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DIY Craftsman Style Cased Opening

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim, Ryan Homes Palermo

Hey there, friends!! I’m excited to be back today with the final installment of our kitchen DIY projects series! A few weeks ago I shared our kitchen reveal, and since then, I’ve been going back and taking a look at all of the projects we did to upgrade our kitchen and get it looking exactly the way we wanted it!

As a reminder, here is what our kitchen looked like on the day we moved in:

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

It certainly wasn’t bad, but we had some changes in mind! One of these changes was to add some beautiful chunky trim work around the opening between the kitchen and the sunroom. The house was a great blank slate, but it definitely lacked some of that great character you find in older homes; we knew that adding craftsman style trim to the opening would be a great step toward bringing in some of the character that we were looking for.

Donnie was the mastermind behind this kitchen project, so I’ll let him explain the transformation. Here he is…


DIY Craftsman Style Cased Opening

Supplies

Before I jump into the how-to, here are the tools and materials I used for this project:

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our disclosures here.

 

Process

One of the first things we had to think about when we decided to add trim work to the opening in the kitchen was what to do with the half wall above the sink that divides the kitchen from the sunroom. The countertops that came with the house were also used as the top surface of the half wall above the sink.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

I guess the idea is that you could pull up bar stools from behind the sink and use it as an eating surface. That seemed weird to Abby and I. Plus, the countertop on the half wall stuck out really far into the sunroom, and it was always in the way when we were navigating around our sunroom furniture.

When we replaced the laminate countertops with quartz, I had the installers simply remove the old countertop from the half wall. I knew that eventually I would need to replace it with wood trim.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

If you look closely at the above photo that was taken after we had our new countertops installed, you can see that the top of the half wall behind the sink is ripped up.

For the replacement top of the half wall, I wanted a big chunky piece of wood. I used a 5/4 x 8 piece of pine from WindsorOne and had to notch one end so that it could slide around the wall and provide a landing spot for the vertical pieces of trim. I used GRK finish screws and construction adhesive to secure the top. It was really important to make sure everything was level. I had to loosen and tighten different screws until the board was completely level. Once the adhesive dried, our trim piece wasn’t going anywhere!

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

The most difficult part of trimming out this half-wall and huge opening came next. After removing the baseboards at the base of the openings on either side, I realized that the hardwood flooring didn’t extend right up to the wall; there was a gap that the baseboards had previously covered. To cover the gap, I actually had to case the inside of the opening. No standard trim size worked, so I had to to buy some 1×8 flat stock and rip them down to the correct width.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

After the inside of the openings were cased, I installed WindsorOne plinth blocks. I wasn’t sure if we should use these, but I’m really glad we did. They provide something substantial for the vertical trim to sit on and the baseboards to run into.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

Once the plinth blocks were installed, I did the side and top trim of the opening exactly as we did for the craftsman style window trim we just finished. We wanted to keep a uniform look.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

Of course with this project, the details were a little more difficult, such as making notches for countertops…

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

… and using a jigsaw to try and match the contour of the cabinet trim on the header cap.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

You can see from the picture that I didn’t do a great job, and I still had at least an 1/8″ gap all the way around. Fortunately this is up high, so we filled the gap with spackling, and from ground level it’s hard to see any imperfections.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

A tip for this type of trim work: nail guns are helpful but not necessary. For this job I barely touched my nail-gun but instead used GRK trim head screws, which are amazing. Their holding power is way better than 18ga brads from a nail-gun, and the small trim heads make patching and filling pretty easy.

