Pantry Door Redux

Happy summer, Creating Krista lovers!  We’re in the thick of it this July (literally – you can feel the thickness of the air) and have been working on quite a few projects this month.  With our bathroom renovation slowly underway and a couple of kitchen tweaks in progress, I thought it was time for an in-depth update: the never-ending kitchen renovation.

As you know, last summer, Dan and I worked with a contractor to redesign and renovate our kitchen.  While we absolutely love the changes, including a few small DIY moves on our part, I still hesitate to call the space completely done.  Since last year, we’ve installed a new light fixture and made our own kitchen window roman shade.

This spring, we bought a brand new refrigerator, which is a big step forward in filling the empty space above our old fridge.  Dan spent quite a bit of time researching such a big purchase, and we ultimately went with a french door Samsung counter-depth fridge, which we got on sale at Home Depot.

There aren’t a ton of bells and whistles, but I definitely appreciate the front door water filter and the special easy access shelves.

As for our own projects, I have been dying to give our second kitchen pantry, next to our glass cabinet, a makeover. One pantry was completely redone in the renovation, but our second pantry has been looking pretty sad.  I don’t love bi-fold doors in general, but a flat front bi-fold door is even less appealing to me, especially when compared to the paneled doors on all of our cabinets.  We decided that it was time to make a door upgrade.

Dan and I grabbed this 6-panel, solid core, pine wood door from Home Depot for a little under $100.  We wanted to go with the wood feel that the rest of our cabinets have, as opposed to buying an already-white, composite wood door.  This just meant a little bit more elbow grease for me in terms of painting.

Thankfully, I have one of my favorite tools to fall back on: the Wagner Control Spray Max paint sprayer.  I’ve talked about it ad nauseum and have used it for quite a few projects now: painting a windowframe and a desk chair, to name a few.  The painting process is relatively cathartic for me, especially because this paint sprayer makes each coat go on really smoothly and easily. For the paint, we happened to have a flat white paint and primer (from Benjamin Moore I believe) s0 we used it in the sprayer.  I won’t go into detail about prepping the sprayer – it’s all in this post.  We did prep the entire driveway by putting down plastic dropcloths and propped the door up on two sawhorses.  To be honest, this project took quite a few coats of paint, more than I expected.  I spent a full weekend painting, then waiting for it to dry, and painting again.  I did three coats on each side of the door.  Once that was done, it was time for assembly and alignment!

The door came with all of the pieces necessary to assemble it along its track in the pantry closet.  The top piece shown here is a pin hinge, and the bottom piece is the roller that fits neatly into the track for the door.

Here’s the bottom of the door.  This piece holds the door in place and allows the rest of the door to move on its hinge.

Here’s Dan attaching the new track simply by screwing it into place.  We removed the old bifold door and its track shortly before we put in this new door.

This picture shows where the former door bracket was (you can see the outline in the dust).  We replaced that with the new bracket for the door on the bottom.

Here, you’ll see the door with the top hinge in place.  It bounces right off the spring to open and close easily. While this all looks fine and dandy, we actually had a pretty big problem: the door didn’t fit inside the door frame!

To this day, Dan and I are still not sure how we missed it, but the door was actually too big for our pantry opening.  Dan measured the spot on the pantry frame where the door would fit and cut out a chunk of the trim using an oscillating multi-tool.  After that, he also cut off 1/16 inch of the door using his table saw in the garage.  Both of these changes helped to ensure that the door actually fit.  Phew!

After we hung the door, I decided to do some painting touch ups.  Aside from just a few spots here and there that needed repainting, I realized that we didn’t get any paint on the hinges of the door or the outside edge.  I got to work with just a few coats of the flat white paint we used in the paint sprayer.

I used a sponge brush to keep things fairly simple.  It covered the full size of the door hinge without requiring too many strokes of paint.  I did this for the inside of the door as well as the outside edge and used an even smaller paint brush to cover the wood inside the metal hinges.

