Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pantry Progression

No, I haven’t gotten any more work done on the pantry, since I spent the weekend painting Grandma’s cabinets.

Here’s where I left off:

pantry doors

While I continue to create new swear words as I attempt to install the remainder of the pantry doors, I thought I’d show you how we built the pantry.

When Brandon’s old job was moving buildings, they were cleaning out their shop and offered him lots of free lumber/plywood, etc. It was all scraps to them, but it was free gold to us! Most of the plywood was CDX (i.e. not finish grade) but I decided not to care, because it was all a full 3/4” thick – so it had great strength, most of it wouldn’t show, and I could mud/sand/paint the rest.

Then we had to decide what kind of doors or closure would go on the pantry. I shopped around at Home Depot, Lowe's, and Menards where cabinet doors are $20+, so I also considered making my own doors, researching what materials I could use, what trim treatments would be easy but look good…

That’s when I got “Weekly Deals” email from Bailey’s Discount Center in North Judson, saying that they had a semi-load of cabinet doors for $.99 each!! Heaven! $.99 for doors to go on a pantry made of free wood seemed perfect.

I measured the dimensions of the wall that the pantry’d go on, Brandon hooked up the trailer, and we headed out to Bailey’s.

blank pantry wall

There were plenty of styles, but I chose these beautiful doors:

cabinet door

I did some quick cabinet designing at the Dairy Queen inside Bailey’s, decided I’d need about 24 doors, and then bought 30 to be safe.

Grandpa and I decided to create 4 independent pantry units that we could build in the garage and then install on the wall. (One of the units is deeper than the rest to accommodate serving dishes and extra appliances, etc.)

First, I painted the back of the wall to match the inside of the pantry, so it’d look all built-in, then we began installing the units.

pantry in progress

Each of the units is glued and screwed together, with a top and bottom, and 2 fixed shelves that correspond with the dimensions of the doors.

Grandpa and I created a base out of 2x6s that would serve as the toekick. We screwed the base into the studs of the wall, then screwed each pantry unit into it. We used L-brackets to secure each pantry unit to the wall, and also screwed each unit to each other.

pantry in progress

Once we had all 4 units in, I put a 1.5” facing strip of plywood on the 2 interior shelves to give us more room for the doors to hit (and to match the 1.5” that was the width of each upright (since they were 3/4” each x 2)), and began mudding and caulking the seams.

pantry shell complete

I also caulked and mudded any huge gaps that showed, since we knew our walls weren’t straight/level/plumb at all.


Then, I painted everything to look seamless, added adjustable interior shelves (with pegs), filled them up, and lived with the pantry looking like this for over a year.


Oh! I forgot to mention one of my biggest design flaws. So, instead of making the pantry 12” deep like regular cabinets, I thought that saving 1-whole-inch would really make my kitchen seem bigger, so Grandpa and I built each unit to be 11” deep. All that happened was a lot of things wouldn’t fit easily into the pantry and were sticking out about an inch. Womp-womp.

Before putting the doors on, therefore, I decided to extend out my pantry by at least an inch. I ended up using 1x2s, which are really 3/4” x 1.5” to do it. It was a lot of tedious work that I should have avoided by making 12” cabinets like a normal person.

I glued and nailed (thank you, pneumatic nailer) the pieces on.

1x2 facing

Then I primed and painted those, which brings me where we are today:

pantry doors

Woohoo! I know you loved that walk-through of pantry building.  If you’ve got any more questions about the building process or my gillions of mistakes, please feel free to ask! I’ll keep you updated as I add the rest of the doors, and finally trim out the top.

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