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Partial Pantry Reveal – Painting and Stenciling

(To see the completed pantry – organization and all – click here.)
I’m moving right along on my Less Mess resolution. I tackled my junk drawers last month and have moved onto the pantry. As a reminder (and because I just love posting pics of my horrible looking spaces) here is the before shot of my pantry disaster.
messy pantry
The first step to organized bliss was to empty the whole thing out. I discovered something as well…when your pantry is a mess and you can’t see everything you end up buying a lot of doubles. For example, I found four cans of pumpkin in there. I NEVER use  pumpkin…why do I have four cans?
blank slate pantry
 I chose to start this project on a week that my husband was out of town (that makes it sound like he went for work or something…not quite, he went skiing) because I figured it would be more fun without his gentle loving reminders that my project was destroying our dining room.
pantry mess
 That was the mess it created right after I took everything out. Believe me when I tell you that after three days of toddler destruction it wasn’t nearly that neat. A vast majority of didn’t even stay in the dining room. But we’ll get to that later.
 I gave the shelves a good wipe down then lightly sanded to get the ‘careless previous owner paint gloppies’ off. Then I cleaned it again because sanding is dirty. Way to think things through Ashley.
sanding shelves
 Then I started painting. I used Kilz first because it dries super fast, covers well and is cheaper than regular paint. After one coat it looked like this and I knew I was in for it. That salmon pink just refuses to give up.
 FOUR coats later (three Kilz and one regular eggshell – plus two gloss on the shelves).  I called it a night.
Bright and early the next morning (oh toddlers…) it was time to start stenciling. Elijah was really excited, mostly because the stool is his new favorite thing. Well, standing on the stool yelling “tool” and pulling on me while I’m painting, that is.
painting pantry


I can’t forget about little Levi…who sat happily in his assigned seat, sporting his chicken sleeping bag and soaking up the chaos.

baby blogger

Now I’m not going to give you a whole stencil tutorial, but if your interested you can read about it and print out the design here.

Though I’m not going to give you a tutorial, I do have a few stencil tips. Here they are, in no particular order.
1. You probably shouldn’t stencil the inside of a pantry. It’s pretty cramped and tight and the shelves really get in the way. Also doing a giant room (like the one in the tutorial link up above) will take you for-freakin-ever and you will hate yourself halfway through the first wall. Small areas are what you want. But probably not pantries.
2. While your painting you will think it looks all wonky and jacked up. It does. But take a step back and it will look fine.
3. Too much paint on the brush is better than too little and painting quickly produces smoother lines than going slowly. At least that’s how it worked or me.
4. Trying to have a steady hand whist being pulled on by a toddler is not recommended.Here is the pantry after I traced the stencil on. This part probably took me about two hours, thanks to all the   stencil folding required.
stenciled pantry
While I was tracing away I suddenly heard a chorus of frantic spitting coming from the living room. I stop what I’m doing to go check it out and find Elijah sitting on the floor with an open bag of flour. He must of quietly stole it off the table thinking it was a snack… and after a few handfuls discovered that plain wheat flour isn’t all that tasty.
flour mess baby
After I cleaned up his flour mess (and gave him a real snack) I started painting.
(I used the same paint as our kitchen cabinets)
pantry stencil
Slowly but surly it came along. Another painting tip…be very careful not to get your brush handle caught on the shelves and door frame when when going from paint can to wall. It WILL fly out of your hand and land who knows where. It may even happen six times.
Moroccan tiled stencil
And remember how I told you that it would look all wonky and jacked up? Yeah…
stencil wall
It may even drip a little…
accent wall
But after some touch ups (and two days) it will look great!
attention-getting pantry


That’s it for now….tomorrow I’ll show you the final reveal, organization and all!

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  1. I love it, it looks awesome. Sadly, I can not envision myself stenciling my pantry. However, I do want that shelving contraption you got going on the door. Where is that from? HD? Ikea? Lowes? Please tell!

  2. Congrats on a well-done project WK (with kids!) – they make life so much more hilarious – at least looking back, right? My son would have really enjoyed joining Elijah on the stool – he would have found a real hammer somewhere and dropped it on my foot just for added measure :)

  3. That looks great! Are you going to leave your pantry door open for a month to appreciate the work it took you and how awesome it looks? :)

  4. Your pantry looks wonderful! I'm following from the linky blog hop…I'd love you to stop by my blog & follow along too!

  5. What the heck is it with that salmon color????? I have the same thing going on in the cupboards of the house we’re re-doing!!!! Glad to know about the Kilz tip!!! Your house is beautiful btw!!

  6. Hi Ashley. I just found your blog, not sure where but I’m glad I did.. Love your stuff. I noticed your son was wearing a Steeler’s shirt, are you living in Pittsburgh now..? That’s where I’m from..

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