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How to Remove Cabinets for Replacement

Answered by Jeffrey ~ March 19, 2010 ~ No Comments » | Respond to this question

We are replacing the old kitchen cabinets in our Sioux Falls home, and we would prefer to do the removal ourselves. However, the cabinets have numerous layers of paint to contend with before we can reach the screws to disassemble them. What's the easiest route to take in removing these cabinets?

Jacqueline D. ~ Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Jeffrey Anderson

Hi Jacqueline, Cabinets are usually held in place by screws through the rear of the cabinets, which go into the wall's framing members. Most of the time there are also some long screws in the front frame of the cabinet, which go into the next cabinet to help keep the cabinet fronts aligned. If you are having a problem finding the screws, due to the paint on the cabinet, look for a slight indentation in the paint, or you may have to use a magnet.

Once you locate the screws, take some time to remove the paint off of the heads of the screws. A utility knife works for this, and a painter's tool with the pointed blade also works. Try to remove the paint out of the grooves in the screw head so the blade on your screwdriver can get a good bite in the screw. Hopefully the screws are Phillips head, as they have less tendency to strip when you are unscrewing them. I usually loosen them by hand slightly, and then use a drill with a screw bit to take them the rest of the way out. If they aren't Phillips head, you may want to remove them all of the way by hand.

The cabinets should come right off of the wall at that point. If you are able to remove the cabinets without too much damage, you might consider recycling them. I'm sure there are a few charities around Sioux Falls, South Dakota that could find a good use for a set of kitchen cabinets. They would be easy to repaint, or could undergo a refacing.

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