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The Pantry: Before and After

The kids start school on August 10th. As I write this post, that's less than a week away. We really want to be fully organized, or as organized as possible, because organization is good for everyone. Our goal was to have both the pantry and the drop zone/ cubbies in place and functional before school started, but it looks like we will have to settle for just a functional pantry.

Here's where we started with this project:

Ground zero, nada, zilch, zero. Yes, that's where we started.....nothing. This large house had no real pantry and for our family of six, a true dedicated pantry is important. The original cabinets featured a tall built in, maybe 24 inch wide pantry. When evaluating the layout of our space and future renovation we felt certain that we could access the hallway coat closet (which backed up to the kitchen, and create our much needed pantry. We asked our contractor to cut through the sheetrock and create our opening, and close in the old hallway door.


With the space open, we needed to add flooring to match the kitchen. This is when we had our pine versus oak debate. We purchased yellow pine for the pantry and to patch some other areas. After bringing home the yellow pine and matching it up to newly exposed and unfinished flooring, we made the discovery that we actually had heart pine floors. Score!! However, with yellow pine already purchased and in our house, we went with yellow pine in the pantry. We hope that in the kitchen to pantry transition, no one will notice the yellow pine versus heart pine difference.

Shelving and Organization:

Dreaming about our pantry was really fun, but bottom line for us (as it usually is) is the money. While we loved the thought of an entire wall of tile or granite countertop in the pantry, we went with functional and cost efficient! This meant utilizing our shelving from the old office and entertainment center demo. Nothing fancy, just some storage and organization. We took several pantry pointers from Chris Loves Julia.

Weekend One: We contemplated some layouts and considered our needs: food storage, overflow Costco storage, microwave housing, pet food, some produce storage (onions and potatoes)

Weekend Two: Jason finishing up the shelving. I primed, caulked and filled in nail holes. I was pretty sure that much of our refurbished shelving had been painted with an oil based paint, so I wanted a good primer and went with an oil-based Kilz.

Painting and Trim:

Weekend 3: With the shelving in place, I was tasked with the final coats of paint, while Jason faced the shelving with final trim. We had a Sherwin Williams semi-gloss paint left over from a color match to our Ikea kitchen cabinets. After rolling two coats of paint, we let the last coat dry for 48 hours before putting anything on the shelves. According to the professional painters, the longer you let the shelves dry, the stronger the finish and less likely the paint with stick and pull off the surface.

And then came the stuff......

Next up.......building the barn door for the pantry!

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