Close Off a Door to Create a Kitchen Workspace

Finding extra space in the kitchen could be as easy as removing a doorway.

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These homeowners closed off an interior door that led from their kitchen to a guest bedroom. In the newfound space, a new cabinet and cooking prep area is created.

Below is a list of materials and tools used, and a summary of the basic steps.

Materials and Tools:

hammer and nails
drywall tools, tape and mud
utility knife
three pieces of 8' 2 x 4s
tape measure
one sheet of 4' x 8' drywall
sandpaper
primer and paint
chisels
tile saw, miter saw, circular saw and table saw
compressor, finish-nail gun and framing-nail gun
tile install tools
pocket-hole jig
screw gun
poplar 1 x 4 lumber for cabinet face, 3/4” cabinet-grade plywood for doors
cabinet hardware and hinges
tile, grout and mortar
granite remnant for countertop
clamps and wood glue

Steps:

1. Remove original door and casing.

2. Frame in the doorway as needed to provide proper support and a surface for nailing on the drywall.

3. Install drywall, tape and mud the seams. Once the mud is dry, sand the surface smooth, and then prime and paints.

4. Measure the space and design the kitchen cabinet layout. We included a recessed spice rack above the backsplash.

5. Carefully measure for the countertop fabrication and backsplash tile. For the countertop, we provided the dimensions to a granite shop and had matching remnant pieces fabricated.

6. Modify existing cabinetry as needed. For our project, we had to modify a pantry cabinet to left side of the work area by reconfiguring a cabinet door. We cut the door in half to allow access once the new cabinet is installed.

7. Measure for the new base cabinet and create a cut list. Decide how many shelves and their placement.

8. Cut lumber for the cabinet. We were able to build both of the cabinets we needed out of two 4’ x 8’ sheets of plywood. On the table saw, cut both pieces of plywood down to the depth of your cabinet. Trim the cut pieces to size using a circular saw. Once all pieces are cut to size, notch out the bottoms of your side panels to allow for the toe kick.

9. Assemble the cabinet. We used a solid back panel for the cabinet to give it strength, so lay your back piece out flat on a level surface. Attach the cabinet walls to the back piece using wood glue and a nail gun for added strength.

10. Using 1 x 2 lumber, cut the face frame pieces to the dimensions of your assembled cabinet. Using a pocket-hole jig kit, drill out your fastening holes: two at each intersection. Apply wood glue to all joints before using screws. Use clamps at your joints to make sure that the face frame stays on a level plane before screwing the pieces together. After the glue has had time to cure, attach the face frame to cabinet.

11. Cut plywood for the cabinet doors. Rout the edges of doors to smooth out the corners and provide polished look.

12. Cut plywood to size for back wall of the recessed spice rack. Cut the sides to frame it out keeping it flush on all sides. Cut the inner shelves to the desired depth. Wood glue and clamp all the pieces into place then use a nail gun to reinforce all joints. After the glue has had time to cure, install the spice rack by nailing it into the door frame. Add trim around the edges to cover the seams.

13. Tile the new backsplash area.

14. Prime and paint or stain and seal the new base cabinet.

15. Install the new cabinet and attach doors with flat hinges. Install the new countertop.

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