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Top 5 Outdoor Storage Cabinets with Shelves

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You may not have the need for an actual storage shed. If you have a small yard, you may not even have the space for one. Still, you’ve got items that you don’t want to keep in the house or that need to be kept outdoors because that’s where they will be used. Smaller gardening tools, grill utensils, pool chemicals, and the like all need a secure home outside.

The trouble comes when you are trying to figure out where to store these items. Sure, you can store them in your garage, but you don’t want the garage to get piled up with stuff, and you don’t want to have to squeeze past a stack of things to get into your car. They just seem to want to fall down at the worst possible time.

If you have a carport, you have the same problem. In addition, those items may just be too tempting for some people if left in the sight of the street in a carport. You surely don’t want to come home from work to find that things are missing.

You need some kind of outdoor storage that will be secure, will keep your tools and such protected from the weather, and keep them sorted so that you can find just the one you want easily. Let’s look at some of the options available for that storage featuring shelving to keep your items easy to find.

Here’s the Top 5 Outdoor Cabinets with Built in Shelving

Rubbermaid – Rubbermaid makes a large assortment of outdoor storage ideas, from resin sheds to trash can storage to deck boxes and beyond. One of the most useful for outdoor storage is a 72-inch model featuring double doors and four shelves. The shelves are sturdy enough to store heavy tools such as drills, hammers, paint, and the like. It can hold a total of up to 690 pounds, and of course, it’s weatherproof.

Suncast – This is another brand that features a large variety of sizes and styles of cabinets and other storage options. The BMS1500 is a popular model that is rather unusual in looks, featuring a wood grain look. It’s actually made of double-walled resin, making it very durable. It also features a reinforced floor so that you don’t have to worry about storing heavy items. It has double front doors with convenient handles that can hold a padlock easily. There are several supports molded to the inside to hold shelving.

Keter High Store Vertical Outdoor Storage Shed – Keter is another name that keeps coming up when looking for outdoor storage. The high store vertical outdoor shed is perfect for people who have both tall and short outdoor items to be stored. It stands about 55 inches long by 30 inches deep and 72 inches tall giving it 55 cubic feet of storage space. There are also other similar models in various sizes to suit your needs.

Rubbermaid Plastic Large Vertical Outdoor Storage Shed – This shed can hold a lot, but it does look more like a cabinet than a shed, so don’t be put off by the name. It’s made of double-walled resin, so you don’t have to worry about rot or rust. The floor is designed to be impact-resistant. This model is fairly customizable with shelving, racks or pegboards. Of course, it can store long or short items.

Atlantis Outdoor Kitchens – If you aren’t satisfied with just an outdoor grill and really want to have an outdoor kitchen for entertaining, you can actually have a kitchen complete with cabinets. This company can fulfill your dream. While stainless still is the choice for many outdoor kitchens, with its ease of cleaning, it does require having a roof that will keep the weather away from your kitchen.

In addition, if you live in a humid climate, the moisture in the air may eventually affect your stainless steel unless you keep an eye on it. Atlantis offers cabinetry made of a resin certified by the FDA as suitable for food contact. It’s also resistant to UVA rays and is weatherproof. They even offer kitchen islands on wheels with cabinet storage built in to facilitate the need for counter space while being capable of being moved out of the way when needed. Check out Amazons full line of cabinets here.

Pros and Cons of Outdoor Storage Cabinets with Shelves

Rubbermaid 72-inch cabinet.

Pros: This cabinet is versatile, with the capability of having more than one stacked on top of each other. They also easily mount to garage walls, giving you storage off the floor and out of the way. The smaller size means that they are also movable in case you need to rearrange your space at some time in the future. Assembly, if needed, is fairly simple and easy.

Cons: These units are made solely for smaller items, so if you have long-handled tools such as rakes, you’ll need someplace else to store those.

Suncast BMS1500.

Pros: This model is constructed of double-walled resin. This construction along with the reinforced floor makes this choice very durable, able to hold heavier items. Of course, the resin makes it weather-resistant and impervious to rot, and you won’t need to paint it. The wood-look outer surface makes it more attractive than some other storage options. The doors can easily accommodate a padlock for security. Assembly is fairly straightforward.

Cons: While the shed features built-in supports for shelves, the shelves themselves are not provided. It can hold up to four shelves. It is rather a narrow cabinet, so if you want to store taller items such as a shovel, you’ll be limited to one or perhaps two shelves at the upper end.

Keter High Store Vertical Outdoor Storage Shed.

Pros: This shed is versatile, made out of weather-resistant materials. The walls are reinforced with ribs for extra strength. The unit features adjustable brackets for two shelves, plus the wall construction allows for drilling holes to provide extra shelving or hooks. Even with shelves, there is still enough room below for those long-handled tools. It can also be painted to match or accent your home.

Cons: If you want to install shelves, they must be purchased separately. If you like the weather resistance of a resin unit, there is a similar model available in resin, but of course, you won’t be able to drill holes in the walls of that model.

