How to Build Your Own TV Lift Cabinet

There are plenty of affordable & motorized TV lift cabinets obtainable on the market. However, if your preferred design and size are not available in the market, your only option may be to build your own. 

Don't worry if you don't have experience building a tv lift cabinet because we're here to help. In this blog post, we'll show you how to build a TV lift cabinet. But before we go into that, let's first discuss how a TV lift works. 

How Does a TV Lift Work?

TV lift uses electrical energy to activate a linear actuator. More often than not, your TV is mounted to this actuator mechanism. With a simple push of a button, the linear actuator either pushes the TV up or down.

The TV lift is powered by electricity, so make sure that you build it near a wall outlet. 

The best option is always to buy a high-quality and affordable tv lift mechanism thats already been built and tested for your needs.

Choose Between Floor or Rear Mount 

You can attach rear mount TV lifts to existing furniture in your house, such as a cabinet or console. On the other hand, a floor mount is the best option if you don't want to attach the TV lift to a stand or the furniture you have doesn't have a back or has a different shape. Also, this option is advisable if you want to create an under bed tv lift. 

Create Your TV Lift Cabinet 

To create a TV lift cabinet, you need the following tools and materials: 

  • Tools 
    • Tape measure
    • Framing square
    • Circular saw
    • Level
    • Wrench and socket set
    • Drill and bits
    • Paint roller
    • Stud finder
    • Utility knife
  • Materials 
    • 50+ lb. linear actuator and bracket kit
    • Remote control unit
    • 120v to 12v wall transformer
    • Piece of 5/8" plywood
    • 1/2" wood screws
    • One piano hinge
    • Paint (black or wall color)
    • Four 1/2" x 1" bolts, washers, and locknuts
    • Four TV wall-mount screws
    • Flat-screen LCD or LED TV

Step 1: Select a Linear Actuator

A linear actuator is an electric motor fastened to a worm drive and a track. It allows the lift to move up and down. When choosing a 12v linear actuator, pick the ones with built-in end stops. They can make installation and wiring easier. Also, make sure that its weight capacity at least 50 percent higher than the TV and the stroke length is at least 1 to 2 inches longer than the height of your TV. 

Step 2: Pick a Switch 

When choosing a switch, pick a double pole double throw (DPDT) switch rated for 12v and 10 amps. Installing the switch requires only two pairs of wires: 12v in and out. However, make sure to order a 12v wall plug transformer rated 50 percent above the actuator amperage. 

For this TV lift stand or under bed TV lift, we need a 10 amp transformer. Using this setup limits the power of the wall outlet to just 12v. It makes the installation easier and safer for beginner DIYers. 

Step 3: Install the Actuator 

The actuator should be installed behind the TV. With that said, begin the installation process by finding all studs near the actuator position. Remove the drywall from inside the face of adjacent studs--expose a cavity that will fit the actuator. 

After that, install blocking and a piece of 5/8" plywood across the cavity. Be sure to get the proper depth-- the actuator bracket should protrude at least 3/4" from the wall. Also, get the right height. The bracket should be close to the top of the enclosure. Use wood screws to mount the actuator into the plywood. 

Step 4: Create a Door

You need to have an operable door, especially if you're making an outdoor tv lift cabinet. 

Creating an operable door to conceal the TV is easy. You only need a piano hinge and install it on the mantel top. Doing this allows a 4"x30" piece of painted plywood to close over the TV when retracted. Make sure to add felt pads to the backside of the door. This will prevent direct contact with the plastic side bezels of the TV. 

Step 5: Build a Mounting Plate and Install TV

You only need a piece of plywood to create the mounting plate between the actuator bracket and the TV.  

First, get a large piece of paper. Locate and transfer the screw-hole pattern from the back of the TV and the actuator bracket to the paper template. 

After that, cut a piece of 5/8" plywood, then attach the TV on the mount using 1/2" x 1" bolts, washers, and locknuts at the actuator bracket. 

If your TV has wall-mount bracket screws, consider buying longer ones (25MM) with similar threads so it would fit through the plywood. 

Once done, consider placing a wood block on the TV mounting plate. Doing this will keep the door after the TV passes. You can skip this step, but the door could damage the mount or TV.

After that, test the tv lift stand. Check if it moves up and down swiftly. If it works properly, do some finishing touches. Do a little sanding, then paint the tv lift stand so it would match the interior of your house. 

If you decide to buy your own pre-built unit, we highly recommend the Whisper Lift II TV Lift.

If you have more questions about tv lift stand or under bed TV lift, feel free to contact us.