Kitchen + Dining

Kitchen + Dining

Pull Out Pantry

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BLACK+DECKER B+D Contributor 186 Projects

You can transform a small walk-in closet into a highly efficient pull-out pantry by replacing ordinary shelving with slide-out drawers. This is a great way to customize your kitchen and make it more user-friendly. You can find slide-out drawers for DIY installation at online sellers. Look for shelves and rollers that are rated to 75 or 100 pounds so you don't have to worry about overload.

There are many options when planning a project such as this. You can purchase shelf rollers that mount to the back of the closet and to the door frame, or you can purchase shelf rollers that attach to the closet walls of the pantry. Each requires some modification to the closet structure. This project uses side-mounted rollers. If you have a pantry with sides that are set back from the door to accommodate shelves along the sides as well, you will need to build out the wall surfaces of the side walls to be flush with the door frame. It is best to create a solid wall surface, rather than simply framing. A solid wall  surface prevents items from falling off shelves. Closet pantries come in many shapes and sizes. The pantry we are remodeling is a 24 × 24" pantry with only a slight setback and shelves only along the back.

How to Install a Pull-Out Pantry

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    Use a stud finder to locate the studs on the side walls. Mark the locations of the studs. Measure the width of the door opening. Make sure to measure at more than one location in case the door opening is not true. Use this measurement to order the sliding shelves.

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    First, measure the setback of the wall from the door frame on each side.  Include the doorstop trim in your measurement. This depth equals the thickness of the spacers you will need for mounting the roller hardware.  Mark the locations of each shelf on the side walls. Use a carpenter’s level or laser level to make sure your shelf marks are level.

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    Cut the spacers to length from material of the appropriate thickness, as determined by your measurements. If you have a table saw, you can rip  spacers to thickness, otherwise use combinations of 1 × 4, 2 × 4, and lattice trim to achieve the desired depth. Mount the spacers to the studs, centered over the shelf height lines.

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    Mount the roller hardware to the spacers. Check for level using a  carpenter’s level or torpedo level. Install the shelves on the rollers.