Let’s finish this pantry, shall we?! Well…kind of. The pantry is
signed, sealed, delivered done, fully organized and functional. But after going through all the photos and photo editing and whatnot, I was left with 30+ pics of “finishing and organizing the pantry”. Uh…long blog post say what?! And since I value sleep these days (seriously…can’t get enough of it) and don’t want to be up all night blogging, I’m breaking the post up into two parts. Today, we’re talking about the finishing touches (a little painting and little hardware…nice little pantry post) and tomorrow we’re talking about organizing it! But I couldn’t resist a full monty shot of the before and after of the whole pantry project:
So…much…better! The haphazard collection of mismatched furniture no more! But anyway, the pantry finishing touches. When we last left off, we had just finished installing the pull out shelves. And the pantry looked like this:
We intended to put our microwave, who has taken up precious counter space the last four years, above the refrigerator. We feared that it would be a little awkward to have a microwave so high, but we powered through. After all, I’m 5’9″ and Colby clocks in at a whopping 6’5″ so at least we would have no trouble reaching it without the aid of a step stool or ladder. But before we could move the microwave, we needed an above the fridge shelf, since we didn’t want to set the microwave directly on top of the refrigerator. We wanted more of a finished, built-in look. To make this shelf, we started by installing the shelf supports which are 1″ x 3/4″ pieces of pine screwed into the pantry sides.
And then created the microwave shelf by first cutting down two pieces of scrap particle board (leftover from building the pantry sides), using another piece of pine to cover the gap between the two particle board pieces, screwing it all together from the bottom side.
We dry fitted the shelf in place since nothing is more frustrating than building something, painting it, and then realizing it doesn’t fit (been there…done that…lessons learned). Thankfully it fit better than your favorite skinny jeans after eating paleo for a few months and training for that 15K.
Not only did I take the time to pre-paint the shelf before installing, but also all the trim pieces for the pantry. The trim pieces helped hide all the rough, unfinished ends and gave the pantry that chunky, custom built look we were going for.
Next up, the shelf attack. Remember when they looked like this?!
The ends were a bit on the unfinished side. All it took to polish up the ends was attaching some pre-stained and polyed fronts. They’re just tacked on right now with a bit of wood glue and a couple of nails but you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there’ll be sun…I mean…that we secured those shelf fronts in with screws.
The final finishing step was my favorite, adding the hardware. It took us FORRRREVVVVVERRRRR to find the right hardware. For the record….that’s “forever” like the Sandlot forever. Makes more sense now, right?! It’s also how we say goodbye to Goose when we leave him while grocery shopping on the weekends. We’re all like “bye Goose, FORRREVVVVVERRRRR”. Poor Goose.
For the hardware, we couldn’t use traditional drawer pulls since we needed the handles to screw in from the front and not the back. So then we thought about window sash pulls for drawer handles. But that was a fail since they looked so dinky on our freshly finished, chunky wood drawers. Enter the screen door handle. We picked up five of them for $2.99 each at Lowes along with some longer screws. We wanted the screws to not only attach the drawer handle to the drawer front but also be long enough to drill right into the drawer itself for extra drawer from security and stability.
Boom…drawer handles officially attached…Friday I’m in love!
This may have been the point during the pantry project that I mindlessly pulled each drawer open…and closed…open…and closed…open…and closed…and asked them where they had been all my life. I mean…I’m not getting any younger over here. And not being able to easily access the flour during cookie making is definitely adding years to my complexion. I mean, night cream only does so much.
Oh yeah, and then we created a chalkboard wall and started boxing out the beam in the kitchen. But more on those projects later. This is a pantry post and we certainly don’t want to bite the pantry’s moment, even if it does taste good. It’s been a wild ride in our kitchen these days with some awesome projects in the hopper. I can’t wait to share more with you! All in good time dear readers…all in good time.
I couldn’t resist sharing the finished AND organized pantry, so here’s the Pinterest worthy shot of how it’s looking real time.
The paint had barely dried on the trim before I was up to my eyeballs in flour and sugar organizing all our baking supplies. Actually, Colby was the one up to his eyeballs in flour since I totally, 100%, accidentally (I swear) spilled a bag of flour on his head while he was kneeling down by the cabinets fixing a toe kick. Whoops! Good thing he loves me! And that good thing for the laundry fairy!
So come back tomorrow for all the nitty gritty of how we organized our pantry, which has turned into a full on baking pantry. I’ll even show you the not-so-Pinterest worthy befores of how we were storing our baking supplies. If you want to feel good about your kitchen organization, no matter how bad you think it is, our before organizing shots should do the trick.
