How To Make A Basement Kitchenette In An Empty Basement

This post is all about how to make a Basement Kitchenette in an empty basement space.

basement kitchenette

Published October 2, 2023
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When our rec room, or movie room, was finished, we went right to work on finishing the rest of the basement. The original plan was to make a kitchenette on the long wall in the basement, opposite the rec room.

The Kitchenette will have countertop space, a sink, lots of storage and a fridge.

As our kids get older, having a space to entertain has become necessary and important to us. We can have movie nights and prepare snacks, hold drinks in the fridge and overflow for family get togethers.

Materials Needed for a Basement Kitchenette

There are many materials needed for a project like this. Some of them include wire, outlet boxes, insulation, drywall, drywall finishing items, ceiling grid, lights, and just a bit more.

One of the hardest parts of any project is the planning. Sometimes planning needs to be long-term because the materials change or your vision for the job changes. With this Basement Kitchenette, we had always planned to have the countertop and cabinets positioned on the same wall, however, we had to work around the plumbing that comes into the house.

basement kitchenette materials

In addition to planning, deciding on wiring placement eats up a lot of time, and that is before any wiring takes place. Finding out where the lights will be placed in the finished space helps the planning process in deciding where the wiring will be then installed.

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Installing the Wiring

My husband is not an electrician, and we advise you to hire this job out to a professional. Opening the breaker box and installing a new breaker is meant to be done with extreme caution, and only licensed professionals should do this job. For this reason, our good friend Ben came to help out with the wiring.

basement kitchenette wiring

Ben is an electrician and recently started his own handy man business. He’s been a great friend since high school and married my best friend, Heather. I love them and completely respect and appreciate the wonderful job he did on the wiring for our Basement Kitchenette.


Wire is not an item that has been immune to inflation. As with every building material, wire has increased two-fold in cost in the last few years. ROMEX 14/2 is the wire we used for our Basement Kitchenette to wire the outlets and lights.

Waterproof Painting the Walls

Before we can begin the stud wall for the kitchenette, using a good waterproof paint on the walls is vital for protecting them from damp. This is a messy job, takes quite a long time, and requires at least two coats.

Getting the paint onto the walls can be done in three different ways. The first is to spray the paint using a sprayer. The second is to use a roller to roll the paint on the wall. The third is to use a paintbrush to paint the paint on the wall.

While rolling seems the best way, I did try this when making our boys’ bedrooms in the basement a few years ago. This waterproofing paint is thick and when using a roller, the paint splatters ALL over. It is messy and not a method I recommend.

Spraying the paint using a paint sprayer could be the easiest way, however, this paint is highly thick, and you cannot thin the paint. Spraying the paint is not recommended by me.

Using a paintbrush is the method I chose to do. It is the method that takes a long time and does require a great wrist strength.

basement kitchenette paint

Waterproofing paint is not all the same. some is too watery, and some is not rated well. Make sure you do research before you buy a product that will be needed for up to 15 years protection.

We used Drylok Extreme Latex Masonry Waterproofer that provides up to 15 years protection against Mildew, Water Seepage, Leaks and Dampness. This particular brand is around $50 and covers 75-100 square feet.

Framing the Kitchenette Wall

One of the easiest things to do on this job was to frame out the wall for the Kitchenette. To have plumbing installed for the sink and wires for the outlets, framing the wall was a vital part of the project.

basement kitchenette framing

Once the studs were done, insulation went in around the studs to help with heat retention. After the insulation was done, the wall around the Basement Kitchenette could be drywalled.

basement kitchenette insulation

In addition to the Kitchenette wall, we framed out the doorways for the utility room and the storage room. Once the framing was done, drywall was installed, and insulation put in place.

basement utility room framing

This year, in March, while on vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, our furnace died. We came home after a week to a cold house in the dead of winter. While doing our rec room, or movie room, we did not end up framing the wall bas we knew the furnace was literally “on its last leg”. The furnace was original to the house, built in 1996.

basement kitchenette utility room framing

Drywall Finishing

Spotting screws, taping joints, and finishing the drywall is the next step in making a Basement Kitchenette. Tyler has soon become a master at this job.
However, this is one job that requires many steps and a lot of patience.

drywall finishing

Just like the boys’ bedrooms and rec room walls, he finished the walls with a texture using a trowel.

drywall mud finishing

Primer and Paint for the Basement Kitchenette

The next step in making a Basement Kitchenette is to prime the dry walls and then paint them. We decided to paint the walls the same color as the basement rec room, so that helped cut decision and planning time down.

The best primer for a Basement Kitchenette is KILZ Primer for Kitchens and Bathrooms. This primer helps block stains, reduce mold and mildew and is also good on most surfaces. As this is a water-based primer, it has low VOC which helps to not need an increase in ventilation while painting.

basement kitchenette paints

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Insulate the Basement Kitchenette Ceiling

Once the walls are done, primed and painted, it is time to insulate the ceiling. This step is not technically necessary, but it will help with sound insulation. Stay tuned for the next installation of how we did the ceiling, installed lights and finished this stunning space.


This post was all about how we are taking an empty space in our basement and making a kitchenette.

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