Adding a kitchen island or peninsula is an easy way to add counter and cabinet space without expanding the size of your kitchen. If space permits, it can also provide visual separation. Framing-in your own island or peninsula is a great DIY way to customize the size, shape and appearance without the cost of custom cabinets. The exterior can then be clad with a fun, funky or formal material.

Step 1


Photo By: Adrian Henson

Adrian Henson

Select Cladding Material

In this case, reclaimed heart pine framing left over from the removal of original walls was chosen as cladding. The material was a great way to tie the kitchen design into the design of other rooms where reclaimed pine was utilized. Other cladding options include reclaimed metal ceiling panels, handcrafted tiles or whatever your imagination and local sources can conjure.

Step 2


Prep Cladding Material

After material is sorted and stacked, remove all nails. Then split boards in half depth-wise to create two 1-inch-thick boards from each 2" stud.

Step 3


Photo By: Adrian Henson

Adrian Henson

Prep the Wall

If the peninsula or island is raw framing, install 1/2" plywood over the existing studs using 1 1/2" screws. Be sure to leave a small margin around the perimeter to lessen issues with expansion and contraction (especially at the countertop). If walls will be clad with slightly irregular material, consider painting plywood black to camouflage any gaps that may occur between boards.

Step 4


Photo By: Adrian Henson

Adrian Henson

Install Cladding

Cut the reclaimed wood boards to countertop height minus 1/2". This will allow a 1/4" gap at the top and bottom. Lay out board widths to determine where the first and last pieces will fall. In this case, a structural and chunky look was desired, so old corner posts were used to flank the front. With the layout determined, start in the center of the wall and plumb the first piece with a level before attaching with construction adhesive and 2” finish nails, shot through the top and base plates of framing. Then install two finish nails in the center of each board. Cut boards that will be placed at corners to the proper width, install and then add corner trim (if needed). Once the cladding is installed, the top and bottom edges will need to be trimmed. In this case, a piece of reclaimed wood was ripped down to create top and base trim and installed with 18 ga. finish nails.

Step 5


Finish Up

Since the reclaimed material had such a great rough-sawn finish and patina, it was left untreated. Depending on selection of material and style, a paint or stain may be required. Be sure to mask off any surrounding flooring, cabinets and walls before finishing.