Pssst…All I have to say tonight is, is it spring yet?! I don’t know about you guys but I am DYING for spring to get here, more importantly summer. Did you all survive snowpocalypse?! Anyone else start planning their garden this weekend while being snowed in?!
We owe you guys a pantry update. Like a serious pantry update especially since we finished it this weekend (booyah!) AND organized it this weekend (double booyah!). But last we left off on this little pantry shelf saga we were just getting around to installing those pull out shelves. For those of you just joining us, you can catch up on pantry building phase 1 here and phase 2 here. Although the shelves weren’t quite finished, finished here. They were still missing fronts/drawer pulls, but close enough. So here’s how we made those little pull out shelves.
And just for reminder’s sake, here’s what the pantry looked like pre-shelving. Basically a big ol’ box framed out for the framing lumber drawer slides.
Since this post is all about how we made the drawers, here’s drawer making in a nutshell. We had bought chunky 2″ x 12″ framing lumber for the drawers. But the wall gap was 13-3/4″. 12″ is pretty much the widest, standard (aka…non special order) framing lumber at most lumber yards. Ruh-roh. Since 12″ wide boards are actually 11-1/4″ wide, we just added 1-1/2″ strip of lumber to the larger piece to better fill the wall gap.
We feared pantry items falling off the back of the shelf into the depths of the pantry never to be seen again. Like the sock behind the dryer situation all over again. To alleviate this fear and prevent our baking powder from permanent MIA status, we nailed on a 4″ tall piece of pine to serve as a back lip.
And with that, we had a shelf. Repeat that process four more times and we were left with a total of five drawers for the pantry. I envisioned the pantry shelves pseudo matching the exposed wood wall and thankfully, the Minwax Early American stain that we already had on hand was a perfect color match.
Next step…drawer slides. I have to admit, we did not…I repeat…DID NOT mess around with the drawer slides. Just envision that old high school basketball chant running through our heads while picking out the perfect drawer slide. You know the one…”we don’t mess around…hey…we don’t mess around…hey.” It’s that cheer that popped up on your Jock Rock CD in your Disc Man circa 1998 while you were jogging around the local track getting your workout on. Anyway…the drawer slides. We got the super heavy duty ones. The ones that could support 75 lbs a pair. They weren’t cheap by any means, $25 a pair to be exact, but oh so worth it for peace of mind. Thankfully we had a few Christmas gift cards to Lowes that helped pay the whopping $125 drawer slide bill. Thanks Mom, Dad, Grandma, & Pat!!! Here’s what we spent your gifts on:
Installation was much easier than expected. Especially for me since I did nothing but play Vanna and take screws out of the package and pass them to Colby. Totally important job. What would Colby have done without me?! If you answered “take them out himself” we can longer be internet besties. To install, we started with the drawers, lining up the drawer slide on the side of the drawer.
First drilling a pilot hole where each screw would hold the drawer slide to the drawer:
And then screwing in the screws that came with the drawer slides into the drawer. Side note…we later had some of the screws pop out because the wood shrunk, putting pressure on the screws. We have since upgraded the drawer slide screws to 1-1/4″ sheet rock screws which literally holds houses together so these ones are holding much better.
The hardest part of drawer installation was installing them inside the pantry nook. Not only was it super important for proper drawer functioning for the installation to be perfectly level, but we were also operating in a 13″ wide by about 29″ deep space. Not so easy for maneuverability. First step, leveling and marking. We had already installed spacers against the old wood wall where each drawer slide would attach to but needed to mark the pantry side where to install the other drawer slide side. Using a level, Colby marked each of the five drawer slide locations.
And then painstakingly held the drawer slide in position and level while screwing it into the pantry side.
There may have been a few cuss words flying and one swift kick to the pantry due to difficulties in holding/screwing the drawer slide in within such a tight space. So Colby, the master of jigs, built a little helper to hold the drawer slide while he screwed it into the wall. It’s just tacked up there temporarily with a pair of nails. Hash tag third hand.
After screwing each set of drawer slides into the walls, the pair looked like this:
And then it was just a matter of sliding each of the drawers into the pantry. Each worked without a hitch…phew! But if you did slide a drawer in and it was a bit tight, you could always tighten up your screws or take the drawer slides off and shave down the drawer width.
And scene…working pantry drawers in the house.
Five drawers in and the pantry is finally starting to look like a pantry. My itchy
trigger finger organizing hand is dying to get in there and load up the shelves with all sorts of kitchen pantry goodness. I’m envisioning a baking station, flour/sugar storage, and electrics storage. But alas…there are still more tasks to tackle before we can discuss all things organizing.
