How to Remove Cabinetry Without Damaging Your Walls

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Doing a major renovation to your kitchen means removing any existing cabinetry. Unless you are planning on changing the layout, you need to do the removal without damaging the walls. Fortunately, a bit of knowledge and a few tools make this possible.

What to Know About Your Cabinets

To remove cabinets safely, you need to know something about how a cabinet is constructed. It makes it easier to take them apart if you know the difference between the front and the carcass.

Solid Cabinetry explains that cabinets consist of two parts: the front and the carcass. The front is the unfinished, stained or painted part of the cabinet. It consists of the face frame, doors and drawer fronts. The carcass is the box of the cabinet: the sides, the back, and the floor.

Prep Smart

Removing cabinets without causing damage requires some prep work. To start, remove everything from the cabinet interiors. Next, remove the cabinet doors and drawers. If you plan on reusing or donating the cabinets, tape the screws and hinges to the appropriate door or drawer.

If you have not removed the appliances from the area, you should do this before you attempt to remove the cabinets. Tritan Plumbing recommends to turn off the water under the sink as well as any sources attached to the dishwasher or refrigerator. Remove any pipes before removing the base cabinets.

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Young House Love suggests to look around the edges of the cabinets. If the cabinets have been painted, you may find the paint is adhered to both the cabinets and the walls. You may also find caulk around the tops or sides. Use a utility knife to cut through these soft barriers. This will help to prevent damage to the wall surface during removal.

Using a pry bar, gently remove any cove molding between the cabinet and the soffit. Check to see if any of the screws attaching the cabinets to the walls have a stripped head or have been sealed over. You may need extra tools to remove problematic screws.

Remove With Care

The final step for removing the cabinets is to unscrew them and pull them away from the wall very gently. Start with the bottom cabinets. This will give you more room to work on the upper cabinets. For upper cabinets, it’s best to have two people, one to support the cabinet and one to work on removing the screws inside.

Keep the work area clear so that you have plenty of room to maneuver the cabinets without causing any damage. One of the easy ways to keep the area clear is by throwing out or hauling away any junk or used pieces.

The key to removing cabinets without causing damage is to take your time and work smart. Use the right tools and ask for help when you need it.