Lastly, we added the door hardware.  Thankfully, Dan had the foresight to purchase an extra cabinet knob when we bought our original set of kitchen cabinets, so it was very simple to match with the rest of the kitchen.

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Isn’t it glorious?  It’s amazing what a fresh door can do to an (almost) complete space.  Next, we’ll be working on how to revamp the shelves on the inside of the pantry.  That, and a new and exciting project called… the dining table.  I’m excited to share what’s in store in the coming months!


Hitting Refresh on Paint

Have you ever sat down with your significant other and thought, “Wouldn’t it be a great idea to repaint the entire downstairs of our home during the one week we have off for the holidays”?  No?  Just us?  Well, Dan and I came to the inevitable conclusion that it was time for us to give the first level of our house a facelift after noticing quite a few scuffs, chips, and ceiling discoloration that followed our kitchen renovation.  Let’s add “fresh paint” to the list of things that no one ever tells you about doing a kitchen renovation.

Exhibit A: Trim damage.


Exhibit B: Cabinet discoloration.

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Exhibit C: Worn window trim.  We can’t exactly blame this on the renovation itself, but having everything else in the kitchen look shiny and new definitely made the window look dated.


While battling colds and a stomach virus, Dan and I dove headfirst into the elaborate painting process that we’ve become familiar with over the past few years.  In fact, this is our third consecutive winter break painting project. Year 1 (bedroom) and Year 2 (bathroom) were both smaller spaces, plus they were not our primary living space, so this project was a bit more daunting.

We started our three-day painting spree by removing everything off of the walls.  Goodbye, gallery wall of frames. So long, every piece of art that we’ve painstakingly collected and hung over the past four years.  See you later, bamboo blinds and fireplace mantel (who knew that was never repainted?).  We moved as much furniture as we could to the center of the room.

We also spent three hours covering everything in clear plastic tarp.  For the record, we used quite a few tarps and a lot of painter’s tape to cover our floor and large pieces of furniture.  I’ve gone over our full painting process before, but since we were just refreshing our paint coats, we modified the process.  We didn’t use any primer and we did just one coat of paint in Benjamin Moore’s White Satin.  It’s a very light blue, which also comes across as an off-white or gray depending on the light.  Here’s some of the refresh up close:

For the trim, we just used a generic white trim paint in a matte finish.  We also painted the interior of our basement and garage doors in the same color, and we used a flat white paint for the ceiling.  Here you can see the distinction between the white trim and the White Satin (blue) wall color.

Here’s a closer look at the color.  It looks so bright when it’s been repainted – it makes me all warm and cheery, despite the fact that winter is actually upon us.

We’ve officially been able to cross repainting off of our kitchen to-do list, thank goodness! Let’s revisit those checkboxes, shall we?

Krista & Dan’s Kitchen To-Do List

  • Choose contractor and sign contract for kitchen renovation (this was too complex for us to take on ourselves for the first time, but we’re ready for the kitchen in future house #2!)
  • Choose custom cabinets and have them installed
  • Choose countertops and have them installed
  • Choose hardware for cabinets and have them installed
  • Choose backsplash tile and have it installed and grouted
  • Reinstall the dishwasher that’s been dismounted from the countertop
  • Restock our kitchen cabinets and pantry (everything is still in the basement, save for a few essentials)
  • Paint exposed kitchen spaces and ceiling
  • Find a use for our blank, left side kitchen wall
  • Decorate floating shelves and glass cabinet shelves
  • Update kitchen blinds on the kitchen windows
  • Make and install a no-sew roman shade on the kitchen windows to add color
  • Replace two kitchen light fixtures – we’re halfway there on this one!
  • Update the left-side kitchen pantry to match our existing cabinetry
  • Create and design a kitchen command center (like this one) under our new glass cabinet and bar top area
  • Build a kitchen table (definitely a Dan project)
  • Find and/or update current kitchen chairs and potential bar stools

Next week, I’ll be sharing the story of how we fell in love with our kitchen light fixture! Just another day in the life of DIY bloggers. :)