At this point we still need a shelf above the refrigerator for the microwave shelf, install a few more trim pieces, add drawer fronts, and attach some drawer pulls to each shelf. All in good time, dear readers, all in good time. In the meantime, we can be found testing out the strength of our drawers (75 lb max) by sitting our 50 lb pooch on the shelves. Goose does not approve.
So stay tuned as we try to wrap up our little pantry project, hopefully by the end of the year. I wish I was kidding. What we thought would be a quick little weekend project…about six weekends ago…is still in the works. Sheesh! Hash tag dragging our feet. Hash tag dude get on that already. Hash tag slow and steady. Hash tag I’m channeling that Subway commercial. Hash tag can you tell?!
Pssst…while we may have been spending our weekend wrapping up our pantry project, what did you guys tackle? Any cleaning or organizing projects happening in your neck of the woods? Lately that’s all I want to do. Purge, clean, and organize. Or anyone else taking a painfully long time to finish a project?! We can’t be the only ones!
Pantry sides in the hizzah (hizzah = house in Snoop Dog terms because apparently Snoop Dog = Dr. Dre…you know…na na na na na the next episode). Anyway…we’re here unleashing pantry framing round 2…ding ding ding…after unleashing part 1 on you back here. So today we’re going to give you run down on how we made the sides for the refrigerator surround (really riveting stuff here…but alas…a necessary evil).
We used particle board for this project, which was our first go around using this material. We’re wood people. Nothing really beats playing around with real wood. But at $20 for a 4′ x 8′ piece of particle board compared to $60 for the same size of birch plywood (which has a smoother finish than pine), we went with the particle board. We opted just to purchase two sheets, one for each refrigerator side, and use the scraps to build the shelf above the refrigerator. After picking up our supplies, the first step was cutting down the board to size with a circular saw (making sure to prop the board up from underneath so we didn’t cut our workbench). Each refrigerator side measured 28-1/2″ deep x 91″ tall.
Next, we nailed a 1″ x 2-1/2″ piece of pine to the back side of the particle board, so the pine would lay between the wall and the particle board. This piece of pine not only helped provide an easy way to nail the refrigerator side to the wall, but also to help keep the particle board straight and prevent it from warping or swaying (insert joke in poor taste about wood going limp here).
Here’s the same particle board/pine piece combo dry fitted in place so you get the idea.
You know how I’m ALWAYS complaining about how our house isn’t level and our house isn’t square and our house is old so it’s not level or square (broken record say what?!), enter evidence stage right:
Holy gaps Batman! Thankfully trim pieces will cover this up.
Before permanently installing the side, I took a moment to prime and paint the pieces using a small foam roller. Why didn’t I paint after installing, you ask? Let’s just say my badonkadonk wasn’t about squeeze in that 20″ pantry space to paint it once it was already installed. I also took a moment to pre-prime and paint the other trim and support pieces that were TBI (to be installed).
Like this trim piece, which served the dual purpose of providing a solid wood surface to nail the refrigerator side into and also as the backing for the drawer slides, also TBI.
The unglamorous action shot of
Grizzly Adams my mangy husband…I mean…studly husband in weekend project attire nailing the refrigerator/pantry side into place. Random side note…I adore my husband in Carharts, swoon!
And the other trim piece we installed was another 1″ x 2-1/2″ piece of pine to cover the weird, angled gap between the particle board and the ceiling, and also to provide some needed support to the particle board.
Before we could push the refrigerator back into it’s little nook, we had a little drillin’ to do. The outlet for the refrigerator was on the exposed wood wall, on the other side of the particle board side. Nothin’ a little spade bit/drill action couldn’t fix.
One side done and installed and one more side to go. Random side note: notice the Carhart wardrobe change?! New day, new Carharts! Swoon continued! Random side note #2: I am THIS close to patching, priming, and painting the ENTIRE kitchen ceiling because of THAT stain! Even though the ceiling is completely coming down in just a couple of months to be replaced with bead board. Patience grasshopper…patience.
Once we got the first side of the refrigerator box up, it started to really feel like a built in pantry. Can’t you just see the pull out drawers, installed between the wall the fridge?! Filled to the brim with flour and sugar and pasta…oh my!
Back out came the refrigerator and we got back to work finishing up the framing for the shelf and also for refrigerator side number two. First by installing a piece of pine between the two sides to create an above-the-refrigerator shelf bracket.
