Behold, what I spent all of last week working on. An unplanned pantry makeover!
Well, not entirely unplanned. I'd pinned a few photos a while back with cute stencils or wallpaper inside pantries, thinking that someday, when I had the free time, I'd do something fun inside our pantry.
But then we discovered the dirty pink carpet inside the pantry after we moved in. Need a reminder?
The more I thought about it, the more it grossed me out. And not just the carpet, but the whole pantry was starting to look really dingy to me. I felt compelled to do something about it before we started unpacking all of our boxes of food. I needed some bright white paint and to do something about the floor. I even bought a piece of plywood and some quarter round, to put over the carpet as a quick fix, but my husband decided to instead just go ahead and rip out the carpet for me.
It wasn't as bad as I expected. Instead of uncovering carpet padding glued to the subfloor, it was just stapled. And the pantry instantly smelled better, imagine that!
Although the staples did mean a bit of puttying to fill the holes left behind.
A good portion of last week I spent evenings in our garage, painting the pantry shelves with two coats of primer and then two coats of a nice bright semi gloss white, to cover the dark wood and all of the previous owner's grossness.
I also scrubbed the walls and ceiling in the pantry with 409 (tell me, how do you get food on the ceiling???), then with warm soapy water, and then added two coats of white. Semi gloss is going to be my best friend in case something explodes on our pantry ceiling in the future, because it will be SO much easier to clean now! I also did the fun 2 coats of primer + 2 coats of semi gloss on the door trim and baseboard, as well as on the floor.
I had a nice and clean feeling white pantry to put our food in! But the more I looked at it, I sort of felt it was boring. Not that pantries need to be very exciting....but it just didn't feel "me" enough. All of that hard work painting, and it wasn't even that fun to look at. Just clean and white.
However, I did have a bunch of yellow contact paper left over from papering our cabinet shelves (the cabinets will get painted eventually, but scrubbing + contact paper will work short term).
So I decided to do an experiment with the leftover contact paper.
Instead of covering my freshly painted pantry shelves with contact paper, I decided to see how well it would stick to the wall in a pattern. And it worked beautifully! I'm actually a little bummed I never realized the beauty of contact paper on walls before. Not only did it stick well and was easy to reposition if needed, but it will be easy to clean and quick to remove if I want to change things up in the future. Plus, it was super cheap. I probably used less than 1/2 of a roll of this stuff to do the entire back wall of the pantry. So less than $7, and way cheaper than wallpaper would have been. And if I was to paint a chevron pattern, I would have had to tape off the pattern anyway, so this saved me a ton of time on painting too!
All I did was cut the 18 inch wide contact paper into 1 inch strips with my x-acto knife, and then cut the strips in half, making 9 inch x 1 inch strips.
I also cut out a little placement guide with my x-acto knife. I created 3 chevrons spaced 1 inch apart, with the black sections to hold them together and printed the design on 17 inch x 11 inch card stock. I could then trace the corners lightly with a pencil on the wall, making applying the contact paper pretty easy.
Also to make things easy, I overlapped where the ends of the contact paper strips met at the 45 degree angles. This little bit of overlap helped me keep my chevrons relatively straight.
A few hours of pencil marking and contact paper sticking, and I had a much more exciting looking pantry!
With my freshly painted shelves installed.
Hooray for a clean, bright and sunny place to store our food!
(Note to shelf, rearrange crazy fridge magnets that husband just threw up after unpacking)
Now I just need to paint the door and hang it back up. But that's a project for another day, since I currently have 6 doors (and counting!) that need to be painted. I have a feeling that door painting will be another week-long project, since they'll need 2 coats of primer + 2 coats of paint to take them from dark wood to shiny white.
But in the meantime, I'm enjoying looking at our fun pantry with the door off. So much better than before, with the dirty pink carpet gone and not a trace of the previous owner's food splatters on the walls and ceiling!
Have you ever experimented with using contact paper in other places other than to line kitchen drawers or shelves? This little pantry overhaul has really got me thinking of other fun patterns that could be created with contact paper, and I love how renter-friendly it is, since it is so easy to remove. I'm still kicking myself for not thinking of this earlier, when we were in our many rental houses!