How to Remodel an Antique Pantry Cabinet

pantry food on a shelf
  • 4-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 0-400
What You'll Need
Electric sander
Paint or stain
Paint brush
New door hardware
Putty knife
Wood putty
Masking tape
Paint stripper
Glass frosting (optional)

An antique pantry cabinet will most certainly look great in a kitchen that has an older look or feel to it. A modern kitchen full of new cupboards and stainless steel appliances are not antique pantry cabinet friendly. The cabinet will stand out as unappealing against a backdrop of new appliances and cabinetry. If you don’t mind losing the current color or character of the antique pantry cabinet, you can always remodel it. The article that follows will show you how to remodel an antique pantry cabinet easily and with little to no money.

Step 1 - Prepare the Antique Pantry Cabinet

Use a screwdriver to remove the door from the main cabinet. You'll need to open the pantry door all of the way to expose the screws attaching the hinges to it. With the door removed, clean off the paint or stain. To remove old paint use paint stripper. Apply it liberally and allow it to work for an hour or two prior to wiping off the paint. You may need to do this more than once if there are many layers of paint. Once the paint is removed, gently sand the surface. To remove the stain, simply sand it off the wood.

Step 2 - Replace the Hardware

assortment of cabinet and drawer hardware

Use the screwdriver to remove the metal hardware located on the door you removed. Once the hardware is removed, you can place the new hardware on it in the same manner. Try to find hardware that lines up with the old screw holes. If the screw holes do not properly line up, you can create new holes, anchor screws in old ones, or even glue the hinges in place with a very strong epoxy. You can cover the old screw holes with wood putty and sand the area down. Hardware can be anything from the hinges and knobs to metal trim that may be present on the pantry cabinet.

Step 3 - Paint or Stain

applying yellow paint to a wood surface

The easiest way to remodel an antique pantry cabinet is by either painting or staining it. Both of these methods will give a great looking result. Choose the one that best goes with the current decor. Painting the pantry cabinet is as simple as taking a brush to paint and then to wood. Use masking tape to protect areas where you do not want to paint. Add up to three coats of paint. Staining is relatively the same process, but you can also apply the stain and then wipe it off for a different color. When the paint or stain has been applied and dried, apply a layer or two of lacquer to protect the surface.

Step 4 - Frost

If your pantry cabinet has glass in the door, you can frost it. Tape off the wood and apply the frosting material to the back of the glass. Replace the door and enjoy your new pantry cabinet.