Lather, rinse and repeat. We built and finished refrigerator side #2 in the same manner as refrigerator side #1. And with that, we have a framed-ish in refrigerator. “Ish” as in it’s still missing the shelf above the refrigerator, which we’re planning on using to stow the microwave to get it off our kitchen counter to free up more work space.
So what’s next? Great question! Glad you asked! Why, shelves of course! And since I love a good spoiler these days, here’s a kitchen pantry pull out shelf teaser:
Cannot…wait…to share more about them with you! They still need a little touching up and finishing, like end pieces and drawer pulls, but more on that later. Stay tuned for more details from the great pantry project of 2014.
Pssst…Okay my Northeastern-ly friends. Have you guys been having crazy weather too?! This weekend we bunkered down and watched all the crazies try to drive up our hill and get stuck, fire truck included, thanks to all the ice. It’s like winter’s revenge after having a couple of mild winters the past couple of years! Stay safe my friends.
Long time no kitchen talk! What gives?! It’s like we’ve been busy celebrating Christmas and New Year’s and an anniversary (Colby and I recently hit the five year mark…dating wise…we haven’t made it that far yet in the marriage department yet…fingers crossed!). When we last left off in our kitchen remodel, which I’m coining “Operation Lipstick On That Pig”, we had exposed the old wood sheathing underneath the sheetrock. We also talked about the kitchen remodel plan. Remember that plan?! Well…just scratch that. We’ve thrown the plan out the window and we’re onto a new plan called “winging it”. It’s a fabulous plan. In “winging it”, we’ve decided that the next step in our kitchen remodel process would be to build in a bit of a pantry situation around the fridge. Here’s the plan:
Mind…blown! I know, everyone and their brother has a pantry around their refrigerator. But we’re not going the cookie cutter, built in pantry cabinet beside the refrigerator route. Oh no. That’s way too boring for us. We’re opting to go with pull out slabs of wood with drawer slides that we’re going to call shelves. Trust us. It’s going to be legend…wait for it…dary. I tried to draw you guys a pic of the pantry plan, you know, to let you into my head a bit (be warned…it’s a scary place), but alas I am no artist. Just envision five pull out drawers between the refrigerator and the wall. First step in the pantry plan, framing.
Random side note…that’s Colby’s weekend “uniform”. I married Grizzly Adams! And don’t you love that he’s wearing leather mittens while installing the shelf framing?! It’s averaging about -20 degrees outside here in Maine so I can’t blame him. Anyway, since the old wooden wall was nothing close to straight, level or even, we couldn’t affix our pantry drawer slides directly onto the wall. It needed some spacers and framing. We wanted 13″ wide x 26″ deep shelves in the 30″ depth refrigerator cavity. So Colby nailed in a vertical piece of 1″ x 3″ pine with the outside edge of the board 30″ out from the wall (which lines up with the edge of the refrigerator), to define the pantry space.
Next, we installed the horizontal pieces of pine that would be the wood the drawer slides would be screwed directly into. These wood pieces essentially will serve as spacers for the drawers to sit a bit off the wall. It was imperative that these be perfectly level and even to ensure proper drawer slide-age. Nobody needs a crooked shelf. Out came the level and we marked each of the five shelves, an equidistant 15.5″ apart from each other, with the bottom spacer sitting above the baseboard.
As per usual in our old, not level and not square home, the old wood wall was a bit wavy and uneven. Meaning, to properly even out the spacers for the drawer slides, each piece of pine needed to be shimmed (see…this is why we couldn’t attach the drawer slides directly to the wall). Drawer slides just don’t work if the back width is an inch narrower than the front width. To shim the spacer, Colby just slid a pair of shims (or sometimes a single shim) behind the pine, adjusting them as necessary for a level fit.
Once the spacers were at the correct depth, we just used the nail gun to nail through the spacer, into the shim and into the wall behind it. Kind of like so.
Afterwards, we just cut the excess shim off with a utility knife and we were left with the finished drawer framing that looked something like this:
And the extended
warranty view (please ignore the nasty-a$$ ceiling…it’s gotta go):
Since the next step in the building process was to build in the refrigerator, which leaves about a 13″ gap between it and the wall, I opted to prime and paint all the framing before proceeding to the next step. It just took one coat of primer (after punching in all the nails, filling the nail holes, and sanding down the putty) and two coats of glossy paint in Valspar’s Betsy’s Linen (it’s our go-to white trim paint throughout our home).
I’m really loving how the bright white trim and framing is popping off that old wood wall. It’s such a fabulous contrast and I can’t wait to have the rest of the built in pantry painted too.
