Instructions for removing a shelf from the kitchen cabinet

Kitchen cabinet shelves are very convenient for storing kitchen accessories. Shelves are useful so that you can store things that are not regularly used in the cabinets for future needs and keep your kitchen clean. Without shelves, your kitchen looks like a mess with stuff everywhere on countertops, shelves, tables, etc. Shelves need regular maintenance. They suffer damage over time and need to be repaired or replaced. Typically, two types of shelves are used; adjustable shelves and permanent shelves. Each one has a different way of installation.

Required material

– Reciprocating saw

– Locking clips

– Flush cutting pliers

– Flat lever bar


Steps to remove the shelf from the kitchen cabinet

For adjustable shelves

1. Clear the area around the shelf you want to remove. If the shelf contains items or accessories, remove them.

2. Lift up the shelf and rotate it diagonally. Raise one side higher than the other; this will help clear the cabinet opening. To release the shelf from the cabinet, you must depress the clip that holds the pins and the shelf in place. Usually you can simply press the plastic or metal flap at the top of the pin to release the shelf.

3. Carefully remove the shelf from position. Do not drag or bump the shelf along the cabinet opening. Dragging or hitting may damage the surface.

For permanent shelves

1. Permanent shelves are installed in several ways. You have to inspect the installation of your bookshelf. Some rest on the horizontal guide fixed to the bulkhead or side panel of the cabinet. Some are simply glued or nailed to the outside of the cabinet bulkhead.

2. Tap the lower front edge of the guide lightly with a hammer to remove the shelves. You may need a pry bar to gently lift the shelf off the runner. The shelves are usually glued or nailed to the runner, so you may need a bit of force to remove them from the runner. Repeat the same process on all remaining sides to free the shelf from the cabinet.

3. Take a flat crowbar and use it to remove the guide from the sides of the cabinet. Place the edge of the pry bar in the seam behind the runner. Strike it with a hammer from above to widen the gap in the seam. Remove the pry bar from the cabinet panel. Keep praying until the runner is free enough to be taken out.

4. Take a hammer and tap the shelf near the bulkhead to pry it out of the cabinet. Keep tapping until you see the seam between the cabinet and the shelf start to widen. Once the seam is wide enough, separate the shelf from the cabinet bulkhead.

5. At the end, use locking jaw pliers to drive out the nails and free the bulkhead. You can also cut them using a pair of flush cutting pliers.


– You can cut stubborn shelves in the middle with a reciprocating saw for easy removal.

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