Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Pantry Revamp, Part 1: The prep work

It's not news that having a small pantry has been a big challenge for me, but after tons of trial and plenty of error, I finally have a setup that works! It took a lot of time and steps to get to this point, so I'm breaking this up into 3 posts. This is Part 1!

So a while ago (many months, egad!), I posted this photo:

While my husband was working from home one day, I heard a loud crash downstairs. We both ran to find that the temporary spice rack had fallen to the floor. The tiny nails I had used to hang it just weren't strong enough to hold up all those glass jars. Despite the mess here, I was thrilled to find that only 2 spice jars were actually broken.

Since it was a temporary solution anyway, I took some measurements and bought some wood, fully planning to make a new, custom shelving unit for the door. I had sketched out plans and everything, and bought all the wood I'd need....except that I've never worked with actual wood before, so I assumed that a 2x4 was 2 inches by 4 inches. For anyone else who apparently missed this big memo...wood is measured by its "green" size, before it's dried out and shrunk, so what you buy in the store is a good half inch smaller all around. The particular boards I had purchased for the door shelving turned out far too small to work, so I had to return them, and came home with some supplies to add some small shelves around the inside of the pantry instead.

Of course, as I was putting these in....I realized that the inside of the pantry was horridly dirty looking (you can see some of the odd scribbles here). The walls looked like someone had taken an entire box of crayons and scribbled all over...and I'm pretty sure this was never painted before. So, I emptied out the entire pantry and painted it.
(This was a great opportunity to throw out anything we didn't need, but it still wasn't enough. More on that later!)

This moment of hilarity happened while trying to get our extra shelf out...I had to break out the rubber mallet to get it apart. 

I also scrubbed the existing shelves, some of which were oddly colored in spots and had some gunk that wasn't ours. Ew. I'm just glad they fit in the bathtub. I tried several cleaners, but in the end a simple mixture of dish soap and baking soda with some elbow grease got them looking like new again.

Since the stains inside the pantry were so bad, I primed all the walls first, then followed up with a coat of regular white trim paint we had lying around.

I'll explain how I build and installed the new side shelves in Part 2!

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