Instructions for removing a kitchen cabinet shelf

Kitchen cabinet shelves are very convenient for storing kitchen accessories. Shelves are useful in a way 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 things everywhere on countertops, shelves, tables, etc. Shelves need regular maintenance. They suffer damage over time and need to be repaired or replaced. Two types of shelves are generally used; adjustable shelves and permanent shelves. Each one has a different way of installation.

Material required

– Reciprocating Saw
– Locking pliers
– Flush cutting pliers
– Flat pry bar

Steps to remove kitchen cabinet shelf

For adjustable shelves

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

2. Raise the shelf and turn it diagonally. Raise one side higher than the other; this will help clear the cabinet opening. To release the shelf from the cabinet, you need to press down on the clip that holds the pins and shelf in place. You can usually just press down on the plastic or metal flap at the top of the pin to release the shelf.

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

For permanent shelves

1. Permanent shelves are installed in various ways. You have to inspect your shelving installation. 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. Gently tap the bottom front edge of the track with a hammer to remove the shelves. You may need a pry bar to gently lift the shelf off the runner. 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 pry bar and use it to pry the guide off the sides of the cabinet. Place the edge of the pry bar in the seam behind the runner. Hit it with a hammer from above to widen the gap in the seam. Pull the pry bar out of the cabinet panel. Keep praying until the runner is free enough to be eliminated.

4. Take a hammer and gently tap the shelf near the bulkhead to remove it from the cabinet. Keep tapping until you see the seam between the cabinet and the shelf starting 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 release the bulkhead. You can also cut them off using a pair of flush cutters.


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

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