So we just bought our first house and one of the biggest problems I had was the pantry. The shelving was the main issue. For one thing, they had a weird shape because the shelves go back farther on the right. They were also gross and flimsy. Ugh! So Chris and I decided that the pantry makeover was project #1!
For inspiration I used these two blog posts:
The House of Smiths
Idle Hands Awake
Look how gross those shelves are? I tried scrubbing them to see if they were salvageable. I scrubbed the paint off with the grime. With how small and flimsy they were, we decided to just replace them. The pantry was awkwardly shaped too, so it wasn’t going to be easy.
So here is my list of materials:
Decorative trim from Home Depot (I needed two.)
3/4 inch 2×4 MDF boards (I needed two of these as well.)
Command Broom & Mop Gripper
Crafty Rabbit Set of 8 Decorative Paper Masking Tape Rolls – Black and White
Kwikset Cove Hall/Closet Knob in Venetian Bronze
Adhesive Shelving Liner
I didn’t need to replace the brackets or wall mounts so that saved me some money. We had paint, brushes, painters tape, and wood glue on hand so didn’t need to purchase that.
Started with repainting the pantry. I scrubbed it down, but it was pretty yellow. I had a small can of white paint already, but you can get them from Walmart for less than $10.
While that was drying I traced the shelves onto the MDF boards.
Since we are new to home-ownership, we don’t have many tools. So I went to my handy Dad who cut them out for me using a radial saw. It’s kind of an odd shape so it took some time, but he got it all figured out. I sanded down the edges, and gave them one coat of paint. I also put one coat of paint on the trim.
After the first coat of paint dried, Chris used wood glue to attach the trim. That took 24 hours to dry and I spent that time in the pantry.
The old door knob was falling off and the paint was peeling off it. It was easy for Chris to replace, and made a big difference on how it looked. The new knob is beautiful. It’s inexpensive so it isn’t very heavy duty. But for how much it cost, it was definitely a good purchase. It does the job.
The fun part! To figure out how much washi tape you need is actually not too difficult. First, pick your shape. I used a hexagon with three inch sides. Printed it out, cut it out, and traced it on a cereal box. I traced as many as I could onto the box so I ended up with eight hexagons.
I put those up on the wall using masking tape. That’s about 18 inches of tape per hexagon, so multiply that by the number of hexagons that fit on the wall. Or you can figure out how many hexagons are in a square foot and multiply that by the square footage of the closet. So I needed about 2,600 inches of tape, which meant about 7 rolls of tape. I ordered 8 so I could have plenty of extra tape for mistakes. This next part was the most time consuming. Using masking tape, attach the hexagons about an inch apart (or however far apart you want them.) You can do it by shelf or up and down each side, just pick a pattern. It makes it a lot easier. Tape around the edges.
It helps to cut a lot of pieces of tape, then attach them. I stuck them on the hexagons so they were convenient and easy to access. Move the hexagons as you go. This was the most time consuming part, other than the paint and glue drying. The more you touch the tape/move the tape, the less it sticks. So after a few hours, go back and check the areas you’ve already done. Press any loose pieces down and replace as needed.
Once the wood glue is dry, it’s time for paint! Sand down any rough spots and wipe off any dust. Apply another coat of paint. It’s important to do this after you attached the trim because it helps to hide the seam. I did three coats on top, two coats on the bottom. Make sure to let each coat dry.
I got some plain white adhesive liner to keep my paint safe. Looking at how nasty the old shelves were, I wanted to make sure the shelves would be easy to keep clean. It was easy to cut them to the right sizes and just peel-and-stick. They were easy to apply, and they look great! They are also available in other colors and patterns. I like the white because it’s simple, and my kitchen is mainly black and white. I wanted to make it easy to change up the color scheme later. You can also get some that are not adhesive, but I don’t like those as much. The non-adhesive ones tend to bunch up. I liked the adhesive because they’re easy to apply, and to keep clean.
Once the liners were on, the shelves went back into the pantry. It was time to organize! I read tons of different pantry organization plans, but I didn’t have the extra cash for a fancy organization system. I also have lots of cabinet space, so my pantry wasn’t too full. I just went with what worked for me. The top shelf was the most stable and had the most room. I wanted some more counter space because that was what I was lacking. So I used the top shelf for appliances: my KitchenAid, toaster, and blender. The second shelf has my popcorn popper and canned goods. Most of my cans are in my cold storage so the pantry just has the ones I want on hand.
Next is paper products and vases -random stuff. Trash bags, paper plates, and water bottles are up front and easy to grab, while things like vases are farther back because I don’t use them frequently. Bottom shelf has a tote full of miscellaneous dry goods – things like oatmeal, ramen, and granola bars. I put it on the bottom shelf so we could see what’s in it. Also down there is the pop, because we don’t drink it often. My Tardis cookie jar is there just because it fit.
Then I put up my command hook broom holder!
The only thing left is the floor, which I haven’t figured out what to do with yet. Hopefully, we can find the wood laminate that matches the kitchen and install that. Until then I just get to ignore it. But it’s a lot easier to ignore now that the rest of it looks beautiful.
Now the best part!
Before and After
Just for Fun
This is my beautiful counter!
Now I can finally see it and have room to cook on! I forgot to take a before, but the difference is huge! I’m excited to find something to decorate the corner with. My Tardis cookie jar might have to make an appearance.
Overall, I’m very happy with the results! It comes down to making your pantry work for you. Don’t try to emulate another person’s pantry if the layout doesn’t match, or you don’t have the same things in there. Make it functional for you! Any ideas for me? Comment away!
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