Update the basic wire shelf in your pantry by covering it with plywood! Just a few materials and a few hours of your time and the headache you have every time you use your pantry will disappear!
One of my sisters, Emily, recently purchased her first house, a sweet little townhouse! When I asked her what projects she needed done, she immediately said she wanted to get rid of the wire shelving in her pantry closet.
She’s a registered dietician, so naturally, she has a pantry that is fully stocked with all the goods.
We all know groceries come in all shapes, sizes, and packaging, and sometimes they don’t sit well on the wire shelves. She tried to add some organization and function with baskets and even repurposed an old shoe rack to add some extra storage on the floor.
Still, the pantry was just not working and foods would not always stay where they were placed. So for Christmas, I gifted her a pantry makeover!
- 1/2″ plywood project panels*(1 for every 2 shelves)
- 1×3 wood*
- nail gun*/nails
- wood putty*
- painter’s caulk
To add additional shelving, you’ll also want to pick up some 1x2s*!
Make Your Cuts
First, I measured the wire shelves to get the dimensions for the plywood. These were just under 36″ long and about 12″ deep. So I ripped each of my plywood panels in half lengthwise and cut the boards at 35-5/8″ long.
To keep this project budget-friendly and quick, I left the wire shelving in place. They’re already attached to the studs, so they are super sturdy and not going anywhere! Plus have you seen the price of wood?!🤯 No sense in ripping them out only to replace them with wood supports.
The only downside to leaving the shelving in place is that the brackets at the front of the shelf stick out from the wall almost a half inch on each side. So you’ll need to take a second measurement to determine how long to cut your 1×3 face pieces.
Now for the easy part! Set the cut plywood pieces on top of the wire shelf, then nail the 1×3 to the front, flush with the top of the plywood and between the wire shelf brackets sticking out from the wall. This covers the raw edge of the plywood and the bottom part of the wire. Double-win!
Plus it makes the shelves look like they were built into the pantry and like they’ve been there all along!👏🏻
We primed and painted before we assembled which was actually the longest part of this project…waiting for paint to dry!
In addition to covering her existing wire shelves, I added a new shelf on top and one on the bottom so she could eliminate the shoe rack.😃 This is simple to do by cutting a 1×2 the length of the shelf board, leveling and attaching to the studs along the back wall. Then cut 2 more 1x2s the width of the shelf board minus the thickness of the long 1×2. Mine were cut at 11-1/4″. These are your cleats.
Attach them to the studs as best you can and set the plywood shelf on top. Cover the edge with 1×3 just like the other shelves and it seamlessly blends in!
There is still enough space above the top shelf to store bigger items like the Instant Pot she also got for Christmas! And now there’s more room for Lucy to hide in Aunt Emmy’s pantry.😇
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Thanks for Checking In! ~Chelsea
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