Farmhouse DIY Pantry Makeover

by | Aug 28, 2018

This Farmhouse Pantry Makeover is all about making the most of the space you have!  The project only took a couple hours of actual work, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with the way it turned out.

By adding a painted door and wood shelves, you will not only add that farmhouse charm, but you will increase it’s overall functionality.   If you are looking for a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to update your pantry, you have come to the right place.

Quick and easy farmhouse pantry update!

SO…here is what it looked like BEFORE:

It was a HOT MESS!!  Not enough shelves…wire shelves at that…and NO character or charm.

Getting a plan:

Sketch a plan for your closet.  Ours looked like this:

Sketch a plan for your new space!

Our original pantry only had four shelves.  We definitely wanted more shelving, so we decided to add six.

Since the closet isn’t deep, we had to make the top two shelves smaller.

Think ahead of what you will be fitting on the shelves and plan accordingly.  We wanted to make sure cereal boxes would fit standing up.

You will need to make sure you consider the depth of the boards when sketching your design.  A one inch board actually measures 3/4 of an inch.

Supplies needed:

This post does contain some affiliate links for your shopping convenience.

  • Drywall putty
  • Paint
  • Door (unless you are just painting over your old door)
  • New doorknob and hinges
  • 16 inch deep stainable shelves (bottom four shelves)
  • 1x12 Whitewood board (top two shelves)
  • 1x2 Whitewood boards (2 – 8 ft boards)
  • Dark Wood Stain
  • Sponge brush
  • Wipe-on Poly in satin finish
  • Old tee shirt or lint free cloth
  • 2 1/2 inch wood screws
  • Chalk Paint for the door
  • Finishing Wax
  • Baskets

Tools needed:

Let’s get started:


Since the stain for the shelving takes a couple of days to dry, we started with the shelves before we took the pantry apart.

We used a circular saw to cut the boards for our shelves.  If you do not have a saw, the home improvement store that you buy them from will be happy to cut them for you.

Our walls were not straight, so some of our shelves are 1/4 – 1/2 inch smaller than others.  Make sure you measure twice BEFORE you cut!!

Cut your shelves and sand the edges.

Using a miter saw, we cut the 1x2’s that will be supporting the shelves 1/2 inch shorter than the depth of the shelves.  If you’re closet is wider, you might consider putting a support board across the width as well.  We also cut a small angle on one end just to make it look a little nicer.

We sanded off any rough edges with our palm sander, and then laid the boards out on a painters cloth.  We usually work in our driveway.  The stain has a really strong smell, so you definitely need some fresh air circulating around you.

Using a sponge brush, I applied the dark stain to the edges and one side of the board.  We let it sit about 10 minutes and wiped off the excess stain with an old tee shirt.

We flipped them over and applied stain to the other side.  Again, we let it set for about 10 minutes and then wiped away the excess stain.

Stained shelves for pantry makeover

We stood them up in the garage so they could get air on all sides.

The next day, we laid them back out onto our drop clothes and applied two coats of  wipe-on poly.  Again, we propped them up in the garage to dry overnight.

Demo and prepwork:

On day three, we started our demo.  The first thing we did was to remove the wire shelves (good riddance) and door.  We patched the holes using this drywall putty.

While the putty was drying, we prepped the door for painting.  I spent months looking for an antique door to fit this space.  After not finding what I wanted for a good price, I came across a door at Lowe’s.  (With frame and hinges precut it is $80 and without it is $40)  Super affordable and adorable.

Since we decided to save a little money, we prepped the door by cutting out the notches for the hinges.  (Sorry for not taking pics of this step!)

We laid the new door on top of the old door and marked where the old hinges were.  Next, we lined up the hinges with the door and traced a line around where the hinge would go.

Using a wood chisel and hammer, we made a score around the lines.  We tapped the chisel down to about the depth of the hinge, and then chiseled this section out.

We had to use a sander to smooth out where we had chiseled.

We attached the hinges, and made sure the door fit.

Update your pantry by painting your door!


We painted two coats on the walls and touched up the trim and baseboards.

While that was drying, I got started painting the door.  We had just finished painting our bedroom furniture, and had some leftover paint in my favorite grey…Behr Elephant Skin.  This color is a perfect match to Annie Sloan’s French Linen.

Using my DIY Chalk Paint Recipe, I mixed up 1/2 a batch, and then painted two coats.

After it dried, I applied a white glaze by mixing a little white acrylic paint into a glazing medium.  I used a sponge brush to apply the glaze.  I waited about 5 minutes and then with a lint free cloth, I wiped the excess off.

After the glaze dried, I distressed the edges with a sanding block, cleaned up the dust with a damp cloth, and then applied a coat of finishing wax.

Gray Pantry Door

Installing the Shelves:

We measured up 18 inches from the floor.  Using a level we marked the wall where the top of the board would go.  We used a stud finder to mark the studs.

Using a 1/8″ drill bit, we piloted our holes through the 1x2 support piece and into the stud.  We used two 2 1/2 inch wood screws for each support board.

We cut an extra piece of wood to 13 1/4 inches to use as a guide.  This kept us from having to measure each shelf, and saved us quite a bit of time.

Using the guide, we worked our way up the closet until all six support pieces were installed on each side.

Once the shelves were installed, we attached our door.  Easy peasy!

It seems like a lot of steps, but in all we only spent about 4 to 5 hours on this project.

All Finished:

To keep this project under budget, I used baskets we had collected over the years.  I did add a couple of baskets to the bottom that I got from Hobby Lobby and one from TJ Max.

Wood shelves and grey farmhouse door

At some point, I will write another post on organizing the pantry.  Until then, we are HAPPY to have the additional storage and LOVE how it turned out!

What do you think?!

I’m Melinda, and I am thrilled you are here!  I’m a wife, mother to 3 energetic boys, DIY enthusiast, and lover of all things creative.  Make This Day Count is my place to share my love for projects, family life, and natural living.



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