How to Remove Kitchen Cabinets Part 2

Lead Image for How to Remove Kitchen Cabinets Part 2
  • 1-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-40
What You'll Need
Screw driver
Claw hammer
Pry bar
What You'll Need
Screw driver
Claw hammer
Pry bar

In the first article on how to remove kitchen cabinets, we covered: taking off the doors and drawers, removing countertops, and detaching trim molding. Now let’s move on to the final steps.

Take off the Toe Kick and/or Base Molding

The toe kick is a board stapled or nailed at the base of a cabinet to hide the gap in the middle of the cabinet and the floor. If the toe-kick has a base molding between the board and the flooring, start with that first.

Take the straight end of the pry bar and wedge it between the molding and the toe kick. If necessary, tap it with a hammer. Carefully pull the pry bar toward you to pop off the base molding. The same method will work to remove the toe kick.

Pull the base molding or the toe kick off completely and remove any fasteners that stick out. Discard whatever you don’t want to keep.

Separate Individual Cabinets

If you are working on your own, it is easier to remove kitchen cabinets separately. To prepare for this, look at the face frame inside the cabinets where they meet each other. You should see several screws or nails in a room. Use the appropriate tool to get them out. Then move on to the next step.

Unfasten Kitchen Cabinets from the Wall

Locate the nails or screws used to anchor the cabinets to the wall. One way cabinets are attached to the wall is through a screw rail. A screw rail is usually a strip of plywood 3/4 inch thick inside the cabinet along the top. There may also be one at or near the bottom of the cabinet.

Once you know how the cabinets are affixed to the wall, grab either a screwdriver or hammer to take the fasteners out. Double-check everything to make sure all of the fasteners and anything else attached to the cabinets (such as appliances, pipes, or a sink) were removed.

Now you are finally ready to begin to remove kitchen cabinets from the room. You may want a second person to help you complete this step, especially if you are going to save the cabinets for use in another project.

All that’s left is to clean up the work area and you are ready to install your new kitchen cabinets.


Safety should always come first when you remove kitchen cabinets, so take every precaution and make sure you wear work boots, protective goggles, and a dust mask during every step. Also, do your best not to leave any nails sticking out. It’s easy to catch clothing and/or skin on an unnoticed nail while you are working.

Finally, it takes at least several hours to remove kitchen cabinets. Keep hydrated and work within your limits. A trip to the doctor will quickly wipe out any money you saved yourself with this DIY project.