How to turn a wardrobe into a larder

A larder makes a great addition to a kitchen, but buying bespoke can be pricey. Here’s how you can create your own from a wardrobe

Larders are a great stylish and practical storage solution for any kitchen, particularly a country-style one paired with some freestanding kitchen units or a kitchen island.

Having a bespoke larder made to measure is a pricey undertaking, and even freestanding larder units will set you back the best part of a thousand pounds. However, if you’ve got a wardrobe to spare (check sites like Gumtree and Freecycle), a few basic DIY supplies and a bit of time on your hands, you can make your own without spending a penny.

How to upcycle a wardrobe into a larder

What you need

  • Wardrobe
  • Primer
  • Paint
  • Sealer
  • Wood for shelves
  • Brackets or battens
  • Screws
  • Drill

Total time:

Step 1

Source a suitable wardrobe if you don’t have one. You can get wardrobes fairly easily for nothing, or at a bargain price from sites such as Freecycle, Facebook Marketplace, Ebay and Gumtree. Measure up your space first and wait for a wardrobe that will fit well into your kitchen. You can afford to be picky even you are sourcing things for free! I found a children’s wardrobe on Freecycle which had a similar style to my Shaker-style kitchen units.

Drawers are a useful addition- they add handy extra storage space and help make the finished product look more cupboard-like.

larder 1

Step 2

Remove handles the wardrobe handles. If you like them, put to one side – otherwise, you can source new ones from either local DIY stores, antique shops, online sellers or a salvage yard.

Step 3

Clean the wardrobe and make sure it is free from dirt and dust.

Step 4

Prime the wardrobe for painting. Primer not only helps the paint adhere to the furniture and help protect the paint from peeling, it also makes it easier to get a smooth finish. If your unit is made of natural wood you might want to use a primer that has an inbuilt stain blocker included to stop bleeding or yellow spots forming.

Step 5

Start painting! You can buy specialist kitchen cabinet paint from high street retailers including B&Q, Homebase and Wilko or opt for chalk furniture paint from the likes of Frenchic and Annie Sloan. However, I simply used B&Q bathroom paint I had left over from other projects, and so far it seems to have stood up well to the rigours of kitchen life.

Here is a more detailed guide on  how to paint furniture

Step 6

Time to add in some shelves! First, measure the depth and width of the shelves needed, taking into consideration that you need to be able to close the doors easily and the height requirements needed for what you plan to store in the larder. You can usually get wood cut to the right size at your local DIY store.

If you want to paint the shelves, make sure you do this before you fix them in place – it’s much easier!

To mount the shelves, pick up brackets from your local DIY store and follow these instructions on how to put up wall shelves.

larder 2

Step 7

Seal your wardrobe with furniture wax to ensure it is wipeable and protected from moisture. You can choose either a clear or tinted wax depending on the effect you want to obtain.

Step 8

Attach the door and drawer handles.

Step 9

The best part -put the larder into its rightful position as the star of the kitchen and start filling it with goodies!

larder 3

Find more ideas and inspiration in our DIY section