Between Studs Kitchen Built-in

A couple weeks ago I posted Kitchen Remodel – Part 1 and Kitchen Remodel – Part 2. In part 2, I mentioned that I had um, tweaked – yeah we’ll go with tweaked, a storage area that was built into the kitchen wall.

Above is the before picture of the kitchen. When we first moved into the house, I painted the cabinets a dark mint green color. And I loved it, it was a fun color, but we needed a change. And since moving was out of the question, updating the kitchen was the next best option. I would have loved to put in new cabinets and counters but even that was a bit too much for our budget.


The kitchen is small, 8ft x 8ft before the update. And in part 2, I mention that I moved our fridge to the other side of the room, which was an area for a small dining area, but since it was up against the only door we had to the backyard it essentially just became a wide awkward hall-ish space. By moving the fridge it gave us a nice chuck of storage – but storage space like a lot of things, a little is nice, more is always better (I am thinking chocolate and coffee here people!)! So while building in a cabinet in the now vacant fridge space I came to the conclusion that I could extend the built in we had and have just a bit more storage.

First thing I did was remove the molding that was around the built in. With it gone it gave me a little more insight into how it was placed in the wall. Then I prayed – ‘please Lord, don’t let there be any electrical or plumbing behind this portion of the wall!’.

I ended up having to cut 2 peep holes just below the insert and checked around. One on each side of the 2×4 that was supporting the built-in.

Luckily there wasn’t any electrical or plumbing- Thank the Good Lord!

After that I took some measurements to verify how big I wanted the opening, and using a drywall saw I cut out the rest of the wall board. If you have never used a dry wall saw before, it is a bit of a messy job.

Next was to trim it. For this I used 1×4’s for the outer trim, 1×3 for the trim between the existing and new opening, and a 1×2 over the 2×4 that was holding up the existing built-in. I also cut the shelves from 1×4’s and used 4 pieces of scrap 2x4s (you can see just the tops of them in the photo above) to help hold up a small shelves at the bottom. I screwed these in, but the area could make a great little area to keep valuables.

Next came wood putty to cover screw and nail heads on the trim and spackle to cover any holes/gouges in the wall board and along the inside edge of the bottom built-in to cover the cut wall board edge.

After the wood putty and spackle dried, I used sandpaper remove the finish off the existing built-in’s wood and remove and rough edges from the dry putty and spackle. Once everything was nice and smooth, it was wiped down with a damp cloth to remove dust and it was ready for paint. After a couple good coats of paint were dry, I added shelf standards and put the shelves in. I opted to use standards so that the shelves could be adjusted as needed.

I had originally thought I would paint the back wall a coordinating color to match the kitchen, but after a little thought I decided against it because I wanted my collection of antique Blue Ball jars to stand out. They really are very pretty. I am keeping an eye out for more so that hopefully all the jars on this display will be blue – someday…

After The kitchen was all done, I put up some peel and stick wallpaper that really helped the built-in stand out.


It has definitely helped with storage. I keep rice, pasta and beans in the jars on the top and baking essentials on the bottom. Since my main prep area for the kitchen is just to the right of the built-in, I can easily grab what I need when I am cooking.

I hope this gives you a little inspiration!


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