Easy Pantry Makeover | Laundry Room Refresh

Cindy Rust
by Cindy Rust
3 Materials
2 Days
Looking for an easy pantry makeover that will keep your food items visible and organized? I’ve got the solution for you!
planned, painted & now to purgeWe’ve planned we’ve painted the cabinets, now let’s tackle an easy pantry makeover for my laundry room refresh!Last time, I shared some tips for using painter’s tape. I used some of those tips for the pantry area of our laundry room.
prep the floor edgeSee the bottom edge of the shelving along the floor? Yeah, you don’t see any FrogTape Painters tape yet, but believe me, I made sure I applied the tape before I started painting the pantry wall and shelves.The edge where the wall meets the floor can be the hardest area to paint because you can’t really see it unless you are lying on the floor! Taping off that edge is just plain easier than trying to avoid painting the floor!
empty the spaceBut, I am getting ahead of myself again!Before I began this easy pantry makeover, I had to empty the pantry.
  • the canned goods
  • the shelves
  • the step ladder
  • the vintage laundry basket
  • the fruit crate that held paper towels
  • the red drink cooler
  • the extra laundry soap
  • the bbq grill cooking utensils
  • the iRobot Roomba vacuum
  • the broom and Bona dust mop
  • the trash can and the basket it goes in
In other words, everything in that pantry had to come out!
Which meant I had food items and cleaning items all over the other side of the laundry room!And in the kitchen.And in my dining room!thanks for shopping my links!
out with the oldWhile I emptied the pantry area of our laundry room, I purged food items.No kidding, I found a canned of condensed milk from 2007.Remember, this is a no-judgement zone!!
first pantry makeoverOnce the shelves were empty, I removed all of the shelves.Speaking of the shelves, we first did a pantry makeover on this room about 10-12 years ago.When we built the house over 20 years ago, this was a closet with bi-fold doors and 4 18″ deep coated wire shelves from Closet Maid.
theory vs. realityIn theory, it was a great idea because the closet is about 8′ wide so the 18″ deep shelves would give lots of space for pantry items.Notice I said ‘in theory’ because in reality, the deep shelves were just not practical.Food items were always hidden by other food items!
pantry makeoverIt was so annoying!! Hubby and I decided that it would be a better use of the space if the shelves were narrow and adjustable. That way, food couldn’t hide behind other food items.And because we were going to remove the bi-fold doors, the backing of the shelving area needed to be attractive.suppliesWithout going into too much detail about the shelving area of the pantry, (I wasn’t blogging about home decor 10 years ago so I don’t have images to share!) let me just give you a quick rundown of the pantry makeover project:
  • T1-11 4’x8′ panels for the back and one side were attached to the original wall
  • 2″x6″x8′ boards were used for the vertical shelf supports
  • those vertical boards were pre-drilled to fit adjustable metal shelf pins
  • 1″x6″ boards were cut in 20″ sections for the shelves (we cut 28 of them!)
French Canvas paintThe whole back wall and vertical supports were painted with a custom mix of Clark and Kensington paint in Eggshell to match the color sample I brought in.Side note: don’t try to purchase paint in-store at Wal-mart on a Sunday. We couldn’t find anyone to mix paint for us! I was sold on the Kilz Color Collection ‘French Canvas’ so we headed to our local Ace Hardware with the paint chip and purchased the paint there!Anyway, this Zibra 2″ Angled brush made painting the T1-11 so easy! The paintbrush glides over the rough surface like nobody’s business!
lightening the spaceThe lighter color of paint made a huge difference in the brightness of the pantry! Even this little area near the hot water heater looked brighter!
whitewash techniqueI used a white-wash technique on the shelves. An opaque paint finish would show marks from the cans after use. The white wash look is a bit more forgiving while still lightening up the pine wood.
hide the water heater!Even though the area was brighter, it still is the spot where my hot water heater lives. Not the prettiest thing to see each time I enter this room.My friend Kim, from Serving Up Southern, shared an idea that has been tucked away in my mind for 2 years – using a drop cloth curtain to hide the thing you don’t want to see!She hid a TV in a bookshelf which was such a good idea. I’m hiding our hot water heater!We can still access it quickly if we need to plus all the ugly is well hidden!
