Anyone with valuables needs a special place to stash them. The best place to store something is where no one thinks to look. A secret door leading to a secret space is the perfect solution. Though complex and expensive secret doors are available, it is cheaper to create a false-wall door. A paneled wall is the ideal surface but this door can also be installed on drywall.
You will need:
• Wood saw
• 2×4 lumber
• 1×6 lumber
• Base molding
• 1-inch caster with a rounded shaft
• 3 heavy-duty hinges
• Ball latch
• Wood chisel
• Wood planer or sandpaper
• Tape measure
• Drywall tape, paint color to match wall, paintbrush (optional)
Step 1: If starting from the point of constructing a dividing wall, include a door frame. A standard door frame can also be converted into a secret door.
Step 2: Use the tape measure to determine the height, depth, and width of the door frame and the height, width, and distance to the door latch. Purchase two 1x6s that meet or slightly exceed the depth of the door frame. These will form the top and bottom of the secret door. Cut each piece two inches shorter than the width of the door frame. Purchase 3 pieces of lumber with the same height as the door frame, selecting 2×4 lumber for the middle piece. Use two 1x6s for the outside frame, cutting each to 1 inch shorter than the height of the door frame. Cut the 2×4 to 3 inches shorter than the door frame height.
Step 3: Measure the bottom 1×6 to find the center lengthwise and widthwise. Nail the 2×4 to the center of the bottom 1×6 board. Hammer 2 nails into each side of the center point and nail the top board into the opposite end of the 2×4 center support.
Step 4: Attach the 1×6 boards for the sides of the frame. Use the T-square to create a 90-degree angle between the bottom of the outer board and the bottom board. Use 2 to 3 nails to nail the side board into place. Repeat the process on the opposite side. The resulting rectangle should match the width of the door frame and be 1 inch shorter than the height of the frame.
Step 5: The hinges should be evenly spaced across the left side of the door frame. Mark the area where the hinges will be placed. Place each hinge in a spot and draw its outline. Chisel out the appropriate area on the outer left side of the frame. One side of each hinge should fit into the wood without protruding. Chisel to the outside of the wood to provide room for the interlocking section of the hinge. If necessary, follow the same process to chisel out an area for the hinges on the door frame.
Step 6: Dry fit the hinges, make necessary adjustments, and install them so the door will open inward.
Step 7: Mark the spot on the bottom board that is 2 inches from the meeting point with the outer right board. Drill a hole at this spot, making it wide enough to accommodate the caster. Install the caster.
Step 8: Drill a matching hole in the frame and door for the location of the ball latch. Follow the latch instructions to install the latch.
Step 9: Have someone help stand the secret door up in the new door frame. Screw the hinges into the frame. Plane or sand the outer right and top boards to reduce the force needed to open the door.
Step 10: Cut a drywall sheet to the dimensions of the door, leaving ½-inch between the drywall and the floor. Install the drywall on the door.
Step 11: Install the base molding to cover the ½-inch space at the bottom of the door. You should now see a barely detectable outline of the door. This can be covered by a bookcase mounted on wheels, some posters, or partially-attached drywall seam tape covered by paint that matches the color of the wall.