Ever since he was a child, Imgur user OhSkizz wanted a secret door in his house, that can be activated by a secret switch, just like in an old haunted mansion. His house held a Jack & Jill bathroom that opened into the master bedroom on one side, and the living room on the other. Deciding that the door in the living room was unsightly, but the bathroom no doubt useful, OhSkizz set about designing the perfect way to mask that eyesore.

via OhSkizz

The Frame
The door they built had smaller dimensions that an average door. They used two pieces of wood measuring 2”x4”x8’ and one piece measuring 2”x6”x8’ to create the frame.

Shelving Insert
The shelving insert was built using three pieces of wood measuring 1”x6”x8’. You may want to use a longer piece, depending on how many shelves you want your unit to have.

Shelving Attached To Door Frame
Screws and glue were used on the inside of the shelving to secure it to the frame. The best way is the make pocket holes around the frame, then screw in the shelving, and sand for a smooth finish.

Test Fit

So Far The Cat Likes It!
Homemade Stain
For a rustic look, fill a jar with vinegar and place a ball of steel wood inside. Leave it to soak overnight. Brush the mixture onto the wood and let it dry for an oxidized, grey-purple finish.

Stain Being Applied
Different species of wood react differently with the vinegar/steel wool mixture. The resultant colour when the stain is applied depends on the levels of “tannins” in the wood. Oak, cedar, redwood, and fir have a high lever of “tannins” whereas pine has a lesser amount. You can add black tea leaves into your mixture to boost the concentration of “tannins” if necessary.

Staining Complete!

The Result After The Stain Has Dried

Back Panel And Hinges Mounted
Tongue and groove panelling was added. The panels were cut and screwed into place, then stained with the same vinegar/steel wool mixture. Even though black tea leaves were added to try and match the stains, the panelling still came out lighter. The hinges used were heavy-duty quality. They attached them using two screws fixed to the door frame, and two screws attached to the 2”x4” pieces in the wall framing to prevent sagging over time.

Covering The Hinges
Trim was purchased at Home Depot, cut to size and used to cover the hinges. The areas of trim directly masking the hinges were carved out with a dremel to properly shield the hinges.

Trim Stapled Down To Be Flush With The Door

Trim Close Up
The trim was sanded so it would not bind on the door frame. This also helps with the flushness, but also allows the door to be open and closed.

It Opens!

Trim Stained To Match

The Latch
Obviously a secret door needs to be opened with a secret latch.

How The Book Latch Works
One you have chosen the book you want to use, cut out a wedge of pages from inside the book. Insert a piece of wood with a screw attached to the back for mounting fishing line. Then glue the piece of wood into the book and hinge it to the bookcase. This allows the book to move, but also activate the latch.

The Latch Again
OhSkizz wanted the latch to be activated with a book, but also wanted the ability to lock the latch from the inside. He found the best option was a gate latch. This latch, purchased on Amazon, was attached to a 2”x4” block to keep the unit flush, and to allow the catching metal pin to latch properly.

Latch Installed

All Rigged Up!

Final Product!