Over the weekend I did some damage in the kitchen and besides creating a huge dusty mess, it was kind of fun to cut down the kitchen half wall. Exciting and scary too! I did it all by myself.
I’ve hated this half wall room divider for way too long. Even before open floor plans became all the rage, this little wall was an eyesore to me. Unfortunately, my husband wanted nothing to do with this project. All my pleading went in one ear and out the other. But I knew that cutting the kitchen half wall down would make such a big impact in our small duplex kitchen and add extra living space. An island-type countertop is just so much more useful than an awkward half wall like this.
How to cut down a kitchen half-wall
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First, let me explain the entire floor plan a bit better. Our tiny dining room/eat-in kitchen is to the left of this wall in our kitchen area. A small bathroom, hallway, and garage entrance are to the right, so having this useless half wall removed opened everything up and the entire flow of our daily lives was improved immensely. Creating a kitchen island with counter stools created another separate dining area with additional seating for us that gets used daily.
I really wish I had this project on video so you could see how I did it. This was all done before I started to make YouTube videos (my channel) though, so I don’t have any video footage of the process.
We didn’t lose any storage space since the old lower white cabinets remained in place to create the kitchen island.
Tools needed to cut down the kitchen half-wall:
- circular saw
- wire cutters
- drywall saw
- eye protection
- dust mask/respirator
- pry bar
- extension cord
- new electrical boxes
Below you can see what I started with and what everything looked like before I started to cut the top of the half wall.
Make sure that your power is turned off for that section of the wall and run an extension cord from another area of your home where you can leave the power turned on. My little trick for successfully turning off the power on the breaker is to plug a loud vacuum into one of the outlets, so I can hear it when I go into the basement to turn off the breakers. When the vacuum shuts off, I know that I have turned off the right switch.
I removed the molding below the top ledge with a pry bar and hammer as you can see below. I wanted to remove the top ledge first so I could see how the wall was constructed and where the electrical cables were running from and into the regular wall.
Below you can see that the top ledge is removed. I had also opened up all the outlets. My plan was to move them to the lower part of the wall. The phone outlet wasn’t needed anymore and I just removed that wire entirely.
Tip: Take some cellphone photos of each outlet for reference so you can see later how they were set up should you need it.
I then started to chip away the drywall and studs to make sure I didn’t make mistakes with the electrical wiring. I do have so say anything electrical makes me nervous and I don’t want to describe exactly what I did because I’m not an electrician and don’t want people to get hurt. You might be better off hiring an electrician.
For me, it was as simple as cutting out new outlets below into the drywall, adding new electrical boxes, and just cutting the wires shorter.
On the other side of the wall, I used the pencil and level to draw the line where I wanted to cut the wall off.
And then it was time for the circular saw. When I cut the wall, I made sure that I didn’t cut into the exposed electrical wires while running the saw blade along the marked line on the wall. Since I turned off the electricity, I wouldn’t have hurt myself, had I cut into the electrical wires but I just wanted to make sure that I had enough electrical cord to run the outlets where I wanted them to be.
That’s where it got really messy, look at all that dust! At this point I could see exactly where the outlet wires were running in the wall and all I needed to do is mark the drywall electrical outlet boxes at the same height as the other one in the dining room.
Then I used the drywall saw and cut out the holes for the electrical boxes with the drywall saw. The wiring was pretty easy and I just replicated how they were set up before on the top of the wall.
And I also did some cleaning and painting under the sink because it was yucky! Since I’ll be the one installing the faucet again, I didn’t want to be lying in filth while doing so.
When the hubby came home from work, all I got was a dirty look…no comment whatsoever.
After that, I had to still relocate some outlets and patch up the hole in the wall that was left from the teardown on the kitchen wall.
Removing the old black marble laminate counter wasn’t hard at all but we waited until the countertop company came out to measure and evaluate the situation.
I decided on white quartz that is speckled with tiny bits of mirrored glass pieces. I wanted a durable countertop that is versatile and matches any color changes and design decisions.
Since the original publishing of this post, a lot has changed in our kitchen and it went through several color changes and designs. I also added a kitchen counter post under the island after the new countertops were added.
I even added a vintage couch/settee as dining room furniture and raised the legs with some casters. This part of the small eclectic kitchen feels so much cozier than before now and the kids love sitting on the couch to do homework while I cook now.
You can check out my post about the thoughts behind my dining room design and how I installed the wall moulding which makes such a difference and adds some architecural detail and interest to the mostly white space.
I love when the natural light streams in through the windows and you can see how beautiful our new Karndean vinyl plank floor is. We’ve had it for several years and still love it. It was installed a couple of years after cutting the kitchen half wall down.
The entire room feels so much bigger now.
Update: My next idea was an appliance makeover!
I gave our old white appliances a makeover to match our green lower kitchen cabinets. Can you believe that no paint was involved this time? You have to see how I accomplished the colored stove makeover and old dishwasher transformation with the help of vinyl car wrap.
There is another winter storm on the way? One last big snowstorm would be nice. I’m serious! I’m hoping for snow, NOT rain. Especially since we have friends coming in 2 weeks from now to come skiing. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Talk to you on Friday, ok?