From black hole to kitchen pantry
Back when I bought my current house in 2005, the first thing I did was rip out the bathroom completely, so I needed somewhere close by to store tools. Just outside the kitchen was a sort of black hole closet built out over the top of the basement stairs, which was shallow at the bottom and deep at the top, lined with waferboard, and shelved with unfinished pieces of cedar siding. Perfect for tools. So it became the tool pantry.
Once the bathroom was (almost) finished and I was joined by a new partner, it became obvious that the tool pantry needed to become a food pantry. So we bought an IKEA cabinet which would fit near the current center of remodeling operations (it never ends when you have a house built in the 1930's), moved all the tools into that and organized them much better, and emptied everything out of the pantry, including all the shelves and shelf supports.
While the picture is pretty boring, you can see the odd angles of the walls, the strange varnished waferboard interior (partial - the inside of the door wall was just studs) and perhaps the dinged-up state of the door. You can't see the horrid baby blue peeling paint on the door frame. Lucky you!
Because we wanted a vertical back wall to hang shelves on, I cut the back panel part way up, pulled it out, added vertical studs, and refitted the panel. I ended up with a strange angled join because of the non-rectangular nature of the space, but never mind. We won't see it when everything is painted and the shelves are in... will we?
As you can see I caulked around all the joints since everything was very badly fitting and I wanted to keep out bugs migrating from the attic above or the basement below. Well, I can hope, yes?
As well as rebuilding the back wall, I finished off the inside of the door wall as well. You may be wondering why the wall is that horrid pink color. And is that ceramic tile above the door? No, it's sponge-painted faux tile on masonite paneling that came out of the bathroom, which was that color when I bought the house. It's an improvement on raw studs, but wait: there's more!
It looks a lot better with everything painted white inside, but those funny angles still make you feel a bit seasick, eh? I kept assuring my partner that we wouldn't see it once the shelves were in, but I'm not sure I was believed!
The next stage after painting (3 coats all over everything) was to clean up the door (you can see I've started filling holes in the picture above) and scrape the loose paint off the frame. That was not a fun job as, while the various layers weren't sticking well enough to each other in many places to be painted over, they still held well enough that it took a carbide scraper to get them off!
Here's the inside with the first set of metal standards installed, and the unfinished plywood shelves installed to test for size before we painted them. Door frame scraping in progress.
And now, the completed pantry!
The shallow shelves on the right are 3-4" deep and just fit against the door frame. They are so we can store as much of our canning there as possible just one jar deep, and be able to see what we have and eat it rather than leaving it in the basement and forgetting about it!
Finally, here's the completed pantry full of food.