Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Pantry Progress

Okay, dear readers, I totally cop to the fact that these are not the greatest pictures ever...
pretty much far from it to be honest.
But it's all I've got to work with so hopefully you can catch on to what's happening in the photos.
I've been meaning to post this for a couple of weeks but life intervened and then I hoped to take a few more (and far better) after photos and it just isn't happening... so I'm sharing it as is.

A few weeks ago, (before this and this came to be) I got my annual spring itch to start destroying and restoring some nook or cranny in my house.
Last year it was all about the Kitchen.
And the bathroom.
And a bit of a facelift to the living and dining rooms.
And the boy's bedroom (although you haven't seen pictures of that yet... it's still a work in progress).
This time I chose a smaller project but an ugly one nonetheless.
The Pantry.
It may be small, but its mighty.
As in a mighty big overhaul.
which, truthfully, is why I've been avoiding it 'til now.
Now I'm ready.

Here's a bit of background- our house is 140+ years old and has been tweaked and added on to and "updated" over the course of those years. Sometime, long before our time here, the pantry was created when an enclosed back porch (now laundry room) was added to the house. The pantry was built right where the stairs use to go down to the basement. It measures approx. 6x5 feet but is full of weird angles and so really isn't quite that big. It has a built-in hutch and a shelf built-in where the door to the basement use to go. We added two wooden shelving units and then over the last 19 years I've filled it up, cleaned it out and filled it up again. So much so that I took up floor space with all kinds of stuff I thought I needed but didn't feel the need to make a rightful place for.... are you feelin' me here?
Anyhoo- a few months after we moved here, I got the urge to paint. I  was just a young thing of 20 and as I've heard said before, "all my taste was in my mouth". I didn't have much in the way of design sense and had NOT found my design style. At all. It was the early 90's and cows were "in" and so my kitchen theme was cows and as these things go- my pantry was "cows" too.
Yeah, the phrase "what was I  thinking" has been murmured around here a lot.
A whole lotta lot.

Before- packed to the brim with "stuff" to the left is the part of the project I already started-
chalkboard paint on the side of the built-in hutch
The pantry walls are made out of some peculiar pressed board- not a paneling and not dry wall.  Whoever built the room didn't spend a lot of time on the little  things... like mudding the dry wall, so when 20 year old me decided to paint the room a bright blue, I found a horrible thing began to happen. As I rolled the paint over the wall the little "plugs" of joint compound that were used to cover the screws came out right on my roller and stuck there, which created little circular spots devoid of color on my wall as I continued to paint.
Grrr! One would have thought I'd have stopped there and let my man do things the right way.
Do I need to remind you that I was only 20? Yep.
I picked the plugs out of the roller and kept going and going... as in also painting the crazy angled ceiling bright blue too. 

Then I proceeded to do a not so great job of stenciling a black and white cow boarder on the trim above the door, window and built in shelves.

Fast forward 19 years and a lot more experience.
And a lot more junk.

The first order of business was to haul every. single. thing. out and into the dining room.

My words upon looking at this: The pantry threw up in my dining room. Egads!
This is approximately half of the stuff we hauled out of the pantry. What you don't see is the three extra large and overstuffed black trash bags full of junk... unusable "stuff". Plus the two large bags of recyclables we gathered out from in and under the "stuff". And out of range of the picture is four boxes filled with more stuff to go to Goodwill. When all was said and done- four very full bags went out to the trash, two very large full bags went to the recyclers and six boxes went to GW.
That means over one quarter of my 40 Bags in 40 Days came just from this one small room.
The good news is that we didn't have much in the way of out-of-date food to throw away- just some used fry oil and a couple of out dated bags of fry mix. The bad news is that this means my pantry was full of non-pantryish stuff. Lots and lots of it from the look of things.

Once everything was out, the priming began. While I primed the dark paneling that backed the built in shelves, Sassafras and Mr. C primed the actual shelves. Thanks to my pinterest-savvy, we used Glidden Gripper primer. This stuff is Ah-MAY-ZING!
Boy do I have plans for the rest of that can....

my great helpers
After priming, we started painting on some color. And because I'm frugal and we've got a lot of house projects going on and a lot of paint in the basement.... I used paint we had on hand.
Can you say "Free to me"? I can.
We used white semi-gloss on the shelves, trim and ceiling (the same white we used upstairs in the hallway, on the bathroom ceiling and in The Boy's room).
The walls are Dutch Boy's Colonial Cobblestone.... yes, the same paint as the beadboard in the  kitchen and the bottom of the walls in the bathroom. I'm loving this wonderful color!

I also painted the built-in hutch (no before photos, sorry). It was a dark, dark chocolate brown and I repainted it a lovely antique white (the same paint used on all the trim in the living room and dining room). The one exposed side of the built-in, which butts up to the doorway, I painted with Rustoleum's black chalkboard paint. Also something I had on hand. It makes a right handy place for grocery lists.

After the paint dried, I started moving things back in with a mind to ease of access and how often they are used. I wanted a much more neat and tidy look to the room so I dashed off to the store to purchase a few containers. I came home with two black milk crates (it was all they had),  two small aqua bins, two larger aqua bins, a cloth bin and a lidded clear plastic box.

arrows pointing out new crates
I corralled canning supplies in the two large bins (which are now on top of the hutch as they aren't used as often), napkins and aprons in the smaller bins, cleaning supplies and baking paraphernalia in the two milk crates and table runners in the lidded box.

I love how much lighter and cleaner the room is now. I'm so glad I decided to paint the built-in shelves white- the canned goods really stand out now and it looks so cheerful! And I love, Love, LOVE the pops of aqua with the bins!

I've added a nice little valance to the top of the window since this photo was taken-
picked it up at GW for a buck.

The total cost of the facelift (prices rounded to nearest dollar):
Primer- 1 gallon: $24.00 (leaving about half a gallon leftover for future projects)
Brushes and rollers: $17.00 (except for 1 roller all of these can be reused)
Boxes, bins, and crates (8 in all): $60.00
Curtain valance: $1.00
Total Cost: $102.00

Now that's not a lot of buck for the bang it made but when you consider that my kitchen redo was $650 for a lot more square footage, this was a pricey little project by our standards.

Next project to tackle: The front porch


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