And that’s where I’m going to leave the framing post/tutorial for today. I could keep going, but this post has the potential to include over 40 pictures and be 5,000 words long so I’ll spare you. But I will spoil the surprise and share the built in pantry progress so far in real time. Actually it’s not really real time because we just installed the drawers a few minutes ago.
Does it make sense now? So you can see how we’re inserting five drawers between the refrigerator and the wall, with the drawers attaching to the white framing and the particle board box around the fridge, and eventually we’ll have some shelves above the fridge too. But one step at a time. We’re taking baby steps here with game plan “winging it”. Next up…refrigerator boxing.
Pssst…Stay tuned for more on the kitchen front, but enough about us. What have you guys been up to lately? Do share!
Let’s just file this blog post under “really awesome tricks I learned from Colby (the PG-13 edition)”. Although, that may be a bit excessive, so I’ll just stick with the good ol’ “construction knowledge” category. So today we’re back on the porch remodel train and this time around we’re talking damaged wood and how to repair it instead of replace it. I tend to subscribe to the “it’s not vented, rip it out” school of thought but Colby is sooo good at saving wood, windows, etc. So when it came to the water damaged wood on the porch, we fought the urge to rip it out and put on our Nicole Curtis Rehab Addict hats on and opted to save it. And our porch had it…water damaged wood…lots of it! Damaged wood up the wazoo! What exactly is a wazoo?! Seriously?! Actually, maybe I don’t want to know.
After removing all the old porch windows we had some repair work to get to before putting them back in (hence why we removed them in the first place). Our main area of attack was the window sill which was riddled with water damage.
And peeling paint. So…much…peeling…paint. This is what we found underneath the old aluminum surrounding the porch window sill. It’s a bit rough, but definitely worth saving.
The first order of business was scraping. We had to get rid of the flaking paint and caulking and glue to see what we were dealing with. And when it comes to scraping, I don’t mess around. I typically pass on the wire brushes and go straight for the heavy duty scraper. But do you see the window sill damage here? All those dings, gouges and missing sections? That’s what we’re looking to smooth out and repair.
Now this is where I’m going to teach you a little sumpin’ sumpin’ so listen up. Do you all have your pencils sharpened? Notepads out? Ears…errrr…eyes at attention? So they make this stuff called plastic wood. It stinks. Like literally stinks not like Miley’s dance moves stinks, so you want to make sure you use it outside or in a well ventilated area. But this stuff is awesome! It’s like taking wood putty to another level. It’s a resin/sawdust mix which hardens just like wood. The stuff is even stainable.
This is the stuff that good wood repairs are made of. We’ve used it once before when we repaired our parlor floor, but this is my first attempt at blogging about it. You use the putty to fill in any wood areas that are cracked, pitted, or generally full of holes or uneven. In our case, the window sill was full of giant cracks, gappages, and all sorts of ginourmous holes. So Colby attacked the sill with a vengeance, scooping the putty out with a wood shim (although the more traditional application route includes a putty knife) and smooshing it into the cracks.
Here’s the before after for plastic wood reference sake. See how it fills in all the imperfections? It’s just like your basic wood putty except it’s one thousand times more durable after it dries. Don’t worry about being too messy with the stuff since you sand it down later.
As per usual, Goose supervised the whole process…once the putty dried of course. No need to have Plastic Wood tracked throughout our whole house.
The putty usually takes a couple of hours to dry, longer for thicker areas. Once dry, it’s fair game for sanding. We’re lucky enough to own a belt sander in our tool arsenal so out it came for the sanding portion of this program. But any sander would work (palm sander, orbital sander, etc.).
And voila…already looking so much better after just a good sanding.
Ignore the new piece of wood, the one building up the sill. We’ll get to that later in a “how we fixed our damaged windows” post. Until then, let’s just soak up all the glory that is a like-new, freshly painted, plastic-wood-ified new window sill.
And a shot of the exterior. See the difference between the new sill and the old window? What a difference a little Plastic Wood repair and some paint make!
And just so we’re comparing apples to apples, here’s the before shot of the same window/sill section. You can see the light, tan-ish areas where the plastic wood was applied and sanded down.
Next up in the porch renovation series, a little window repair. Spoiler alert…we totally trimmed the window sash on the table saw. And by we I mean the global we (aka…Colby) and boy was it scary! Let’s just say, measure twice and cut once has never been so important to us before. But all eleven windows survived and somehow I did too!
Pssst…Project spoiler alert. I’ve recently invested in some Annie Sloan chalk paint and may have just finished painting up a side table. I’m not gonna lie, totally addicted! Does Annie Sloan offer a 12 step program?! Have you guys used her products? Or milk paint?