How To: Build a Rolling Pantry

About: There is nothing I love more then making something new and usable again that someone else would have thrown out or torn down!

I knew from the very beginning with Grandma’s house that the kitchen would end up being a bit of a galley. At first I leaned to using the closet under our stairs for our pantry but it worked out too well for that to be our wood storage. I also knew that we would probably have enough storage to make it work without a pantry but upon running into several, narrow, rolling pantrys on Pinterest I knew exactly what I would be building! I have lived in several houses now with the nightmare situation of having a refrigerator smack up beside a wall, making it impossible to open it more then half way. How on earth anyone manages to design a kitchen with this horrible flaw is absolutely beyond my comprehension. So, moving the refrigerator over a little (so we could open it fully) meant I created the perfect little hideaway for a rolling pantry.

Step 1: A Good Spot for the Pantry to Live

You can see in the above picture that I had a couple of things I needed to do to “prep” the spot first before I got to building the pantry. It had to sit far enough out from the wall to clear the light switches so I added two 2x4s to give it the support it needed and also to bring it out for the clearance. I also added this going straight down from the cabinet above it (I built this pantry meanwhile I was also building the above the refrigerator cabinet so I could trim this pantry out along with the cabinet above it).

Step 2: Gather Your Materials

I chose to build the whole thing out of 2x8s knowing that that would give me a 7 inch depth. From there I took some measurements. To get the height I also made sure to account for the height of the casters I chose. To get the depth I made sure that the pantry would not actually hit the wall in the back. It was just a case then of getting all of my boards cut and screwing it all together. I chose to put the shelves about every foot. The casters I chose DO NOT swivel, I made certain to get the ones that were set in one direction and then, when I attached them with screws, I put them as widely spaced on the bottom of the pantry as I could. Because of this the pantry actually stands on its own as long as no one (or any big dogs…) bumps it, though it will never really need to.

Step 3: Bead Board for a Backing

We had several pieces of bead board left over from when we covered our ceilings so I’ve been using it pretty liberally for all of the kitchen cabinets etc. I simply cut a full piece of bead board with a jig saw and tacked it to the back of the pantry with our brad nailer. Unless we were standing literally outside the house on the deck, with the back door open, we would not be able reach for anything on the other side of the pantry anyway.

Step 4: Check to See If It Fits

These shots I took after I stood it up and made sure it fit, I should have trimmed it out first but it was getting late and my husband got home from his own day job so it was time for me to call it a night. Besides, I just had to see if it worked! You can see how out of level our floors are by looking at the gap between the pantry and refrigerator, oh well, its an old house! You can also see I had already tacked on the 1×4 trim running down both sides of the pantry but I still had to add the trim to each of the shelves and the front.

Step 5: Trim It Out So the Pantry Will Be Stopped

Ok here we are now with my trimming out the whole pantry. This was a little tricky when it came to the material I had to work with. (I own a small car that will not accommodate much and we’re ten miles from town so I just work with what I’ve got most of the time if I can.) All I had in the garage at this point was either 1x8s or 1x4s… and I couldn’t use either of them to make me happy. So, I ended up using one 1×8 and one 1×4. You can see how I over hang the 1×8 by quite a bit so when the pantry rolled back the 1×8 would hit the bottom of the top cabinet and all along the right side of the 2×4 brace I put on the wall (which I also covered in a 1×4). When the pantry is rolled away it is completely supported and is not so deep that it hits the wall behind it.

Step 6: Add Trim and a Lip to the Shelves

Here I am just finished up the pantry, adding 1×4 trim to each one of the shelves. It tidies up the look of the whole thing but it also created a lip to help keep everything on the shelf. At some point I may make this pantry a bit prettier (much like so many of those amazing ones on Pinterest) but as it is the bare wood is ok by us and, really, we’re the only people that see it

Step 7: Paint and a Handle

And there you have it! After two coats of paint and two coats of poly on the front of it I added a simple chrome handle and am absolutely over the moon with how much storage we have! I emptied out our cabinets of ALL of our dried goods, baking goods, pasta and canned goods and they all fit! And I was finally able to bring everything into the kitchen and store it there. No more crock pots in our entry bench! And no more random appliances taking up room in our hutch!

Step 8: A Finished Pantry

And there you have it guys! The pantry is wide enough that it does actually stand on its own OK, as long as it is not bumped. I do make sure and keep the heavier stuff lower on it so its not so top heavy. We have hardwood floors and I will report that you can definitely tell where the pantry rolls, canned goods are heavy! There is simply nothing I can do about the grooves in our wood floor and I'm already over it, the storage we have no is just amazing!!



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    7 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Another solid project! We have a space very much like this, but it is actually finished as a closet. It's super-narrow and we can't get in to utilize it to the full extent; this would fit the bill. Thanks for the idea.

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    I would definitely recommend this! Especially because its so deep, I did think about just doing shelves but I figured I would lose/forget everything that ended up in the back of it.

    We are also renovating a house that has a space between the fridge and wall. You're right - deep shelves cause you to lose stuff in them! I'm excited to make one of these and put all of my herbs and spices jars and bottles in there. You have a great idea and project here!

    I keep all of my extra herbs, spices, pasta and canned goods here. We're still really happy with it! Because I used 2x6s I would mention it is pretty heavy, I wonder if 1x6s would work just as well and make it a little less heavy to move etc.