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Thread: Thoughts on what to use for Pantry Shelving Material

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on what to use for Pantry Shelving Material

    My Son built a new house about five years ago. In the walk-in kitchen pantry, they installed wire shelving. They are not happy with the wire shelving. He would like to replace it with something solid. We talked about putting plywood, and paint or, something else. However, the paint would scuff. The only thing I could think of was something like formica over the wood. But that too would scuff from cans or etc. being slid over the shelf. Any thought on what to use???
    Last edited by Gary Thinglum; 06-20-2022 at 9:16 AM.

  2. #2
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    how about melamine shelfing with melamine edges

  3. #3
    There are paints that won’t scuff. I just used one can of spray epoxy paint , weeks ago. No scuffs ,but the paint still has some faint odor.
    A carefully organized pantry would eliminate having to slide the cans . The 1/8th white’ Melamine coated stuff would work well ,simply laid
    on the shelves. Some people like seeing solid wood shelves ,often unpainted pine with small knots , and down the road the can bottoms
    will polish the shelves.

  4. #4
    Strickly looking for shelves? Is stain & Poly a choice? Don't
    know how much room you have to work with, I have a walk in butler's pantry, it has 2 base cabinets with pullouts and a butcher block top, upper cabinets, an angled cabinet with 3 sets of doors and a narrow 1' wide cabinet with pullouts that have a total of 6 shelves. It is stained with poly. It was a tight build, two of the cabinets are floor to ceiling, built them in the pantry. Had to put a lot of thought into just making sure everything would open and close.

  5. #5
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    What about leaving the wire and adding 1/2" melamine on top with a return to cover the wire? Wire is strong for closet shelving, but is pretty annoying with smaller items. I added 1/4" ply to 1 shelve that has smaller items.

  6. #6
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    I'm with Rik...Melamine with melamine edge banding which you can also get as actual shelving material if the pantry space is adaptable to sizes normally sold. You can shorten them, but, well...you can't stretch them. Alternatively, pre-finished shelving material, typically maple or birch, is available from a good sheet goods supplier and is also already edge banded. It'd a very durable clear coat finish. I honestly tend to build upper cabinets with the same stuff to save time and not have to finish interiors. For our small pantry, I just went with the typical white shelving material from the home center and shortened to fit.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
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    We have a small pantry and we found the wire shelves awkward.

    So I ripped them out and built drawers and shelves out of cabinet grade plywood and drawer fronts in solid Cherry.

    I built drawer height to work with various size bottles/can/containers that I found in the pantry.

    I also decided on drawers going up to the height that could be opened and the contents still viewed. Above that I went with shelves.


    Before




    After







    On the floor, I also put in a sliding pull out tray.




    To use the minimal space, I also made these small shelves on the left and right.






    Last edited by ChrisA Edwards; 06-20-2022 at 10:54 AM.

  8. #8
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    Being a pantry where most of the shelf is covered most of the time I would go with melamine also. I would seriously consider leaving the wire shelving, cutting 1/4" melamine to fit with a drop edge to hide the balance of the wire form.

    wire shelf cap.jpg

    Smooth, cleanable and well supported.
    Take me to the hotel - Baggage gone, oh well . . .

  9. #9
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    I'd be using this :

    https://www.industrialplywood.com/br...net-liner.html


    While there are paints that will hold up, they are 2 part affairs that are expensive, not widely available (especially in the U.P.) , must be sprayed, and are difficult to dial in the first time for a neophyte.


    Chris - nice pantry, especially like the radius shelves on the wings. The crooked handles have me reaching for my ocd meds though.

  10. #10
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    I had thought of using the Melamine. Is Melamine the real thin white material that is laminated onto 3/4" partical board? If that is the stuff, I thought that the surface would not last that long with cans, and items being slid on it.
    I do like the pull-out drawers which Chris made (nice job Chris) but don't think there is enough room in the closet for them.
    Will talk with my son, and Daughter-in-law when they get home, and show them some options.
    Thanks for all the input guys, nice to have someone to bounce ideas off.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sabo View Post
    I'd be using this :

    The crooked handles have me reaching for my ocd meds though.
    After that was when I decided to buy TPI Drawer jig.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Thinglum View Post
    I had thought of using the Melamine. Is Melamine the real thin white material that is laminated onto 3/4" partical board? If that is the stuff, I thought that the surface would not last that long with cans, and items being slid on it.
    I do like the pull-out drawers which Chris made (nice job Chris) but don't think there is enough room in the closet for them.
    Will talk with my son, and Daughter-in-law when they get home, and show them some options.
    Thanks for all the input guys, nice to have someone to bounce ideas off.
    The actual pre-made shelving may have a slightly thicker coating on it, but I'm not sure of that.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    The actual pre-made shelving may have a slightly thicker coating on it, but I'm not sure of that.
    Melamine is fine as long as you don’t get the absolute cheapest , thinest stuff around.


    If you get a pantry from Calif. Closets Container Store , Closet Factory or any of the other regional players - you’ll get melamine.

    melamine shelf with 15yrs of wear & tear from cans :



    0521E89F-629B-40EF-8A95-40085FB4C3D7.jpg
    Last edited by Dave Sabo; 06-20-2022 at 9:48 PM. Reason: Pic added

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by George Yetka View Post
    What about leaving the wire … (snip)
    Wire is strong for closet shelving, but is pretty annoying with smaller items. ….
    For my pantry George kinda hit the nail on the head. But I didn’t cover the wire shelving.
    Instead I consolidated the smaller items into long smooth bottom tubs.

    My pantry looked almost identical to ChrisA’s before picture. A number of smaller items were problematic sliding, and regardless, trying to get stuff that may be behind other things was a pain.
    My solution was similar to his, but without building drawers. Larger items on the top two shelves and with a few plastic tubs from menards for the other items and everything is neat and easily accessible.
    One tub for all the various cans of beans, another for my tomato based cans, one for soups, one for fruits, compartmentalized tub for sauce mixes and baking stuff, one for breads and baked goods…
    Just slide the tub 3/4 out and every thing is accessible. No tub is overly heavy so pulling them all the way out to restock is easy.
    Another advantage is by grouping things you build up a mental image of what each tub should look like. When you look in the pantry for a can of tuna, you notice the fruit tub looks low. Time to find out what SWMBO has snacked on.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  15. #15
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    Melamine is the first choice but to go cheap and dirty how about white hardboard wall paneling $20.00 a 4 x 8 sheet, if you can tolerate still looking at the wire lip.
    Stuff will slide smooth it is pretty hard and your done with simple cutting to size.
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/47-75-in-x-...-Panel/3015239
    The class act is like most said melamine .
    mike calabrese

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