DIwYatt: Installing Pantry Drawers

By | February 19, 2015

After I finished building the pantry drawers, details in this post, it was time to get them installed. Unfortunately, this wasn’t an easy process.

The first step in installing the pantry drawers was to make rails for the drawer slides to attach to. If you’ll remember, I build the pantry with a face frame that overhung the sides of the pantry by about a half an inch on each side.

Building Pantry Boxes 2

That meant the drawer glides (and drawers) couldn’t be attached directly to the pantry walls or they wouldn’t fit through the front of the cabinet. So, each rail needed to be thick enough  to be even with the face frame of the cabinet. I used some leftover wood from the shelf project and ripped it into strips that would prop the glides out just far enough to clear the front of the cabinet.

I also had to do this with the potato bin we purchased from Ikea.

Ikea bin

In fact, since the pantry is 27 inches wide and the Ikea bin only came in 24 or 30 inch widths, I had to make those rails even thicker for it to work in our pantry at all.

Pantry Drawer Rails 2

After those two rails were in, I just started working my way up.

Ikea Potato Pantry Bin

Luckily, this was a pretty simple process. It just involves a lot of measuring and double checking to make sure everything was even.

Pantry Drawer Rails

After screwing them to the pantry, Melissa decided to put a coat of white paint on them to help the raw wood blend in to the pantry and be less noticeable.

I was a little worried about the rails looking really cheap or scrappy when we first realized we’d have to add them, but the paint really helped. See the difference between the painted and unpainted sides?

Pantry Drawer Rails Painting

Then it was time to install the slides, starting with the ones for the Ikea bin. They were pretty easy to screw into place.

Pantry Drawer Rails Painted 2

This one was easy. It isn’t a great quality drawer glide, but it will serve its purpose just fine for us since we couldn’t find any others we liked better. And Melissa is really excited to have such a large bin for storing potatoes and onions.

Potato and Onion Pantry Bin

I had trouble installing the drawer slides, because I made the drawers just the right size width, which made the slides a little too tight to roll smoothly. We’re talking like an 1/8 of an inch too wide. That’s what I get for not double checking the measurements of the drawer slides and trusting what the package said I guess.

So,  I had to modify the drawers to get the drawer slides to work properly. That turned out to be pretty simple, but still really frustrating. I ran each drawer through the table saw to shave off a tiny bit of the width, just at the bottom where the glides needed to go.

Trimmed Pantry Drawers

Here they are in the pantry:

Finished Pantry Drawers Installed

You can see we went with a distinct arrangement that gave us room for short canned goods, medium height items, and then tall things, like cereal boxes.

Finished Pantry Drawers 2

The drawer slides seemed to work better with the weight of the filled drawers, but I’ll let Melissa tell you about moving into all her new space.

Of course, she isn’t satisfied with exactly how the drawers are organized yet. I’m sure she’ll rearrange them a few times before she gets them perfect. Probably just enough times that I’ll never remember what goes where.

Filled Pantry Shelves

Throughout this whole process, we haven’t shared a lot of the specific details like measurements since we figure it isn’t that likely anyone would have a pantry cubby space exactly the same size as ours was. But, we’ve tried to outline the process to give you the basics of each step we took along the way. 

If you want to tackle a project like this, I hope you’ll find our general suggestions and lessons learned to be helpful.

And feel free to ask questions about any specific issues you’re having and I’ll do my best to help on a case by case basis. Good luck!


3 thoughts on “DIwYatt: Installing Pantry Drawers

  1. mom

    Great Job. I love the pantry. I am sure Melissa will get them organized perfectly.

  2. nellie

    you should join pinterest. you have a lot of detailed instructions that I would love to pin. I tagged you on my favorites for now.

    1. Melissa Post author

      Thanks! We’re on pinterest, actually. You can find the link in our sidebar. 🙂


Join in with a comment! (Let's all agree to be constructive here, okay? Thanks!)