Trimmed

Can I get a Finally?! Because we’re finally done with the passthrough. We still have to add the doors, yes, but we can now live with it as-is and no longer have a continuous mess of dust and debris due to the various stages of this project. We started this at the end of January and it’s already mid-March, so needless to say I’m happy to have the kitchen back in order and the dining table in its place.

So, the trim. We knew we wanted it lacquered in white to match our doors and baseboards, thus we decided to make it out of MDF instead of solid wood. With that in mind, we went to a nearby wood/MDF warehouse to look for something that would work. The problem: we needed very specific lengths and widths (for the casing), which of course weren’t available. In the end, we decided to buy several MDF strips and cut them ourselves (both lengthwise and crosswise). For some reason the man at the warehouse was convinced we were going to have a carpenter cut it down for us… which I thought was funny, because, if I’m going to have someone cut it down for me, do you think I’d be here figuring out a way to do this? Anyway. We bought several MDF strips and brought them home with us, for a total of 25€.

Once we were home we sort of forgot about it for a couple of weeks. Well, not really, life (and an injured shoulder) just got in the way. Until the weekend before last, when we were finally ready to put up that dang trim. The first thing we did was the casing. After measuring out the thickness of the wall, we cut the strips lengthwise to the required width for the casing. Then it was a matter of measuring each side carefully and cutting down crosswise at a 45º angle. We don’t have a miter saw nor a table saw, so Andoni did all of this veeery carefully with the circular saw. Thankfully it turned out great. The wall is made of brick and concrete, plus (and this was the primary reason) we have a ton of electrical wires, so we couldn’t nail the casing in place: we had to “glue” it instead (we used special wood silicone for this). But don’t worry, I promise you it’s stuck there for good even if we didn’t use any nails.

Passthrough casing frame 5

Passthrough casing frame 4

The upper side of the casing kept bowing so we improvised to keep it in place while the silicone worked its magic:

Passthrough casing frame 3

When the casing was in place we had to make the frame on both sides. Again, we first had to cut the MDF lengthwise. Then we marked where we wanted the frame to go (covering half the thickness of the casing), measured, and cut at a 45º angle. We made these 45º cuts manually, with this:

Passthrough casing frame 2

The reason for this is that we had had a terrible experience making those types of cuts for the outdoor kitchen countertop frames with our circular saw (I know that isn’t the saw you’re supposed to use, but it’s what we had/have…) so we decided a hand saw + the above invention would yield better results even if it took longer and more energy. We cut one side of the frame on both sides of the wall, glued them in place, and held them together with clamps. Trim: done!

Passthrough casing frame 1

Well, not quite, obviously. Afterwards it was just a matter of spackling where needed, sanding it down (you can see above it’s already spackled in the corners), and going to town with the lacquer. Unfortunately what I thought would be a two coat one day job turned into a four or five coat and three day job. But now that it’s done, here’s how it turned out:

Passthrough after shots 5

Passthrough after shots 7

Passthrough after shots 6

Passthrough after shots 4

Initially we wanted a wider trim but decided to go a narrower route because, on the kitchen side of the passthrough, there isn’t enough space for a lot more. And now I really like the narrow trim. Here’s the view from the kitchen:

Passthrough after shots 2

Passthrough after shots 3

Passthrough after shots 1

I’m very, very happy with how this project turned out. Yes, it took a long time (and many steps), but it was so, so worth it. The kitchen feels so much more open now and so does the living room. It’s one of those things you have to see in person to notice the difference. So you’re all invited if you want to come and check it out.

And now for the very last step (and the optional one) of the project: the barn doors. We’ve already figured out a system and we’ll be picking up the materials this week. Can’t wait!

You can check out previous steps of the project here: Removing tiles, Making the actual hole, Rewiring everything, and Preparing for the casing & trim.

Oh and as you can see, I’ve added a new icon just below the menu and above the search bar: now that I’ve got a fancy new phone, I’m on Instagram, too!

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments.

24 thoughts on “Trimmed

  1. Amanda

    It is so beautiful. Congratulations. (Mark is a great admirer of all your DIY projects, as he loves DIYing too, it is actually a pretty standard thing to do in Holland, not in Mexico, at all).
    It really does add light, personality and space. It makes it fancy in a way, you know I can imagine dinner parties where you pass the food through the windows and then close them to hide the mess hehe.
    I can’t wait to see the rustic doors you are planning to add :)

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Thanks Amanda!! Not a lot of people do DIY here, either. It’s become more common in recent years, I think. And hiding a mess is exactly why want to add doors!

  2. Kristen | Popcorn on the Stove

    It looks wonderful – and I’m completely impressed that you were able to DIY this! I agree with you on the thin trim – anything thicker would’ve taken all of the attention away from the rest of the room. Now I’m all excited about these barn doors (I have always loved the look of them, so it’ll be fun to see how to make them happen!)!

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Thanks Kristen! It honestly got overwhelming at times (I should post a pic of the kitchen mid-process… insane) but it was so, so worth it. And I’ll definitely share how we make the barn doors, since we’ll be making our own flat track system. Should be fun!

  3. John @ Our Home from Scratch

    It looks perfect! Clever use of clamps. I’m sure you’ll be good with that silicone glue. That stuff is pretty durable. We gotta get you guys a miter saw! Congrats on pulling it off with just a hand saw though, that’s not easy!

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      I know, we really need a miter saw! We just don’t have the space to store it so we’ve been holding off. The invention for manual 45º cutting was pretty clever though, I had no idea they sold those.

  4. Sarah

    Gorgeous! I just love it. Sure wish I could take you up on your offer to come and see it in person… :)

    And hooray for being able to clean up the dust and mess for good. I’m excited to see the barn doors.

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Thanks Sarah! Glad you like it :) it would be fun to have a blogger meet up, it’s so sad we live so far away from each other.

  5. Christine @ Casa-de-Christine

    Love it! It looks soooo good Ainhoa! I’m sure it’s such a relief to be done! I can’t wait to feel that feeling about our ensuite! It’s the never ending project and a never ending mess! You guys did a great job- really opens things up!

  6. Katja @ Shift Ctrl ART

    Wow that looks amazing Ainhoa. I love that you off set the trim a little from the inside wood trim, creating that stepped effect! It turned out so great. I am still really impressed at the tile word and all the electrical stuff you had to deal with to get to this point. Love how it all came out :)

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Yes the stepped effect looks really nice! It was something we have in our doorways that I knew I wanted to recreate. Since we know how long (& how many steps) the whole project took we definitely appreciate it a lot and we’re very proud :)

  7. Caitlin

    Wow! I’ve loved all of your DIY projects and home improvements, but this is by far my favorite! Excellent work, it looks great!

  8. Crystal @ 29 Rue House

    Wow seriously amazed with you guys! What a difference it makes and makes you wonder why they didn’t do that from the start! I love the trim you picked up – it goes well with the width of the trim on the wall underneath (the board and batten).

    And your paint job looks fabulous!

    1. Ainhoa Post author

      Yeah that was a happy accident! Makes me kind of sad we’re thinking of removing the board & batten (some of it got pretty damaged during the demo though you can’t see it in photos… we’ll either redo it or do something different). Glad you like it!

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