Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 4

Continued from “Kitchen Pantry Closet – Part 3”

I am making progress. It’s been slow going, as I’ve only had an hour or two at a time to work on it since my last post, but progress is definitely being made. For a while, I had no real timeframe. I just wanted to do what I could when I had the time to do it. There was no rush basically. Still, being in no hurry, didn’t mean that I wasn’t going to stress out over it. That’s kind of how my mind works. When I’m elbows deep in something I obsess about it. I lose sleep in some cases.

Paneling the pantry with carsiding

Beginning to panel the closet pantry walls

So I didn’t have an overall timeframe, but I did want to get to a point where I could actually use it temporarily as it’s intended purpose…a kitchen pantry closet. Everything that was in that closet before I first put my hammer through the plaster has been taking up residence in the guestroom. It hasn’t bothered us too much because we haven’t had overnight guests for awhile. But…with the Fourth of July coming up, I knew we would be having guests so I had to kick it up a notch and get to a point where we could move everything back into the closet, even if temporarily. And that’s what this post covers.

Since my last post on the topic, I finished framing out all four of the step shelves, reinforcing against the existing studs wherever possible. I wanted to make sure that everything was nice and sturdy. Even though they aren’t meant to be steps, the shelves do resemble steps and will have to be able to handle weight periodically so a solid structure was important. When I finally got to that point, I took a short breather to get my bearings and figure out what I needed to do next.

Beer can time capsule

Placing an empty can of Surly Furious next to the can of 1955 Hamm’s I found for future renovators to find

The next step turned out to be a pretty simple one. I needed to even out the depth of the ceiling because eventually I would be covering the ceiling and the walls with the same material. I didn’t touch the plaster on the ceiling above the original closet because I didn’t want to mess with more of that blown-in insulation, and if I knocked out that plaster, a metric shit-ton of it would have dropped down from the attic. Instead I picked up some cheap common wood that was about the same thickness of the existing plaster, roughly cut some pieces to length and screwed them in place above the new part of the closet. It didn’t look pretty but that was alright. Soon it would all be covered up and would match just fine.

After that it was time to buy more tools. I had decided that instead of sheetrock or something like that, I wanted to line the walls and the ceiling with some inexpensive carsiding, which is just some rough, tongue and groove boards. Again, I went with the cheap stuff. Cedar would have been cool, but completely unnecessary for a pantry. I calculated square footage and headed to Menards to pick up the materials. I tried, and failed to get it all in one load with my Honda CRV. Not so much. I needed two trips and arguably, three might have been smarter. Then I headed off to Harbor Freight to pick out a nail gun and an air compressor. Their stuff is pretty inexpensive and decent enough quality for how much I would need to use the tools.

Over the course of the next few days, I started measuring, cutting and installing the carsiding one wall at a time. It was a lengthy process but with only a few hitches, it came together nicely. The ceiling was a bit tricky, as were the fronts of the step shelves because I had to occasionally notch out chunks of the planks where things didn’t perfectly line up. Before I got too carried away, I remembered that I wanted to place the old Hamm’s beer can that I found while doing my demo back into the bottom of the step shelves. More importantly I wanted to place a modern beer can next to it to confuse future archaeologists who might stumble upon it. I chose a Surly Furious. I downed the can and set it inside next to its counterpart and got back to work.

Step shelf tops

We decided on pre-fab shelving for the tops of the steps for a little contrast

Next was deciding how to finish the tops of the step shelves and again…inexpensiveness won. For this, we decided on some prefinished pre-fab stuff that gave a little contrast. It wasn’t the strongest of materials options but it would do. I had a heck of a time cutting those down to the proper size but once I got them cut and installed, I thought it looked pretty damned good. I patted myself on the back and set out to clean up the various messes that I had left all over the house. While I did that, Sweetness stocked the new shelves with the groceries that had been taking up space in the guestroom.

I was very glad to be taking a break from the project, if only a short one. When I pick up where I left off after this coming Fourth of July weekend, I won’t have a ton more to do. What I do have left will be a bit tricky though because the step shelves aren’t necessarily all of the same uniform shape and size. I tried but it just doesn’t work out that way. What’s next is to stack twelve-inch shelves vertically on the east wall, all of increasing length as they go up toward the ceiling. Each of those shelves with extend a little further to the right to meet up with one of the step shelves to form an “L” shaped shelf. Each “L” gets a little bit longer closer to the ceiling. I haven’t quite figured out the best way to do this yet but I have thoughts. In the end, By the time the project is over, I will have increased the square footage of shelf space in that closet from six feet to forty-eight feet. I have to admit, that’s a pretty damned solid improvement.

Alright then…until next time…

 

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