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You Won’t Believe This Easy Pantry Shelving Makeover

Wire pantry shelving is a common type of pantry shelf, and by common I mean run of the mill and ugly as sin. It’s cheap, functional, practical, durable, sometimes hidden—sometimes not, but it burns the eyes and ruins the prettiest Pinterest inspired organization attempts. Replacing it will cost you time and money. So, don’t replace it, rejuvenate it, upcycle it, give it a fabulous rustic industrial makeover in a day. This project cost me $15 in spray paint and zinc mending plates, because I already had the wood and the shelves. Are you ready for the pantry shelving makeover reveal?

Rustic farmhouse pantry shelving makeover from basic wire shelving

When we started our renovation I had two major items on my radar: a new kitchen and a laundry room. Before we did the reno our laundry “room” was more like a double-wide hallway open to the kitchen. Long before the wall was up I began daydreaming about the awesome laundry room-pantry combo we would finally have. I was going to build one of those industrial rustic pantry shelves made from pipe and barn board. My idea board was killin’ it. I had plans man.

Then reality came knocking. My more practical half said sure, he’d help me build pantry shelving… someday, when we had spare time (a.k.a. never), but in the mean time we needed a cheap practical solution. My inner design goddess shrivelled up because she knew what was on the horizon: wire shelving. Guess what showed up at my door not long after? Two 5-tier Home Depot standard chrome wire shelving units. All hope was lost. They became an ugly catch all for the detritus of everyday life, and if I started with a system it devolved that same afternoon.

Rustic farmhouse pantry shelving makeover from basic wire shelving

But just as the darkness was closing in, inspiration struck in the most unexpected of forms. I was blog hopping when I came across a tutorial on giving chrome locker baskets a vintage metal makeover. The angels were singing on high and my path forward was revealed in a shining ray of light—I kid you not, it was as dramatic as I make it sound. My plan: vintage-ify our chrome wire pantry shelves, giving them a nice aged patina, and completing the rustic look with wood planks for a fabulous pantry shelving makeover. My excitement was slightly dampered by Mr. Killjoy who glowered disapprovingly from the corner and tried to kibosh the whole thing. He’s not home during the day though, and I do what I please when no one is watching. At the first sign of spring I scurried over to my FIL’s potting shed, behind which is a massive stack of cedar 1×6’s leftover from a project of years gone by.

Rustic farmhouse pantry shelving makeover from basic wire shelving

It turns out “someday” and “spare time” weren’t actually necessary to get the look I wanted. I didn’t even need my other half’s skills with the power tools, or his leering annoyed glances. I just needed me and a kid-free morning to chop some wood and paint. This pantry shelving makeover project took me a day, only because I had to wait for the paint to dry. In the morning I painted the wire shelves and in the afternoon I touched up the wood planks, assembled and styled the shelves.

Being a person with clothing I spend a lot of time in our laundry room and I needed it to look nice. This wasn’t about some shallow desire to avoid owning one of those super fugly hidden closets crammed with junk. No, this was about peace of mind and sanity. When I am in a beautiful room it calms me. This room is also a thoroughfare between our main floor and basement, as well as the entrance to our guest bathroom. It was an important project for our home and I feel so much more centred knowing that it’s finally done. That vintage toolbox is my spice holder by the way!

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16 Comments

  • Reply The Mama Nurse (@TheMamaNurse)

    This turned out fantastic! Love how you left the final product a surprise until the end…I almost looked ahead halfway through reading but I restrained myself! The makeover really is like night and day…I bet your other half is eating his words now 😀
    Tori
    http://www.themamanurse.com

    March 16, 2016 at 8:15 pm
    • Reply Jenn Schleich

      You know what Tori, he didn’t even notice at first… and then he was confused. Then he told me he likes things shiny. Oh well 😉

      March 16, 2016 at 9:08 pm
  • Reply goodenufmommy

    These are beautiful! I love the wood boards! Definitely gives it a more sophisticated look!

    March 16, 2016 at 10:15 pm
    • Reply Jenn Schleich

      Thanks so much! The wood was definitely an essential component of this makeover. Even before I decided to paint the shelves I knew they needed some wood.

      March 20, 2016 at 10:16 pm
  • Reply DebbieZ

    Wow! This is totally impressive! And it made a huge difference, appearance-wise. It looks like a Crate and Barrel ad! Beautiful!!!

    March 17, 2016 at 1:09 pm
    • Reply Jenn Schleich

      Thanks Debbie, that is a really nice compliment.

      March 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm
  • Reply Susan Gay

    I love it! It looks great, I don’t have a pantry but hope to add some space in the laundry room. Keeping this in mind!

    March 17, 2016 at 5:16 pm
    • Reply Jenn Schleich

      Thanks Susan. That’s exactly what I’ve done here: converted laundry space into a pantry alcove.

      March 20, 2016 at 10:18 pm
  • Reply themonarchmommy

    This looks fantastic! I like that it’s got a rustic feel.

    March 18, 2016 at 8:14 pm
    • Reply Jenn Schleich

      Thanks, that rustic look is what I really wanted to replicate. I love rustic but my house is open concept and doesn’t have a rustic style, so I don’t have a lot of places in my home that it works. Since the laundry/pantry is closed off I thought I could turn it into my little rustic retreat.

      March 20, 2016 at 10:24 pm
  • Reply Colleen

    This looks fantastic! I love the rustic/industrial look!

    March 20, 2016 at 9:19 am
  • Reply The Creative Circle, No 58 - Up to Date Interiors

    […] individual projects features, please click through any pin from the original source. Jen from The Crux showed us how she gave her open pantry shelves a new look at a very low cost, and the result […]

    March 24, 2016 at 8:24 am
  • Reply The Creative Circle Link Party 58 - The Striped House

    […] individual projects features, please click through any pin from the original source. Jen from The Crux showed us how she gave her open pantry shelves a new look at a very low cost, and the result […]

    March 24, 2016 at 9:23 am
  • Reply The Creative Circle Link Party - Domestic Charm

    […] individual projects features, please click through any pin from the original source. Jen from The Crux showed us how she gave her open pantry shelves a new look at a very low cost, and the result […]

    March 24, 2016 at 11:27 am
  • Reply The Crux - How To Give Pantry Shelving Easy Rustic Charm - The Crux

    […] this month I revealed my rustic pantry transformation to you, where I performed a wire shelving unit makeover. This is probably one of my favourite DIYs […]

    March 30, 2016 at 6:08 am
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