A Simple Pantry Door Makeover

A while back, I posted about organizing our pantry. It was at that time that we had decided it was time to look into reversing the swing on the door. For whatever reason, when we renovated our home in 2018-2019, someone convinced us to have the door swing inward. The space to get between the oven and the countertop is not that wide, so that may have made sense at the time. However, after more than 10 years of using this space,I discovered something. I swear this little “room” has become the most frequented space in our house since the quarantine began!

Some background…

An over the door shoe organizer has lived behind the door for a while and that’s used for water bottles. When the door swung in to the pantry space, not only did it not open all the way because of the shoe organizer, but it also took up about 6 valuable inches of food-reaching space!

I came to the realization that, if the door could swing outwards into the kitchen, it would be super easy to access those water bottles. Hence, perhaps they would get put away more regularly! Because, you know how it is. When you actually have to step into the pantry, close yourself in, put said water bottles away, step back , and then open the door again to leave the pantry…. one tends to get lazy. Sad, but true. And I cannot exclude myself from said laziness. This is a photo of where the door would swing in…it would just miss hitting these shelves.

And here is a look after we got the door off the hinges and leaned it against the oven cabinet to see what it would feel like if it opened in towards the kitchen.

What were our options?

Mr. Home Matters was quick to inform me that switching the swing meant an entirely new door WITH casing since the latch would have to be switched from inside to outside. Ding Ding Ding! Oh, darn… a totally new door? Could this mean the glass panel pantry door that I’ve always wanted? Imagine the little bubble that came out of my head. There were images of a pretty pantry door, with light shining in through the pretty glass and a nice flat surface on which I could print vinyl letters in some sort of fancy pantry font.

Au contraire, mon frère! The first quote I got for just the plain glass door came in at over $500 and that did not include installation. Sorry, Charlie. I didn’t want it THAT much. I stopped at Home Depot a couple of weeks later and got another quote from then. Now the price was down to like $256 (ish). But I knew we’d still have to get someone to install it since the entire casing needed swapped out – not a forte in the Kleber household set of skills. So we tabled the matter because this was still more than we wanted to invest into this project.

Insert the great pause…

AND THEN CORONAVIRUS HIT and that was it for that project….until last week! My son and I had to stop back at Home Depot to get wood to create our Firecracker Kits and I told him I wanted to take a look at some simple flat panel doors. Perhaps I could get one that had a flat panel down the entire door and paint it with chalkboard paint. Maybe I’d even put “Market” or “Dry Goods” or something French in white vinyl letters.

The poor guy at the door center, exhausted after a full day of short staffed-ness, hot behind his mask, took the trouble to so graciously input all of the details for that flat panel door for me. Now, we had it down to about $145. But, because he was very thorough, he took me back to the stock doors to show me one to make sure we had the “swing” field entered correctly on the order. (And, by the way, it would take six weeks for the door to come in PLUS however long it took for our contractor friend to come install it.)

The finish line of a decision was getting closer!

So, my son and I followed the nice man back the isle only for him to pull out a door that I didn’t know existed IN STOCK. Immediately, I groaned a groan of “Oh my gosh, I think I just made you go through that work for nothing!” He knew what I was thinking… this door had flat surfaces, unlike our old door (which happens to be the same as all of our other interior doors) and maybe I could make it work.

Yep. That’s exactly what I was thinking. Especially because the price was $86! It was pretty much a no brainer for me. My eyes were getting tired of seeing a pantry door leaning against the over wall (I’m not sure why we didn’t move it to the garage). Six weeks seemed like a lifetime. I thought I’d just paint the inner panels with black chalkboard paint and add my letters.

But the more I thought (about yellow, about faux wood and about solid black), I kept coming up with reasons why I wouldn’t be happy with those colors. If our kitchen cabinets were white, I’d probably have painted it in my faux wood technique similar to the wooden beams I did or to our front door project. But with our light and dark toned cabinets and a black set of double ovens right next to it, I kept coming back to plain old white.

This project just kept getting simpler!

By now, I’d almost talked myself out of doing the lettering, too! Everywhere you look in my kitchen/house, there are words. Between my signs and Rae Dunn pieces, pretty much everything has a label these days! So, I ultimately decided to hang a wreath and try out a reverse stencil using vinyl lettering with the word “pantry.”

I’ll live with it this way for a while and see how it goes. That’s the great thing about paint (and removeable vinyl)…I can always change it later. And that, my friends, could be my middle name…Laura ChangedMyMind Kleber!

I wish it were a little more exciting but it works for me for now!

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