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Dramatic Pantry Makeover


We had a little pantry (and a little budget) but the wire shelves HAD to go. I decided to take a shot at a pantry reno under $500. The result? A pantry that’s as practical as it is picturesque, with a dash of DIY charm thrown in for good measure. If you’re itching to give your own space a makeover without breaking the bank, why not take a page out of my playbook? With a little creativity and a lot of determination, anything is possible!


Before, the pantry was holding on by a literal string. I knew I wanted some sort of paneling and maybe even some light but the project design evolved as I went!

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Step 1: Out with the Old, In with the New

The first order of business? Clearing out the clutter! I rolled up my sleeves and got to work emptying the pantry. And let me tell you, I found some surprises lurking in the depths—marshmallows galore! After wiping down every nook and cranny, it was time to bid farewell to the old trim boards with my trusty Zenith by Danco pry bar. With the help of my scraper, I removed any residue from the walls and made way for a fresh start.

Step 2: Lighting

With a clean slate to work with, it was time to shed some light on the situation—literally! I enlisted the help of an electrician to wire the pantry for a flush disk light and an outlet.

Initially, I wanted a door switch but that ended up having issues so a follower suggested a motion sensor light switch which ended up working perfectly! I also added a new outlet, because who says you can’t use small appliances in the pantry?

Step 3: Wall Panels

Next up, it was time to add some personality to the space with shiplap panels and trim. Armed with miter shears from Amazon and leftover trim from past projects, I got started in creating a clean slate. It was a labor of love, but oh-so-worth-it in the end! I messed up my cuts far more times than I would like to admit but luckily we had enough panels.

Step 4: Shelving

Now, onto the shelving saga! After much trial and error (and a slight debacle over the size of the curve), I finally settled on a design that stole my heart with a slight curve. Although a full-depth shelf would provide more storage space, the space would have been too deep. Our previous shelves were too deep and things would get lost and forgotten out of sight. I chose a U-shape to allow light to pass through and to allow us to see more of the items on the shelves.

The shelves were secured with these super affordable wood brackets and pocket screws secured into the studs. Due to the overhang of the curves, I ended up shoe-nailing in some finish nails to prevent flexing. I grabbed some iron on edge banding from Amazon and used bondo wood filler where needed to make the shelves looked a bit more polished

Step 5: Epoxy Countertop

For a pantry makeover this small, a countertop might feel excessive but I loved the look in my inspo and had to try it. This pantry makeover needed some drama. Sadly, real countertops were also out of budget. I decided to dust off my epoxy skills and make a countertop with a cute scallop apron front! It was the perfect touch to make the space feel unique and add some feminity to the kitchen. If you want the nitty gritty on how to make an epoxy countertop, check out my blog post here with all the info you’ll need.

Step 6: Gallery Rails

But what’s a pantry without a little flair? I had my heart set on adding gallery rails to the shelving, but alas, the kits were way out of my budget. No problemo! With a little creativity and a lot of lamp parts, I fashioned my own gallery rails that added a touch of elegance to the space without breaking the bank. If you want to see how to DIY these gallery rails on a budget, head over to this blog post to learn more!


Step 6: Organizing Like a Pro

With the pantry makeover taking shape, it was time to turn my attention to organization. I picked up some clear jars and lazy susans from Walmart to make organizing a breeze. But there was a snag—the jars didn’t come with silicone gaskets, making them unsuitable for storing food that needed a seal. Enter Etsy to the rescue! I found the perfect gaskets to fix the problem and voila—problem solved!

And there you have it, folks—a pantry makeover for the ages! From clearing out the clutter to adding those final finishing touches, this project was a labor of love from start to finish.

Until next time, happy renovating!


How much does it cost to makeover a pantry like this?

I haven’t added it up exactly but I was pretty close to budget. These are approximations but it was $65 for the plywood, $120 for the epoxy kit, $60 for paint, $40 for the shiplap panels, $60 for paint, $60 in electrical (not including the electrician), $115 for the gallery rails, and $40 for the curtain and rod. So it looks like I was closer to $560. I already had the paint and the epoxy was gifted by TotalBoat.

How do I find an electrician for a project like this?

If you don’t have a go-to electrician I suggest trying out the Thumbtack app or crowd-sourcing on a community Facebook page for a reputable option!

How durable is the epoxy countertop?

Very durable! They are water and scratch-resistant, which is great for a kitchen. The 3 things to look out for are chipping, heat, and sun damage. If your counter gets a lot of sun, which mine will not, it will be prone to yellowing. This countertop cannot handle high heat so you will definitely need to use a trivet. For chipping, this is less common but easy to fix. Typically it’s just the clear top coat on the very edge that may chip, so it’s not super noticeable. Fixing these is easy and if mine ever chips, I’ll create a post about how to fix it and link it here.

What do you put on the floor of a pantry?

I typically house larger items on the floor. In the past it was my costo sized bag of plastic cups and dog food. Now I store my pressure cooker and air fryer. I take extra care to remove the items while cleaning the floor to prevent dog hair from gathering in there from under the door.

How do you declutter a pantry?

To start, take everything out, toss expired items, and start grouping. I put all my pasta noodles together and my canned veggies together etc. I opted to put nonsealed dry goods in glass canisters because we had multiple bags of the same items. Lastly, if you have not expired foods that you rarely eat, I would start prioritizing recipes with that item to help get it out without wasting it. For example, we havent made this indian food dish in a long time, resulting in a can of coconut milk sitting in the pantry for 2 years. it expires later this year so I will be making that recipe soon to not waste it but still getting rid of it.


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