How to Remove a Kitchen Soffit

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A soffit in the kitchen is basically a box made of a 2-by-4 lumber frame covered with drywall and possibly wallpaper. A soffit can serve as a place to run wiring or plumbing, so it is not seen. The soffit may also exist as a visual feature that serves no other purpose. Sometimes, it may be necessary to remove a soffit, whether it is to fix plumbing or electrical wiring or as part of a remodel. Removing a soffit should be done carefully so a minimal amount of damage is done.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic drop cloths
  • Utility knife
  • Drywall saw
  • Flat pry bar
  • 6-inch piece of 2-by-4 lumber
  • Hammer
  • Lay plastic drop cloths on counters and floors to protect them from the deconstruction of the soffit.

  • Slice a utility knife along the edge of the soffit, where it connects to the ceiling and wall. Make several passes with the utility knife to ensure that you cut through paint or drywall tape used to make the transition between the soffit and the wall or ceiling. This will mitigate the amount of damage that is done.

  • Remove the drywall from the frame of the soffit. Cut into the drywall using a utility knife and insert a drywall saw into the cuts to remove large pieces of the drywall. Use a combination of the utility knife and drywall saw until all the drywall has been removed from the soffit frame.

  • Pry the frame of the soffit gently away from the ceiling using a flat pry bar. Place a 6-inch piece of 2-by-4 lumber between the pry bar and the ceiling, to protect it from the pry bar pressing against it. Use the same technique to pry the soffit frame away from the wall. The frame will probably detach in sections that can be removed and broke apart with a hammer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use gloves and goggles if needed.

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