February 23, 2011

Kitchen Pantry Makeover DIY Installing Wood Wrap Around Shelving to Replace Wire Shelves

kitchen pantry makeover DIY
Today I replaced the wire shelving in my pantry with wrap around wood shelves
and I couldn't be happier.

I cut the lengths of wood I needed for it yesterday so I could get started first thing today.
It took about 5 hours from start to finish.

kitchen pantry makeover DIY before
This is my before....just keeping it real y'all. 

 It's an abyss and a constant battle with those 2 ft deep shelves where boxes and bottles
won't stand up straight or things end up falling through the wire.  
I have to move stuff around every time I'm looking for something.

After reorganizing it for the hundredth time,
 I decided there had to be a better way.

Here's what I did...

kitchen pantry wire shelf makover
I ripped the old shelves out, patched the holes and repainted

kitchen pantry with wood shelving
Do yourself a favor and get the pre-primed wood pieces for the shelving
....what a time saver. 
I used standard sizes I found at Home Depot so all I had to cut were the specific
lengths I needed. I ended up using wider boards for the bottom two 
shelves because I wanted a spot for my crock pot and other larger items.

On the sides, I didn't want the shelves to stick out past the door opening
so for my pantry, I used 6" boards, obviously, yours may be different.

wood shelves in kitchen pantry how to
I didn't make any fancy cuts. I put full boards across the back of the pantry
and butted the ends of the side pieces to the back shelf.
I didn't attach the ends to each other, they are only butted together.

The distance between most of my shelves is about 13".
The top and bottom shelves are about 16", I made sure the top shelf could
accommodate one of those giant boxes of cereal standing up.
Other than that I didn't really have any criteria, I just kind of eyeballed it
and they ended up being around 13".
You can easily adjust for your own needs.

kitchen pantry wire shelves to wood shelves
To attach the shelves, I screwed 1" x 2" strips to the wall, making sure they were level,
then screwed the shelf boards into the strips, placing the screws 
just on the very back edge of the shelf, it really is super secure. 

white cabinet mounting screws
I used white cabinet mounting screws I found at Home Depot to 
attach the mounting strip, or cleat, to the wall. 
I used shorter wood screws to attach the board to the mounting strip.

kitchen pantry replace wire shelves with wood shelving
The after.

I gained two additional shelves that I didn't have before,
the one at the very bottom and one at the very top...yay!

replace wire shelving with wood shelves in kitchen pantry
It wraps alllll the way around....*starry eyed*  
I seriously had to stand there and admire it...it makes me very happy.

kitchen pantry remove wire shelves replace with wrap around wood shelves
Then I started filling it back up...
I created this pantry in 2011 when my boys were younger
so excuse all their junk food!... bleh

kitchen pantry redo
I now have a shelf for the crock pot and cat food so they don't have to live on the floor of the pantry.

kitchen pantry from wire shelves to wood shelves makeover DIY
So there's my pantry makeover, I love how it turned out
and after living with it for a few weeks, I'm amazed how
organized it has stayed, it's so great!

I've gotten a lot of emails from people wanting to do this to their pantry but 
afraid they won't have as much room.
promise I have more room than before, not to mention everything is 
easily accessible and in plain view.

pantry redesign removing wire shelving

The photo above shows my second pantry makeover that I just
completed in my new home. I had to alter the process slightly and this time measured 
before and after to calculate if we were losing any space. Result?...negligible.
A very easy project that helps you stay organized and we absolutely love it.

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  1. I didn't think it was a yawner at all either! Your "before" pantry looks a lot like mine. I've wondered about skinnier shelves, but I don't think I could convince DH that they would be better. How many inches deep were your "before" shelves? And how deep are your new shelves?

  2. Your before looks like my after. You validate me with your Tupperware confessions! :-)

    Terrific blog Lucy!

  3. Too funny. I do the exact same thing with my "Tupperware". I'm pretty quick with the door slam to keep the avalanche at bay!
    Love your site. I'll be back often.

  4. Oh I enjoyed looking at yur pantry makeover. Wow! You did a great job. I am inspired!

  5. Argh. You make me realize just how unorganized my pantry has become lately. OK. You've inspired me. Off to straighten the pantry....

  6. I think it looks awesome. I also realized it looks like I have the exact same pantry... so I was all a flutter with excitement. I showed my husband and he is arguing that you would lose space. I am saying No way!
    He just isn't getting it.
    I found you on Thrifty Decor Chick.
    I would LOVE for you to stop by my Organizing Mission link party an link this up.