easy drop cloth curtainI used a 6’x9′ inexpensive drop cloth. I folded the top edge enough so that the drop cloth would just touch the floor. This also created a little valance.Then I hung the ‘curtain’ with clip style curtain hangers on a 1 1/2″ dowel rod that was attached using dowel rod pole sockets.
steam the wrinklesEven though I had washed the drop cloth before hanging it, I had neglected to iron it. So I pulled out my clothing steamer and it worked like a charm on the wrinkles!
organize the new spaceThe next step was organinzing the food items so that it made sense for our needs.As I grouped items together, I was chuckling at myself for all the duplicates I had. I mean really, how many large bottles of Olive Garden salad dressing do I need to keep on hand!And check out all that Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce! I’m ready for a cook-out so come on over!
The baking items aren’t used as often as I wish (time is a four-letter word when you run your own business!) so the flour, sugars, and such are on the left side of the pantry. For the most part, those are the item I store in the Better Homes and Gardens storage containers I buy at Wal-mart.Canned goods that we use more often are in the center as well as cooking items like oil and condiments.
curating vintage goodiesSee the blank wall area near the drop cloth curtain? I have a little plan for that spot that will include some vintage brooms, washboards and such.The items need to be practical but I want it to go with the look of our home too.That will take some time to curate and that is part of the fun of shopping for vintage items!
still more to doI haven’t forgotten about the rest of the laundry room!I have a curtain to hang, a rug to put down, a washer hook-up area to cover, and a few clothes hanging brackets to install.And I need to make a decision about painting the sliding vintage doors on the pantry. Let me know your opinion in the comments. Should I paint them in a chippy paint finish?Oh, and I can’t forget the fun project I have planned for the floor! I won’t be tackling that project until after the big event that is happening at our home in a few weeks.In the meantime, I have some laundry to do and the walls to paint! I’ll share more on that in my next Laundry Room Refresh post!
thanks for stopping by!I hope you are inspired to do your own laundry room refresh! I would love to see your makeover! Hop over to Instagram and tag me in the images you share!
fun freebieFeel free to pin any of the images you see in this post! Share them with your friends so they can be inspired to do their own room refresh.Looking for a few budget-friendly ways to update any room in your home? Here is a link to sign up!join our journeyWe would love for you to join our reinventing journey on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube! You can find more inspiration on our Pinterest boards too!Until next time…
more about my laundry room:
Tips for Applying Painter's Tape
Laundry Room Makeover Plans
Resources for this project:
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Cindy Rust
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  • Sharon Huneycutt Harris Sharon Huneycutt Harris on May 27, 2021

    Beautiful result! How in the world did you paint behind the hotwater heater, LOL! But you did a great job. I love your laundry room and the pantry area!

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2 of 8 comments
  • Lise Lise on May 22, 2022

    Looks great! Very well done.

    Here's an unasked for but helpful tip for pantry items; write the best by date on the labels so don't have to pull the cans, bottles, etc. off the shelves to search for the one expiring first. I do this for all my pantry items when I put them away after shopping. I no longer find expired stuff behind other things because the dates are all staring me in the face. This also inspires me to use up the items that will go bad in a month or so. I also recommend a yellow or white paint pen for items with dark labels. I hope this is helpful to someone. 🙂

  • Julie Julie on May 22, 2022

    Oooh , love it - especially the wire inserts on your doors!!!!

    We took down wire shelves in the laundry room and are installing upper cabinets that we're moving from the office. I will get my husband to knock out the recessed panel and install wire. YAY - thanks for the idea, Cindy!