Clever IKEA Pantry Hack For The Most Spacious Pantry Ever

Are you looking to create a spacious pantry even in a small kitchen?

This IKEA pantry hack using PAX wardrobes is the perfect solution! 

I'll show you step by step, how we customised the PAX wardrobe to create our dream pantry!

Before we jump in, here's a quick peek at what you'll achieve:

ikea pantry hack

When we were renovating our house, I knew I wanted two things. A utility room and a large pantry.

I considered an IKEA walk in pantry hack but due to space limitations, I had to choose between a walk-in utility or a walk-in pantry.

I was so torn but our designer came up with a clever idea to extend a wall in the kitchen and make use of IKEA PAX wardrobes.

That way we could achieve a spacious built in pantry and have a walk-in utility instead! I was so pleased.

This IKEA built-in pantry hack is the perfect solution for your dream pantry.

Before

This is what our kitchen looked like before.

ikea pantry hack

The part of the kitchen we chose for the pantry is adjacent to the kitchen door, so you see it on the right-hand side when you walk in.

The trick to making these wardrobes look fully built in is to make it look just like a wall.

That means we couldn't have handles and we would have as few doors as possible.

After

Here's the finished pantry.

Ikea PAX Wardrobe Hack

This pantry hack is genius because it offers us great storage space and it is very close to our dining room.

Before and after ikea pantry hack
Ikea Pantry Hack

It is perfect for any kitchen size and even small kitchens can get totally pull off this great IKEA hack.

Supplies

We didn't build this ourselves as this hack required really skilled tasks like plaster boarding and plastering.

To save on costs, you can tackle the project yoursef and hire a skilled plasterer to finish the job.

Here a list of everything we used for our project:

  • 3 IKEA PAX wardrobes (measure your space to decide how many you will need)
  • Cabinet doors (Ours were a mix of 50cm and 75cm)
  • Push to close latches (optional, for a sleek handle-free look)
  • 2x4 timber
  • MDF board
  • Screws
  • Polyfilla
  • Plasterboard
  • Plaster
  • Paint
  • Melamine Primer

Step #1: The Research (Plan Your PAX Pantry)

ikea pax planner

When we were planning out this pantry we came up with so many ideas.

We thought of using an IKEA pantry cabinet or the IKEA billy bookcase.

We also considered an open pantry system and even reeded glass cabinets came up at some point. 

The first idea we crossed off the list were billy bookcases.

 They are excellent to hack but just didn't offer us the depth we needed for all our food items (I'm Nigerian).

We eventually settled for IKEA wardrobes because they offered us the most spacious cabinets as well as the height we needed to make it look built in. 

So plan out your space to see the best IKEA solution that fits the space.

If you go for PAX wardrobes, measure the designated space and determine how many PAX wardrobes you'll need.

Use the IKEA PAX Planner to visualise the shelving and door placement as well. 

Remember to leave enough space to build a wall.

Step #2: Assemble the PAX Wardrobes

Follow IKEA's PAX assembly instructions and build out the wardrobes and drawers.

building IKEA pax wardrobes

After this, install the shelving.


Don't worry about being too precise at this point, you can always change it later.

building pax wardrobe

Step #3: Position and secure the PAX units

Once you've assembled the wardrobes, position them flush against the wall, making sure there are no gaps.

Secure them to the wall using screws.

Step #4: Build the "hidden wall" 

This step helps you create a seamless, built-in look for your IKEA PAX pantry.

Here's what you'll do:

building our IKEA pax wardrobe

Framing:

  1. Construct the Frame: Use 2x4 timbers to screw onto the side of the PAX units. This frame will go all the way up to the ceiling. This creates a structure to hold the plasterboard (drywall) and provides a sturdy backing for it. Refer to the image if this is confusing.
  2. Hire a Professional: For the next steps, I recommended you hire a professional unless you're comfortable with plastering and drywall installation.