Rubbermaid Plastic Large Vertical Outdoor Storage Shed.

Pros: This is one of the best-rated resin units available. While it’s touted as a shed, it won’t stick out from your wall as much as you might think. The handles are able to be locked, and the shed features double doors for easy access to larger equipment. It’s deep enough to store a walking mower or small grill. The interior is versatile, allowing for the addition of shelving or other storage items. Of course, the sturdy resin construction is weather-resistant.

Cons: While assembly is not very complicated, this shed will take more than one person to put together. The shelving and other possible storage aids are not included.

Atlantis Outdoor Kitchens.

Pros: If you love to cook and entertain outside, you can design just the outdoor kitchen you want, complete with storage. Cabinets can be constructed on a wall just as they are indoors or can be added to a kitchen island on caster wheels that can be moved out of the way when not needed.

Cons: You will need to construct some kind of roofing or other protection from the weather if you’re going to have an outdoor kitchen. Your appliances as well as your cabinets need protection from sudden downpours. Flooring is also important. It needs to be easy to keep clean as well as being slip-resistant. While there are many options to peruse, having a full or nearly full kitchen outdoors will end up costing quite a bit of money.

Are Rubbermaid Cabinets Waterproof?

Several brands of outdoor cabinets feature models stated to be waterproof, and Rubbermaid is no exception. While any cabinet constructed of resin is usually touted as being weather-resistant, if you really are concerned about your cabinet being waterproof, look for that in the description. Other popular brands featuring models said to be waterproof include Suncast and Sterilite. If your interested in building your own cabinet check out my article How Do You Make a Waterproof Storage Box?

How Do I Weatherproof My Outdoor Cabinets?

If you have wooden cabinets you want to use outside, you’ll need to strip off any paint or old finish. There are several choices for finishes to use to weatherproof regular cabinets. While you’ll need to install them in a protected area where they won’t be subjected to rain and other weather problems, there will be moisture in the air from time to time, and you don’t want them to form mold or rot. Another consideration is that you won’t want to use these products on the inside of the cabinets, as they are not rated as being safe for food products or utensils.

Marine varnish or sealant is a really good choice. Since it’s designed for use on or near the water, it’s the perfect choice for your outdoor wood. Another choice for a finish is polyurethane. It usually comes in either a spray can or needs a brush to apply. One of the newer choices is a clear rubber coating that goes on much like paint. Once it dries, it is virtually invisible but really protects the wood.

You can also investigate wood protectants made for wooden decks. Some feature not only weather-resistant properties but also contain substances that resist mildew. Check the directions carefully, as some need to be reapplied every so often. A good brand of exterior paint is another choice. Check out my article What’s The Best Outdoor Waterproof Storage Box? for even more ideas and tips.

Can You Use Regular Cabinets Outdoors?

Regular cabinets are usually made for indoor use and thus aren’t made to be resistant to rot or weather, since they don’t encounter these problems indoors. While cabinets are sometimes made of stainless steel, they can rust, even those designed for outdoor use. Outdoor cabinetry designed for an outdoor kitchen is available made from a poly material.

It’s resistant to both weather and UV rays, and the material is approved by the FDA for use with food.

While it’s possible to make regular cabinets weather-resistant, it may be more economical, and certainly less work, to simply purchase cabinets designed for outdoor use, especially if you plan to have an outdoor kitchen rather than a simple grill and a cabinet to store utensils.

How Do I Build a Garden Storage Cabinet?

Building a simple cabinet can be as simple as building a frame, installing the sides, back and bottom, and installing the doors.

You’ll need some 2 x 4s for your frame. You can use 3/4-inch plywood for the covering. Be sure to get plywood rated for outdoor use. Even though you will probably want to add some weatherproofing, every little bit of protection helps. You can use nails or screws for attaching everything, but the nails should be made of stainless steel to be weather resistant. If you prefer screws, they should be deck screws for the same reason.

Construct a frame from the 2 x 4s to the proper dimensions. Don’t forget to build a bottom frame and be sure to waterproof it before going further. You might also consider adding small blocks for feet but use weatherproofing on them as well.

Spread your waterproofing substance on one side of the floor panel and let it dry thoroughly. Install your plywood on the inside of the frame with the coated side down. In measuring, a good rule of thumb is to take the finished width and depth of the cabinet and subtract the depth of the frame wood. If the fit is too tight, a little sanding on the edges will help. Continue installing the rest of the plywood except for the front.

You’ll want to install your doors inset into the front frame. Measure the frame opening, then cut a piece of plywood slightly smaller all the way around. See how easily it fits into the opening and sand the edges down if needed. Cut the piece in half lengthwise for two doors. Install two hinges on each door and into the back of the frame so that only the hinge posts show, and the doors open outwards. Finish the rest of the outside with your weatherproofing material, then install a handle on one or both doors.


As you can see there are several options for outdoor storage cabinets with shelves, and depending on your budget and skill level you can buy them or build one yourself.

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