  7. how did you attach your shelves to the wall? I see the long "cleat" I think it's called but what about the corners? I'm going to do this to my pantry, it looks loke it;s the same size.

  8. hi Cmsmiley...there was no email to reply to you but I ended up just butting the ends together for the corners. the cleats go pretty close to the corners so when I attached the shelves to the cleats, they were very secure.
    everything is still holding up perfectly...I'm so happy I did it everytime I go into the pantry!

  9. The before pics are EXACTLY what my pantry currently looks like! The wire shelving doesn't help with keeping organized, either - to OUR defense. How deep are your shelves? How big are your support cleats? I totally want to do this to mine, but as another poster stated, my husband will also claim "less space". Maybe not more, but I don't think less - and it should look more organized MOST of the time instead of for 24 hours after I organize it...once a quarter. Thanks for the inspirations!

  10. Hi Traci!
    well, it's been about 6 months and I still absolutely LOVE it! I know it doesn't seem like it, but I actually have a little more space than I did.
    my side shelves are 5 1/2" deep, the middle shelves are 7 1/2" deep and I have 2 bottom shelves in the middles portion that are 12" deep.
    I used standard preprimed boards and those were the widths available.
    for the cleats, I used 1 x 2's.
    Everytime I am unloading groceries or just getting something out of the pantry...I am thankful I did it. Truly...it's the little things!
    I can see exactly what I have because everything is visible...love it! do it! :)

  11. That's great!! and they look so neat!!!

  12. "I can organize like nobody's business but I get in a hurry and just start throwing stuff in there so it doesn't seem to stay organized for long." PREACH! I am guilty of the same. My brain is always 2 steps ahead so I don't seem to focus on the task at hand. Thanks for the project inspiration--we have a weird, deep pantry dying for something like this. And we have a bit of a vinegar and mustard hoarding problem too. :)

  13. thanks committedgifts! You'll have to share a pic with me if you do it!

  14. Hi Lucy... This looks great. I am a big fan of being able to see everything and being able to grab something without having to unstack or move something else first. It's very efficient. If you had do yours over again, would you choose the same shelf depths or would you chose something different?

  15. Hi Rob! I would use the same depths again, they've worked out great for me. It's been over 2 years now and I still love it and don't think I would change anything :)

  16. It's perfect! I just did it (had my son-in-law do it actually) in my 36" x 36" pantry. He was pretty skeptical when I showed him the design. Slight adjustment to shelves: back 12" for the top 4, 18" for the bottom, left side 6", right side 8". Added a narrow shelf/holder to the back of the door for teas, bags, aluminum foil, and suchlike narrow things. Voila! There is actually more accessible room, and I have a much more organized pantry. THANK YOU!!

  17. I know right? I'm so glad you did it. I'm still loving mine!

  18. what is the distance between all the shelves?

  19. Katie, most are around 13". The top and bottom have more distance at 16". I made sure the top shelves could accommodate a large standing cereal box

  20. I have a pantry in our new home that looks like it's deeper and maybe narrower than yours, but I would like to try this idea. Do you know the width and depth of your entire pantry? That might help me figure out if it would work the way I envision it in my space. I'll take before and after photos and share them with you if I do it. You have inspired me! I don't know why I didn't think of this solution sooner!

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Hi Brandi, mine is about 38" wide and 27" deep. I would love to see pics when you are done!

  21. Thank you so much. This was exactly the information I was looking for. You have been super helpful.

  22. So you just secured the shelf to the cleat? That is secure enough? Would something be needed to secure the shelf where it butts up against the other one? To me securing it just to the cleat doesnt seem enough let me know as I would like to redo my pantry

    1. Yes, that's how I did it and it was completely secure. Check out my other pantry that I just made over that has cleats that wrap around... http://www.lucydesignsonline.com/2015/11/kitchen-pantry-makeover-replace-wire.html

  23. I have a shallower pantry, 18" deep shelves. Do you think this would still help? My pantry is a small closet wider but smaller door and not very deep. It is a nightmare!

  24. Hi! Well that's 6" shallower than my wire shelves were but in my opinion, I still think it would be helpful. Plus you will still have the 6" deep side walls.


I've moved to Lucydesignsart.com to focus on my mosaic art. I'm no longer creating dragonflies or mermaids.

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