How to Remove Kitchen Cabinets

How to Remove Kitchen Cabinets

If you want to give your kitchen a make-over, the first thing you need to do is to remove the kitchen cabinets. One good thing about these cabinets is they can be easily attached to the wall or removed as well without developing any damage. As a result, they can be used again in the renovated kitchen as well.

Read on to gain an understanding of how to remove kitchen cabinets in a step-by-step manner.

How to Remove Your Kitchen Cabinets

Step 1: Prepare to Dismantle the Kitchen Cabinets

Remove all the stuff from your cabinets

These include plates, bowls, cutleries, crockery, pans, pots, silverware, etc. All of them have to be removed. Make sure you empty the cabinets fully. Store the stuff in a safe place away from the location of work to avoid any breakage and damage. If you do not remove them, they add to the weight of the kitchen cabinets. This will make your work more difficult.

Turn off the water connection to the kitchen sink

The base cabinets of the kitchen are generally attached to the countertop. This means you need to have the countertop removed too. This can be achieved by first taking out the sink. This is the reason why the water supply to the sink must be stopped. Otherwise, it will lead to flooding of the kitchen.

Switch off electricity in the kitchen

When you remove the countertop below which the kitchen cabinets lie, you may pass over electrical outlets. A few wires may be needed to get off the way. By shutting down electricity in the kitchen you can work safely. Find out the mains box in the house. Open it to locate the circuit breaker which provides electricity to the kitchen. Ideally, all circuit breakers are labeled properly. Turn off the fuse that supplies power to the kitchen.

Cover and protect the countertops

In case you are thinking of keeping the countertops and reusing them ensure they are well protected. Cover them with a thick sheet of cardboard, wood, or a blanket to make sure dust and debris do not gather around them or they are not dented or damaged.

Remove any cabinet trims or moldings

Often, kitchen cabinets are embellished with ornate trims and moldings. They are secured loosely against the body of the cabinets with the help of fine nails or staples that can easily be taken off. A crowbar or a hammer claw may help get rid of them. Push in the blade of the tool below the trims. If the trims are tightly fixed, tap the crowbar a few times with the hammer to insert it within the crack. Finally, pry until the trims fall off.

Step 2: Detach the Wall Cabinets

Put support blocks beneath the wall cabinets

This will hold back the cabinets. Take a measurement of the distance from the countertop to the bottom of the wall cabinets. Cut 4 planks of lumber of that length. Put one beneath each of the corners of the cabinet that is getting removed. The lumbers can be easily removed. So, shift them from one cabinet to the other as you make progress.

Unbolt the cabinet doors

Screws are used to connect doors to the kitchen cabinets through hinges. Locate the hinges after opening the door. With the help of a screwdriver, remove the screws that have attached the cabinets with their doors. You can take the help of a drill machine as well to accomplish this task. This will help pull out the doors easily.

Bring out the shelves

The presence of shelves may prevent easy removal of the cabinets. So take them out at the very outset. Shelves can be secured in the cabinets via different techniques. In the majority of cases, the shelves are made to rest on plugs fixed to the cabinet wall. You have to simply lift up the shelves from these plug supports and cautiously bring them out.

Remove the screws that bind the cabinets

Once the kitchen cabinets are installed, they are often coupled together by means of screws. Find out if such screws are present on the sides of the walls holding the cabinets together. In case, there are screws attached, remove them. Now, the cabinets can be smoothly detached from the wall.

Unfasten the cabinets from the wall

The cabinets are usually secured to the wall by means of drywall screws on their rear side. Find out if there are screws arranged in a row within the cabinet. These screws are most commonly found inside at the top. Remove each screw with the help of a screwdriver or by running a power drill in reverse.

Lift up the cabinet from the wall and move it away

After you have unhooked all the screws, the kitchen cabinets will easily come off the wall. Tightly hold the cabinet and pull it out. Once it has been removed, place it in a suitable place so as not to hinder your work.

Do the same procedure again for each of the wall cabinets

In case, your kitchen has multiple wall cabinets, carefully abide by the steps mentioned above to remove each of them one by one. Put them in an isolated place so that no one stumbles over them.

Step 3: Removing the Base Cabinets

Take out the cabinet drawers

First, the drawers of the kitchen cabinets need to be emptied. Remove them by pulling the drawer out completely, until it gets stuck. Then, lift the drawer up. This will helpfully extract the cabinet from its socket. In this way, the cabinet drawers can be smoothly slid out.

Take off the kitchen sink

There are pipes connected to the sink. Detach all of them. Next, cut through the waterproof filler and sealant. This is called caulking. Unfasten the kitchen sink from its supporting countertop. In the end, lift it off and take it out.

Take off the countertop

Usually, base cabinets are connected with the countertop. Therefore, the countertop needs to be removed before proceeding further. There may be screws used to fix the cabinets to the countertop. Loosen and remove the screws to move up the countertop and get it out.

Unhook the screws that bind the cabinets (If Applicable)

It is relatively uncommon that base kitchen cabinets are attached by screws. This is more common in the case of wall cabinets. Still, it is possible that the base cabinets are screwed together. Look inside them and check for screws joining the cabinets. Remove them if there any.

Free the cabinet from the wall by removing the screws

Take a look at the backside of the base cabinet. You will find the screws arranged in a row. They help attach the base cabinet to the wall. Loosen and remove all of them.

Move the cabinet adjoining the wall

So, the cabinet is now unfastened and free. Move it away from its original position. You may still come across some amount of caulking trying to hold back the cabinet. You need to put in more effort, to shake off the caulking and pull the cabinet hard. This will completely detach the cabinet and you may drag it away from the wall to a different location.

Do the same procedure again for all base cabinets

There may be more than one base cabinet. So, all of them need to be removed. Repeat the steps mentioned above. After all the base kitchen cabinets have been separated, make sure you dump them in an isolated place to avoid chances of tripping.

Optional: Clean the cabinets you intend to reuse

After removing all the base cabinets and parts, this is a great opportunity to deep clean your kitchen cabinets. While the best cleaning method will depend on the type of cabinet you have, cleaning them now will ensure that your kitchen has a fresh look while also removing dirt marks that may have accumulated over time. 


It is good to personally know how to remove kitchen cabinets. But to achieve the work effortlessly and without any hitch, it is recommended to seek help from professionals who can guarantee high-quality kitchen replacements and save your valuable time.