How to Build a Kitchen Pass Through

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A kitchen pass through can make the room seem larger.
A kitchen pass through can make the room seem larger. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A kitchen pass through is a hole cut into the wall between the kitchen and another room, often the dining room. This allows someone in the kitchen to quickly and easily pass full plates of food to people on the other side of the wall. It also allows you to have conversations with people in the next room while you work in the kitchen.

Things You'll Need

  • Painter's tape
  • Straightedge
  • Utility knife
  • Drill
  • Drywall screws
  • 2-by-4 boards
  • Circular saw
  • Safety goggles
  • Hammer
  • 3 1/2-inch nails
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Vinyl corner beads
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Joint compound
  • Putty knife
  • Fine-grit sandpaper
  • Primer
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint
  • Shelf

Examine the wall that the pass through is being built into to determine if it's a load-bearing wall. The safest way to do this is to hire a building inspector, but you can also determine this by looking for clues around your house. If the wall is perpendicular to the roof rafters, or extends over multiple floors, chances are that it's a load-bearing wall. But again, if you're not sure, call a building inspector. Better to be safe than sorry.

Mark the outline of the pass through on the wall with painter's tape.

Turn off the electrical circuits that power light switches and outlets in the area around the wall at your home's main electrical box. This includes areas on floors above and below the wall. Doing this allows you to safely cut away the drywall without getting electrocuted.

Hold a straightedge against the edge of the painter's tape and cut through the drywall with a utility knife. Remove the drywall and look for wiring or pipes. If you see them in the wall, they will have to be rerouted. If it's clear, you can continue with the project.

Drill two drywall screws into the drywall over the studs inside the wall opening. This helps protect the drywall from damage when you are sawing the wall.

Build a wooden frame for the pass through out of 2-by-4 boards by measuring the dimensions of the hole and cutting the boards to fit. Nail the boards together.

Cut the bottom of the studs in the wall with a reciprocating saw, making a straight cut as you do so by placing the blade against the bottom of the opening. You'll cut all the way through the drywall on the other side as well.

Cut the top edge of the opening with the reciprocating saw, going through the studs and drywall.

Go to the other side of the wall, and cut through the drywall on the sides with the straightedge and utility knife.

Slide the frame into the hole in the wall, and nail it to the wall with 3 1/2-inch nails every 6 inches.

Cut strips of 1/2-inch drywall to fit along the edges of the framing and attach them with drywall screws.

Attach vinyl corner beads to the edges of the drywall around the frame by stapling them into place.

Apply joint compound over the drywall strips, the joints between the new strips and the surrounding walls, the inside edges of the wooden frame and the drywall screws you installed to help stabilize the drywall before you cut the hole in the wall. Smooth the joint compound as much as you can with the putty knife to help it blend into the surrounding walls. Allow the joint compound to dry overnight.

Sand the joint compound smooth with fine-grit sandpaper.

Brush primer onto the new drywall, and allow it to dry.

Paint the area you have primed to match the walls of the pass through. Use two coats of paint, allowing them both to dry.

Install a ledge or shelf onto the bottom of the frame, if desired.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear safety goggles when using the saw.

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