How to Build a Floating Credenza – Easy DIY Guide

How to Build a Floating Credenza – Easy DIY Guide

This easy DIY is the perfect substitute for a TV stand, a traditional dresser or even a desk.

A “fauxdenza” is the unofficial term for a floating credenza — a cabinet attached to the wall that appears to be floating instead of standing on four legs.

This modern spin on the traditional credenza can be customized to fit your space perfectly. And because both the cabinets and the wood around them can be customized, the design possibilities are endless.

This easy tutorial will show you how to build your own floating credenza — and how to make it work hard for your space with loads of “secret” storage.


  • Cabinets
  • Suspension rail (if using IKEA cabinets)
  • Cabinet screws
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Wood primer
  • Wood sealer
  • 2 quality paintbrushes
  • Sanding sponge
  • Saw
  • Wood veneer
  • Iron
  • Utility knife

Rookie Tip: Aside from assembling the actual cabinet, getting the wood prepped is probably the most time-consuming part of this entire project. Prepping the wood is not difficult, but it does require a series of steps. Because of the different steps and the dry time required, we recommend building in a few days of prep time for the wood.

Step 1: Assemble the cabinets

We bought two IKEA cabinets for our fauxdenza, because they were affordable and we loved how many size, color and style options were available. However, this meant that we had to assemble them before we could even get started hanging them.

If putting the cabinets together from scratch doesn’t interest you, buying pre-built cabinets is always an option. We’ve done this project for other spaces and used pre-built cabinets, which definitely saves time.

Step 2: Cut the wood to size

You need three pieces of wood for this project — one for the top and two identical pieces for each side. To figure out the side panels, measure the side panels of the cabinet, and cut your wood to these exact dimensions.

The top piece is just a bit trickier. It will cover the top of the cabinets, but it also needs to be a little longer on each side to cover the depth of the two pieces of wood you’ll attach on the sides of the fauxdenza.

To get this exact measurement, measure the length and width of the top of the cabinets (with the cabinet doors attached). Then take that width measurement and add the measurement of the depth of the two side boards to the length of the top. So if you were to put it on top of the cabinets, the wood would be just a bit longer on each side of the cabinets, because it will eventually meet up with the side boards.

For example, my cabinets were 48 inches long, and the boards on the sides were 3/4 inches deep. I added the 3/4 inches twice (for each side board) to the 48 inches and got my top board cut 49.5 inches long to cover the entire top.

Step 3: Add the wood veneer

Now that the wood is cut and fits perfectly around your cabinets, it’s time to start prepping it to match your design preference.

We bought thick plywood for this project because it was the most affordable. However, the edges of plywood are unfinished and raw.

To make this wood look much more high-end, we used wood veneer. This magical product will trick everyone into thinking your wood is way fancier than a thick piece of plywood.

All you have to do is iron the wood veneer on to all the edges of the wood that will be exposed. As you slowly apply the heat of the iron to the edges, the veneer will permanently stick. The best part of is that you can stain or paint this veneer to match the rest of the wood.

Rookie Tip: The veneer size worked perfectly on this piece of wood, so I didn’t have any excess veneer hanging over the side of the edge. However, if your piece of wood and veneer do not match up as perfectly, take a utility knife and cut off any extra veneer hanging over the side.

Step 4: Treat the wood

Treating the wood is important because you can make your fauxdenza look custom to your space and your style. With stain or paint, the wood can transform this fauxdenza into a piece that fits perfectly in your home.

For our fauxdenza, we wanted to keep the wood looking natural and light, so we opted to put on one coat of wood primer, followed by three coats of wood sealer.

It’s important to read the directions to effectively apply these products to your wood (and the veneer). Follow the manufacturer’s directions on sanding, brush quality and dry time to get the best end result.

Step 5: Hang the cabinets

Now that the wood is prepped and drying, it’s time to hang the cabinets to create the floating credenza look. Since we bought our cabinets from IKEA, they came with a suspension rail that we secured to the wall to hang the cabinets on.

If you don’t have a suspension rail, use heavy-duty cabinet screws and drill the cabinet to the wall in several places, hitting as many studs as you can to secure the cabinet safely.

Not securing the cabinet to the rail system or onto the wall could be very dangerous for kids or pets, so make sure they’re on securely!

Rookie Tip: We hung our fauxdenza 6 inches from the floor, but the height should be based on your own preference. We chose 6 inches because it would allow us to hide an outlet behind the cabinet. By cutting out the back of the cabinet with a jigsaw, we can use this outlet inside of the fauxdenza.

Step 6: Attach the wood

By this time, the wood should be dried and ready to add to the fauxdenza. Be extremely precise when attaching the wood so it aligns with the other pieces of wood and covers the cabinet perfectly. We prefer to start by attaching the wood to each side of the cabinet, and then attaching the large top piece of wood last.

The other key to attaching this wood to the cabinets is to use a screw that’s long enough to go through the cabinet and securely catch the wood, without being long enough to puncture all the way through the wood.

Measure the depth of your cabinet and the depth of the wood, and buy a screw that is just slightly shorter. Then firmly hold up the pieces of wood to each side and drill the screws into each corner of the piece of wood. This is definitely a two-person job.

Follow that same step until all three pieces are attached to the cabinet.

Step 7: Get organized

After you admire all of your hard work, it’s time to get organized and make those cabinets work for you and your household. We love the fauxdenza not only because it’s stylish, affordable and totally customizable, but also because it offers a lot of secret storage.

We filled this fauxdenza up with office supplies, and we were so surprised at how much space it offers. It now holds a lot of our files and office essentials. We even used the outlet behind the fauxdenza to plug in and conceal our printer.

Who would ever guess that this stylish piece of custom furniture could offer such amazing storage too?


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