Our Fresh Pantry Makeover

You know, I have blog dreams of posting on the every-other-daily - giving the internet a new DIY project often to quell the monotony that daily life (especially that of stay-at-home moms...am I right?) can bring.  BUT, being one of those monotony-living moms means there isn't much room for projects AND blogging everyday.  So, in saying that, I just want to apologize for being absent here for almost THREE WEEKS!  It's not because I don't care but mostly because I've been painting, and painting, and painting some mo...and mostly keeping us all alive and thriving of course.  ;)

But, finally, I have something to show for all the painting.  Huzzah!

Our new and improved pantry:

I don't know that I ever shared what it looked like before but I definitely took a quick pic before I started and...

well, it wasn't anything to write home about.

It was dingy and dirty when we moved in and, even though I gave it a very thorough cleaning after I scraped the ceilings in there, it didn't do anything for the dingy.  Once I got the breakfast nook painted (it's in the same space), the dingy-ness was amplified 29475%.

I'm positive it hasn't been repainted since the house was built in the 80's and when it was painted back then, cream was IN...which is fine and dandy and I wouldn't necessarily say that cream is OUT now but it is the kind of color that can get to looking really not-so-good when it's not touched up every once in a while.


I took these two pictures after I had started painting because the difference in the new white vs. the old cream was really astonishing.

Once it was all painted white (Pure White by Sherwin-Williams in eggshell), it instantly changed everything.  The trim around the door also got painted so that helped too.  Before that, with the breakfast nook  all painted, the pantry just looked like it belonged in a whole 'nother world.

Next came the fun part - the back wall.  :)

For a couple of weeks I tried to meet up with someone selling a new roll of this wallpaper* for $10 on Facebook Marketplace but we just couldn't get the timing right and so I just gave up and came up with another plan...

hand-painted stripes!!!  I had a bunch of paint leftover from painting the front door so I used that mixed with some water to get a watercolor effect plus an inch wide paint brush to get those stripes.  (Psst, to stripe this small wall, I only used about a tablespoon of paint mixed with a half teaspoon of water.)

But first, I had to mark where I wanted each stripe on the wall.  Starting at the ceiling, I made the smallest mark with a pencil every 2.5 inches down the center of the wall.
(Fun fact:  I didn't have enough hands to hold the ruler, mark the wall, and take a picture of the whole thing so this photo above is actually two photos in one.  ;)  It's amazing what you can do with apps these days, right?  See also, don't trust every picture you see on the internet...haha!)

When I was done marking down to the baseboard, the wall looked a little something like this:
I photoshopped those dashes in for a visual but mine were much less noticeable.  I penciled them on very lightly so they didn't show up under the painted stripes.

Next, I grabbed our level, the paintbrush, and paint + H2O combo.  I could've free-handed the stripes but to make sure they were straight all the way across, it helped to use the level as a guide (if you have a laser level, that would work even better!)  I held the level up close to each mark and painted a thin line across the back of the wall.

Then, I went back over the line with the wide part of the paint brush.

I was very "imperfect" with my painting.  I really wanted these to look hand-painted, not like perfect stripes.

Once the stripes were widened, I went over them once more with the narrow side of the brush to get some brush strokes in there and encourage that watercolor look.

Repeat that umpteen plus times for about thirty minutes and that's all she wrote painted.


Everything got put back into place and a little more organized with the help of a few more bins I found at Dirt Cheap last weekend (I bought those smaller gray bins for $1.50 each).  Now our pantry actually looks like it belongs in this house.  Mission accomplished!  

I love having a separate pantry (we've only ever had kitchen cabinets labeled "pantry", not a whole closet!) but I'm still struggling just a tad with how to organize it.  We store flour, sugar, and rice in here plus all of our unopened goods but besides just stacking things neatly, there doesn't seem to really be much of a rhyme or reason.  How do you organize your pantry?  I need all the tips!  :D

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I'll be back next week with a BIG update post on the kitchen and before & afters of the breakfast nook!  Until then, I've decided to make the guest room/office November's #letsroomtogether space!  We're hosting Thanksgiving this year and our guest room is packed full of stuff that has to go/be organized before guests need to sleep in it.  Wish me luck!  And if you're going to be tackling your guest room or office with me, good luck to you!

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  1. I have shallow bins for some things (all the granola bars out of their big boxes and other snacks in one bin, all pasta in another) and store other things back to front in a single row like in the grocery store. So a whole row of black bean cans from the front of the shelf to the back.

    1. Ooh how smart to take packaged things out of their boxes!! Thanks for all the good input! Implementing asap!

  2. What what an improvement! The white really lightened things up :-) I love the stripes!

  3. I like it! I use the top shelf of my coat-closet-turned-pantry (thanks to hubby and some Lowe's wire shelving - who needs two coat closets in a house with a smallish kitchen???) for cookbooks. It helps me not to lose stuff on a shelf that's above eye-level. But my pantry is consistently a disaster so I probably shouldn't comment on organization posts. :(

    1. Haha! I like that idea! Our cookbooks are in a completely different room and so they'd definitely be more at home (and maybe used more) if they were actually in the kitchen area!