deal with is pests and other small insects using the gun cabinet as a form of shelter. Varnish is one of the best additions to add your gun cabinet and it should deter any insects from making a nest. You also want to treat and paint the wood to ensure it does not rot and maintains the best quality.

varnish for wood

7.     Setting up your cabinet

Once your cabinet is constructed and you have allowed time for everything to dry, you can set it up on the wall or anywhere you want it displayed. It is best to use longer screws and the correct wall plugs for the type of wall you’re securing to. The weight of guns can be very heavy so make sure there are plenty of fixings. You don’t want it to fall and injure someone.

diy gun cabinet mounted on wall


A gun cabinet is a great way of displaying some of your prized possessions. If you live in an area where crime is not prominent, you could get away with a display case in your living quarters or hunting room. However, you should take the precautions of building a firm and sturdy gun cabinet to ensure that your weapons are properly protected. In most cases these will be kept behind further locked doors.

final DIY gun cabinet

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