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

From a personal perspective, this type of trim work is very fun and satisfying. It makes such an immediate impact and there’s a lot of thinking and measuring, but none of the actual work is strenuous at all. The most frustrating part is that once all the trim is installed you’re only half way done. Patching nail holes, caulking, sanding, and painting always take way longer than I think it will. That part of the process is much less satisfying…


…until it’s finished and looking beautiful, that is! I did a lot of the spackling and Donnie handled the caulking. We spent a lot of time sanding everything smooth and painted all of the trim with Behr Marquee Cameo White in a satin finish. Here is a look at the finished product on the kitchen side:

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

And the sunroom side:

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

It may only be detail work, but I feel like it makes such a big difference in the overall character and charm of the house! Here is a look at the before and after:

DIY- Craftsman Style Cased Opening, Half Wall, Trim Work, Kitchen Renovation, Kitchen Update, Kitchen Upgrade, Farmhouse Trim

I’m excited to tackle even more trim work projects in our house as we keep adding our personal touches to each room!

If you missed any of our other woodworking posts, you can catch up here:

How to Install Craftsman Style Interior Window Trim

How to Add Custom Trim to a Kitchen Island

How to Add Crown Molding to Kitchen Cabinets

How to Add Crown Molding to Bookshelves

Board and Batten Wall – DIY Tutorial

How to Create a Board and Batten Accent Wall

How to Install Board and Batten in a Small Space

What are your favorite ways to add character in your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Have a wonderful day!

Abby Lawson, Just a Girl and Her Blog

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see our disclosures here.

11 Comments

  1. It’s so fun to share in all the projects you guys are doing to your house to make it truly yours. Brave. You guys are brave tackling all these changes.
    Thanks Abby and Donnie.
    Joanne

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It is certainly a process but we are enjoying it so far! 🙂 Thank you Josie… hope you’re having a wonderful week! <3

      ~Abby =)

  2. Ashley Wilson says:

    Isn’t it crazy how much trim adds to the final project?! We added so much trim into our kitchen when we redid it and I think it adds such character! That was so smart of you to take off the little counter top by the sun room!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It really does make SUCH a difference! I love new houses but having grown up in a house that was built around 1900, I miss the character of old houses! Happy we were able to add it.. I’m loving it! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week, Ashley!

      ~Abby =)

  3. SuburbanGent says:

    This kitchen space is beautiful, what a lovely post and what a transformation! I love the new lighting you’ve installed in particular, industrial looking! Great series, thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. justagirlabby says:

      So glad you enjoyed it! I am loving all the changes we’ve made so far! 🙂 Hope you’re having a great week!

      ~Abby =)

  4. Christene Holder says:

    Wow! I love this Abby! We have an opening between our living room and kitchen/ dining area. It’s a little more awkward shaped than yours is but Ben and I have been talking about possibly adding trim to it. Seeing yours makes me want to do it even more!

    Also — I had to laugh when Donnie got to the “halfway” point of the project. This is exactly where Ben’s enthusiasm stops when we do projects. He’s all about the creative part and the building part … but the spackling and caulking is another story. It’s super boring to him. But, I don’t mind it because I can listen to a podcast and just mindlessly fill nail holes and gaps 🙂

    Maybe it’s a guy thing! They love to build but not necessary finish!

    >> Christene
    Keys to Inspiration

    1. justagirlabby says:

      It must be a guy thing! 🙂 LOL! Definitely recommend adding the trim… LOVING the character that it’s added! Hope you’re having an awesome week, Christene! <3

      ~Abby =)

  5. Would love to hear about installing the pendant lights above your island. Did you need to have additional wiring done? We too have a Palermo. Love your blog!

    1. justagirlabby says:

      Hi, Jennifer! We requested the pendants when we did our initial meetings to plan the electrical for the house, so the spots for them were already wired up when we moved in. We just had to add the actual fixtures. Sorry I couldn’t be more help! Enjoy your Palermo!

      ~Abby =)

  6. I love those trim screws. I started out using them because my exterior wall/door opening is not even close to flat/plumb etc. I needed the holding strength of the screws in some areas to draw the board as tight as possible to the wall. In other areas, using the screws let me back them out some to the insert some carboard shims under my 1×4 casing to make it look nearly flat. For the casing, I dont even have to predrill and they self countersink!

    Though, Im sure someone in the future will not be thrilled if they should decide to replace the casing.

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