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DIY Freestanding Kitchen Pantry

Build kitchen storage that's packed with style and practicality. A simple design and an easy-to-install screen door mean you'll put it to work in no time.

Kitchen pantry with a decorated screen door

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Miter saw
  • Table saw (optional)
  • Drill and bit set
  • Small, flat pry bar
  • Screwdriver or screw-driving bits
  • Clamps with a 32" capacity
  • Tape measure
  • Steel snips
  • Painter's tape


  • 3/4"x4'x8' MDF, #37461
  • 3 1"x12"x8' Top Choice whitewood, #984
  • 1"x4"x8' Top Choice whitewood, #940
  • 3/16"x4'x8' hardboard wall panel, #296727
  • 32" t-bar wooden screen door, #65425
  • 4 7" pine screen door brackets, #35843
  • Lincane MF decorative aluminum sheet, #103626
  • Hook-and-eye screen latch, #330641
  • Gatehouse butt mortise door hinge (2), #308972
  • Gatehouse 82mm satin nickel pull, #227004
  • 5 HG 1/4" nickel L-shaped shelf pins, #323793
  • Valspar Signature Bistro White, #7006-4 (pantry exterior)
  • Valspar Signature Dark Green 2, #LA1108 (pantry interior)

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

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Project Resources


Assemble the Cabinet

Step 1

Assemble the cabinet sides and shelves

Use a table saw or have a Lowe's associate cut the cabinet sides (A); top, bottom, and fixed shelf (B); back (C); and adjustable shelves (E) to size. Sand the shelves with 120-grit and then follow with 180-grit sandpaper. On the inside faces of the sides, mark the location of the center shelf (Freestanding Kitchen Pantry Project Diagram).

Step 2

On a flat surface, stand the sides (A) on edge. Glue the ends of shelves (B) at the top, bottom, and center and hold them in position against the sides using clamps. Clamp one leg of a carpenter's square to the top shelf with the other leg against the side to bring the shelves 90 degrees to the sides. Drill countersunk pilot holes so the screw heads will rest 1/8" below the wood surface and drive three screws in each joint.

Step 3

Drill shelf pin holes in the cabinet sides

Rest the assembled pantry frame on one side. To mark the locations of holes for the adjustable shelves in the lower section, cut a 12-1/4"x34" piece of perforated hardboard drilling guide so that you leave an equal distance from the edges to the nearest row of holes on both sides so the holes you drill will be the same distance from the shelf side edges when you move the template. Apply painter's tape beside the second row of holes from both edges and mark the center hole location. Then mark three holes 3" apart to the left of the center hole and three to the right of the center hole. Repeat for the other side of the guide.

Step 4

Wrap a tape "flag" on a 1/4" drill bit 3/4" from the tip as a drilling depth guide. At each marked hole in the perforated hardboard, drill a shelf pin hole. Repeat on the opposite cabinet side. For the longer upper portion of the pantry sides, center the guide in the opening and drill the two pairs of seven shelf pin holes.

Step 5

Apply a coat of primer to the cabinet (A/B) and adjustable shelves. Lightly sand any rough spots and prime any bare areas (especially on the MDF sides). Then apply two coats of paint.

Step 6

Drill pilot holes for attaching the back (C) to the cabinet shelves (B). Prime and paint the back. Then screw the back to the cabinet. Cut the back cleats (D) to length; then glue and screw them to the sides (A) and back.

Add the Door

Step 1

On the screen door, use a small, flat pry bar to remove the splines covering the edges of the fiberglass screen. At the center rail, cut the screen between the rail and the bottom of the door and remove that portion of the screen. Use the bottom spline to attach the cut bottom edge to the center rail.

Step 2

Mask the bracket locations on the screen door with tape. Prime and paint the screen door. (Remove the screen entirely if you want to make the job easier, or mask around the screen to keep it free of paint.) Mask the outside back and bottom of the six brackets with tape. Prime and paint the brackets and let dry. Remove the masking tape and glue and clamp the corner brackets to the door frame.

Step 3

Measure the opening between the center rail and the bottom of the door where the screen had been located. Apply painter's tape to the perforated aluminum sheet at roughly those dimensions and mark the tape with the precise measurements. Use snips to cut the aluminum sheet to size. Use 3/4" panhead screws to attach the metal sheet to the door frame.

Step 4

Position the screen door on the cabinet (A/B) with the top end of the door flush with the top of the cabinet. Mark the positions of the hinge screws on the cabinet side and door edge. Drill pilot holes and attach the screen door to the cabinet.

Step 5

Drill and screw the handle to the door frame and add a hook-and-eye latch to hold the door closed. After choosing a location for the finished pantry and standing it in position, use an electronic stud finder to locate a stud behind and near the center of the cabinet. Near the top of the cabinet, drive a screw through the back, the upper cleat, and the drywall into the stud to prevent the cabinet from tipping forward if someone accidentally tugs downward on the door. Add the adjustable shelves and pins and you're finished.