How to Build Pantry Shelving

Pantry shelving can be used to create more storage space in your pantry, and to help you separate items within your pantry for easier retrieval. For example, you can add one shelf for your canned fruits and then a second shelf for your pasta. This will help you to make sure that foods that can go bad are used before they need to be thrown out. The ability to organize your pantry better with shelves can also help you to keep a more accurate inventory of the foods that you have. It can help you create useful shopping lists, be more prepared for entertaining and help you to keep a supply of emergency foods on hand in case of a natural disaster or some other kind of potential crisis situation.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Hammer
  • Two-inch finishing Nails
  • Power saw
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety gloves
  • One inch by one inch wooden molding
  • Two inch by six inch boards
  • Level
  • Marking pencil
  • Fine grade sandpaper
  • Bucket with warm water and soap
  • Towels
  • Sponge
  • Masking tape

Step One - Prepare the Pantry

Use a bucket with warm water and soap along with a sponge to wash down the walls of the pantry. After scrubbing the walls down, run your hand over the walls to feel if there are any remaining pieces of debris such as plaster or small mounds of paint. Use fine sandpaper to get rid of these bumps. Once the wall has been sanded, wash it again and then towel dry it. When you install your molding that will hold the shelves up, you do not want bumps in the wall to prevent the molding from laying flat against the wall. That can decrease the molding's ability to securely hold the shelving. The towel is used to prevent soap and water from standing on the plaster walls and weakening them.

Step Two - Measuring to Cut

Measure the depth of the pantry from the back wall to approximately two inches from the front door. You will want to leave some space to allow you to put things such as a broom or mop in the pantry. Determine how many shelves you want to install and multiply that number by two. That number is how many side shelf supports you will need to hold up your shelves. Measure to cut as many one inch by one inch supports as you will need using the depth measurement. Measure across the inside of your pantry and then subtract a half inch from that measurement. That is how wide your shelves will need to be. Your shelving boards are only six inches deep, so you will need more than one shelving board for each shelf that is 12 inches or wider. Use the width measurement to cut the shelving boards you will need.

Step Three- Preparing to Install

Use the measuring tape to mark the points on the wall where you would like the shelves to be installed. Use the level and marking pencil to make a straight line from the front of the pantry to the back. The level should tell you when the line is straight, and the straight edge of the level can help you draw the line.

Step Four - Installing the Shelf Supports

Lay the one inch by one inch shelf supports along the straight lines on the pantry walls and pound them into place using a hammer and two-inch finishing nails. Hammer a nail in every four inches for maximum support. You may need a helper to hold the supports along the straight lines as you hammer them into place, or you can use masking tape to hold the supports instead.

Step Five - Putting in the Shelves

Once your supports are securely nailed into place, you only need to lay your shelves across the supports to complete your pantry shelves.