How to Replace Shelves in Kitchen Cabinets

  • 3-5 hours
  • Beginner
  • 75-160
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Contact cement
Shelf brackets
Dowel Rods

If you have an old set of kitchen cabinet shelves, then you may be considering that it is time to replace them with something new. Fitting new shelves into your kitchen cabinets is one way of keeping the kitchen fresh, and new shelves add a touch of sparkle to an old kitchen set. Kitchen cabinets shelves take a lot of punishment, from heavy tins to weighty appliances, and the constant movement of cans and boxes. All of this wear and tear can make the shelves due for a replacement long before the rest of the cabinet, and as an alternative to refitting your kitchen, you can simply replace your kitchen cabinets shelves, and save yourself time and money.

Step 1 - Take off the Old Shelves

Before you start installing your new shelves, you will have to take out the old ones. Begin at the top shelf, and start by unscrewing the brackets below the shelf. Most of the time, these are simple screw brackets, which you can keep in order to use them on the new shelves. Check your brackets over carefully, and if they don't look suitable, discard them and replace with a new set of brackets. Discard the old shelves.

Step 2 - Measure the Cabinet

You need to take two sets of measurements from the cabinet, the first being the width of the cabinet, or from the back to the front, and the second being the length of the cabinet, from side to side. You will need to create shelves of exactly these dimensions in order to hold your food securely.

Step 3 - Cut the Shelf

Once you have the measurements, you can then start cutting down the plywood which you need to make the shelves. Use your saw to cut down the wood to the correct dimensions of your cabinet. Make sure that you take a few millimeters off of the edge of your shelf, so that it can easily fit into the cabinet. Check that the shelf fits by sliding it into the cabinet.

Step 4 - Add Laminate

You can decorate the shelves by adding a laminate to their surface. Measure the shelf carefully, and cut out a laminate sheet to the same size plus one inch. You can then cover the laminate in contact cement, and press it onto the surface of your shelf. Allow the cement to dry fully, and then remove any excess laminate using a craft knife.

Step 5 - Hang the Shelves

The last stage is to refit or replace the shelf brackets. Insert these into the cabinet, and screw against the sides. You may prefer shelf hangers, which need some doweling rod to support the shelf. Once these are installed, take your shelf and ensure that it fits against the bracket. You may use another screw to secure the shelf to the side of the cabinet, in order to keep it steady.