Plastering the Hidden Wall:

ikea pax hack
  1. Apply MDF Board: An MDF board can be added on all sides of the IKEA wardrobes to make it look built in.  
  2. Install Plasterboard: The professional will install plasterboard (drywall) sheets onto the board and timber frames.. These sheets will create the smooth surface of your hidden wall.
  3. Plaster: Once the plasterboard is installed, the professional will apply tape off the MDF on all sides and add plaster to the sides of the wardrobes and the entire wall, making it look like one wall. This creates the final, smooth, finished wall that hides your PAX units.
plastering the wall

Additional Tips:

  • Uneven Ceilings:  Bear in mind  that ceilings, especially in older houses, may not be perfectly straight. To ensure a flush fit, the professional might need to measure the entire length of the ceiling and cut the plasterboard and MDF boards accordingly.
  • Screw Placement: When attaching the timber frames to the wardrobe, make sure the screws are set slightly back. This allows you to fill them easily and your painting will be a lot smoother.

Step #5: Attach cabinet doors and hardware

Once it's all dry. Install your chosen cabinet doors, and push-to-open latches (if using) for a polished look.

push to open cabinets

PUSH TO OPEN CABINETS

Step #6: Paint

Fill the screw holes with Polyfilla and sand till it's smooth.

filling a screw hole

If you find that it's not smooth, fill again and sand down. You want it to be perfect because any mistake with this will show up when it comes time to paint.

painting the ikea pax wardrobe

You can paint it the same colour as the wall for the most seamless look. Also, paint the cabinet doors but be sure to use a melamine primer before you paint the cabinet doors else it will just peel right off.

Tip: Seriously! Don't forget to prime your cabinet doors with melamine primer before painting to ensure the paint stays on

Step #7: Organise and Personalise

Fill your new pantry with baskets, containers, and labels for a well-organised and functional space.

ikea pantry hack

Alternative IKEA Pantry Hack Ideas

I totally understand if this IKEA pantry hack is not for you maybe due to space, or you just want a different type of kitchen storage.

Here are some additional ideas that might be the perfect fit for your home.

Billy Bookcase Hack

This has to be by far the most popular IKEA pantry hack, especially for small spaces. It is (in my opinion) one of the best IKEA hacks and props to the first person who came up with it.

You can decide to put doors on it to store away some kitchen appliances. This really helps with visual clutter or use without doors. If I were ever to do this again in another home, I would more than likely do a Billy bookcase hack

IKEA Havsta Pantry Hack

When I saw this hack, my mind was completely blown.

The level of skill and talent that went into creating this is simply on another level.

Annie of Champagne Chaos not only created extra storage, she hacked a breakfast bar too.

This is a great way to use the Havsta unit and you can use it to store up some dry goods and possibly display small appliances on the breakfast bar.

IKEA GRIMO Pantry Doors

This was the most shocking IKEA hack. I think it will be particularly useful for those who are short on floor space.

Shannon of The Daily DIYer made this pantry out of just IKEA GRIMO doors with hinges. I was so shocked when I saw it.

She used the wall as the back of the shelf and the result looked completely intentional and built-in.

It is such a great idea and the perfect solution for those who are short on space.

IKEA OMAR Shelving Unit Pantry

If you are into the industrial look and want easy access to your pantry goods from all sides, certainly consider using the OMAR galvanised shelves

IKEA Regissor Pottery Barn Dupe

This IKEA hack is a small makeover and isn't quite as dramatic and the others.

It nonetheless is the perfect way to get this Pottery Barn look for less. 

Based on the style of my home, I doubt that this would fit anywhere.

However, it's most definitely one to consider if you love simple DIY projects that make a dramatic difference in your home.

IKEA PAX to BookShelf

Last but not the least, these PAX wardrobes were transformed into bookshelves but can work really well for a pantry design.

What I love most about them is the half open, half closed storage units.

This allows you to have aesthetic open shelving for easy reach glass jars and closed drawers to store away less aesthetic kitchen essentials.

With a little planning and effort, you can create a beautiful and functional pantry using IKEA PAX wardrobes. 

ikea pantry hack
ikea pantry ideas

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Hey you, Iā€™m Torera

Hey there! I am Torera, a home care and cleaning enthusiast with a mission to make cleaning as fun and easy as possible for women like you. As someone who had to learn everything from scratch, I have the mindset of a beginner and know exactly how to take you from A to Z. Let us ditch the overwhelm and create a space that is clean, cozy, and totally you!