Great Plan for Hiding Your Microwave

by Linda
14 Materials
2 Days

Is your microwave an eyesore in your kitchen? Mine was and so I decided to conquer this pretty easy project to hide my microwave away in our pantry. Come see how I did it and you might just decide it's a great idea for your home.

Begin by clearing out everything inside the pantry. This is a great time to purge by looking at expiration dates and asking yourself if you need the item.

If you find you do not need the pantry for food consider making it a dish pantry. Because we have another pantry I decided this would be the perfect spot for my grandma's Currier and Ives Royal dishes.

If you are planning to give your pantry a facelift then go ahead and remove the wire shelves, if you have wire shelves. Things do not sit on the shelves well and I think the microwave will sit on the shelf much better if it is wood.

Now let's measure the walls. Measure the width across the back and the height. Then measure the two side walls.

The next step is simply drawing out a plan for where each shelf will sit. At this point, you will need some other information like the size of the microwave and trash can if you plan to store one in your microwave pantry.

You might also want to consider the height of other things you will be stored in the pantry like dishes. Measure the tallest dish you plan to store inside the pantry to make sure your shelves are high enough for every piece.

Now make a note of the measurement of each shelf and how high from the floor each shelf will sit. Also, make a mark on the wall where you want the electrical outlet to go.

For my microwave shelf, I planned it to be deeper than the other shelves. So I took the microwave depth measurement and added about 6″ for the plug that would go behind it and a few extra inches in the front. The total depth of the microwave shelf is 16″

For the other shelves, I planned them to be 12″ deep which is like the upper kitchen cabinets and they are all 9″ apart. I had planned originally to store my glass pitchers in the space too and that is why I planned on 9″ but when I started installing the Currier and Ives I liked the look so much until I didn't place the pitchers.

Remember you will need an electrical outlet for the microwave in your pantry. I recommend calling a licensed electrician to do this for you. Look back at your drawing or plan and make a mark on the wall at what height you want the outlet.

You can put your microwave at any height. Some people have them in an island which makes them low. Others have them over their stove which makes them high. But for our cabinet I wanted it to be about countertop height which is 36″. However, because I want enough space for a nice trash can with lid I made my first shelf at 39″ which is just a little higher than countertop height.

Once you determine where the shelf will go for the microwave then add two or three more inches for the bottom of the outlet. Let the electrician know that you want the outlet above that line.

If your pantry is like mine it will need a little cleaning, repairing and painting. Simply take a rag with some soapy water and wash down the wall, trim and door.

Before you can start painting you will need to patch any holes, fix any trim and spackle where needed. Once you have done this step take your sander and sand the walls of any bumps and such. Especially on the back wall where you will put up the peel and stick wallpaper if you are planning to wallpaper.

Next, start painting with a primer. The primer will block anything that might have gotten on the wall and that will bleed through.

Paint the wall whatever color you have planned. If you are considering white my   tips.

Since you are going to be putting pretty items in your microwave pantry and you will be using it a lot more since you are cooking in there now why not consider hanging some peel and stick wallpaper.\

I decided to replicate the subway tile look that is already between my cabinets. But there was one thing that was different and that was the grout line. So I pulled out a chalk paint marker and filled in all the grout lines on the wallpaper.

It covered it just enough to give it a shadow effect and match it up closer to my subway tile between my cabinets.

Now it is time to cut the shelves and the dowels. I started with the microwave shelf. I cut the dowels to my specifications and then the shelf.

Then I took the shelf into the pantry and made sure it would fit. Next, I cut all the other shelves. The 12″ deep shelves and again made sure they would fit.

 Layout your shelves on paper with cans of food or wood pieces under them to elevate them off of the paper and prime them first.

Then add one coat of latex paint. Let the latex paint dry and sand it with a fine-grit sandpaper. Then add another layer of latex paint.

Make sure to paint both sides and the front edge at least. You can do all edges but the front edge is the only thing that will show.

Next paint the dowels that will go on the wallpaper. You can leave one side unpainted since it will go on the wall. Prime and paint two coats just like the shelves.

Next, take your measuring tape and mark the wall where each dowel will be hanging. Once you have all the makes take a stud finder and mark where there are studs.

Next, lay a small level on your dowel and place your dowel on the mark on the wall. Once it is level use your nail gun to shoot one nail into one end. Once that one nail is in the wall you can move the other end up or down until it is level and shoot in another nail on the other end.

After you nail in the two nails go ahead and shoot in many more nails especially into the studs.

Make sure you run a dowel on the back wall too. This will give some extra support for your shelf so all the weight is not on the side dowels.

Once all the dowels are in place take some spackle and fill in the holes. Once the spackle is dry sand over them until it smooth.

Then take some of the shelf paint and paint the dowels that are hanging on the wall.

Now place the shelves onto the dowels. Make sure the microwave shelf goes in the right place. Remember it is the deepest shelf.

Next, plug your microwave into the outlet and nestle it in the middle of the shelf.

Can you believe we are finished with hiding the microwave?

I love how to wallpaper helped jazz up the closet and bring it all together with the kitchen.

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  2 questions
  • Sylvia Picone Sylvia Picone on May 23, 2020

    Is the microwave getting enough ventilation in the cabinet. The instructions state not to block the vents.

  • Pam Galicki Pam Galicki on May 24, 2020

    I don’t see the round dowels in the final picture, where are they?

Join the conversation
2 of 4 comments
  • Linda Linda on May 24, 2020

    Great idea, I would take the door off.

  • Johanne Palange Johanne Palange on Jun 24, 2020

    I did this in my rental apartment. I wasn't going to call in an electrician. I made a small hole in the back wall of the pantry to pass an electric cord into the room that is behind it, where the nearest electrical outlet is. I used a thick extension cord with a 3 pronged end, like the kind I would use with my power tools. Works like a charm, is safe, and I just didn't have the counter top space for it.