November 19, 2015

Kitchen Pantry Makeover, Replace wire shelves with wrap around wood shelving for under $130 DIY

pantry makeover before and after, remove wire shelves
Almost five years ago, I made over my pantry
by removing the deep wire shelving and replacing with wrap
around shelving.
Today, I did it again in my new home and I love it!
It's been on my to-do list ever since we moved in.

messy wire shelves in pantry, pantry makeover
This is what I started with... ugh.

makeover your pantry
I didn't even pretend to straighten it up before taking a photo.

I'm so over this deep, constantly messy, can't find anything,
have to move five things out of the way to get one thing, pantry.

how to remove closet maid shelf anchors in wall
Just like my last pantry makeover, I started by removing the 
wire shelving, patching the holes and adding touch up paint.

I was having a bit of a difficult time getting the Closet Maid wire shelf anchors 
out of the wall but found that a tiny flat head screwdriver helped
pry the nail out just enough to be able to grab with the pliers
and remove it.

I'm not gonna lie... if you remove these types of 
anchors, you are going to be left with giant holes to patch.
It will be worth it, I promise!

shelf supports for pantry makeover
Just like last time, I bought all white pre-primed wood boards
for the shelves as well as pre primed 1 x 2's for the supports
from Home Depot and that is such a time saver.
I bought 8 ft lengths and cut to the sizes I needed at home.

I did not paint over it, just used as is.

shelf supports installed for pantry makeover
I spaced my shelves about 13" apart.
You can always adjust the spacing to fit your needs.

**This is a pantry with potentially heavy items like canned goods.
When attaching your 1 x 2's to the wall you must screw the majority
of your screws into the wall studs so your shelves will be super strong and sturdy.
It goes without saying you must also use a level as well when
installing your 1 x 2's... you don't want lopsided pantry shelving.

screw and anchor combo
I used this type of screw I found at Home Depot to 
mount the 1 x 2's. 
**You must drill pilot holes in the
 1 x 2 wood pieces before using this screw or you will split the wood.

pantry redesignI
I mounted the back wall 1 x 2 supports first. Once they were in place,
it was easy to rest the level on the edge of the back support to level the side 1 x 2's.

pantry makeover DIY installing wood shelving
Then I forgot to take more during pics, but here I'm starting to
lay the shelving boards on top of the 1 x 2 supports.

After laying the shelving boards on top of the 1 x 2's, you then need to secure
them to the 1 x 2's to keep them in place. To do that, I used regular wood screws 
along the back edge of each shelf to screw down into the 1 x 2 supports.
I placed my screws about 6-7 inches apart along the back of each shelf.

**Since you are screwing into the very back edge of the shelf and down into 
the 1 x 2, you must predrill your holes again so the wood
won't split on the edge.

kitchen pantry with wood shelving
This pantry is a little different and a little larger than my last one. 
In this pantry, the door swings open into the pantry,
in my old pantry, the door swung out into the room.

This means there is no end wall for the side pieces to butt up
against like last time which gave them extra support, instead
my shelves are open-ended...

metal mending plates for pantry shelves
To remedy my lack of an end wall for my side shelves, I used metal mending 
plates on the underside to secure the side shelves to the back shelves 
and it worked like a charm.

To reiterate and ease any fears or confusion on whether there is enough 
support for the shelves, just remember...

The deeper back shelves are fully supported on THREE sides.
 They are supported across the full length of the shelf by the back wall 1 x 2's 
as well as being supported on each end by the side wall 1 x 2's.

The side shelves are only 6" deep and are supported by the side wall 1 x 2's 
as well as being anchored to the (supported on 3 sides) back shelf
with the metal mending plates. The metal mending plates also
serve to help the corners line up perfectly.

And as mentioned. all shelves are then screwed into the 1 x 2's
that have been securely screwed into your wall studs! :)

use metal mending plates to secure wood shelving

kitchen pantry makeover with wood shelves
I used 12" deep shelves on the bottom two back shelves, 
8" deep for the remaining back wall shelves and 6" on the sides.

pantry makeover reveal
Looking in to the left...

kitchen pantry makeover with wood shelves
Looking in to the right...

kitchen pantry makeover DIY reveal
Straight ahead...
*starry eyed*

The lowdown on this makeover...

I've gotten so many emails about my previous pantry makeover
from people worried they will lose space. In my last makeover
I felt I had gained space but had not measured before and after so
 I didn't know for sure.

This time, I measured the wire shelf space before I removed them
and calculated I had 21.56 square feet of shelf space.

The after measurements with my new wrap around 
wood shelves measure 21.36 square feet.
So it's practically the same but you will feel like you have more
space simply because you can see everything.

I'll take being able to clearly see what I have in the pantry
over a negligible loss of space any day!

I spent a total of $127 for this makeover including primed wood, 
screws and mending plates, yours could be 
more or less. My pantry is 33"w x 34" deep to where
the door swings in and a 9ft ceiling.

$130 bucks for a lifetime of pantry happiness? yes please!

pantry redesign before and after
I started this project one evening by removing the wire shelving
and patching the holes so it would be ready to go the next morning.
I finished the next day so these before and after photos 
show the exact same food and items in the pantry.

Thanks for reading about my latest pantry makeover!

Would love for you to visit my new online store. You can also
or swing by my Etsy shop for reduced prices on remaining paintings
and mermaids.
Until next time!...


  1. Can you tell me how wide and deep your pantry is? I am trying to talk my husband into doing this but he thinks our pantry is too small. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Cyd! My pantry is 33" wide to about 34" to where the door swings in and 9 ft ceilings

    2. However on the left where the door swings in I made that shelf 25" long to give a little space between the shelf and the door

  2. Followed this plan and if I do say so myself the pantry came out great. My wife is very happy. My back shelf is 20 inches wide and works fine. I used melamine for my shelving which I really like, low maintenance. The only thing with melamine is you have to know how to cut it. Plenty of information on cutting melamine on-line.

  3. Awesome Colin, and the melamine is a great idea!

  4. What kind of wood did you use for the shelves? I only see mention of the 1x2's. Thank you!

    1. Hi! on the 5th pic down I mention that I used white pre-primed wood boards for the shelves. I believe they are 1" thick and I used 6" width for the sides along with 8" and 12" widths for the back shelves. I got mine at Home Depot in 8 foot lengths then cut to the length I needed at home.

  5. Just copied this design for our pantry. Looks amazing. Thanks for the inspiration

  6. Thanks for the mending plate idea; I'll be using that for my master closet -- wider shelves, but less weight since I'll only be putting clothes on them.

    1. Sounds like a great solution for that, Thanks Ryan!


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

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