How to Remove Soffit Above Cabinets?

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Soffits are overhangs built between the ceiling and the top of the cabinets and are often built with wood framing and drywall. This gives the wall the appearance that it rests flush with the face of the cabinets. In many cases, plumbing and electrical lines are run through the soffit to make use of the space. In addition, it is common for the framing of the soffit to hold retaining screws for the cabinets. Because of this, exercise caution when removing a soffit from above a kitchen cabinet.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Stud finder
  • Drop cloths
  • Keyhole saw
  • Pry bar
  • Hammer
  • Empty the cabinets under the soffit. Find the screws that secure the cabinets to the wall and to the underside of the soffit. Remove the screws and lower the cabinets out of the way. Due to the size of the cabinets, a assistant is helpful.

  • Place a drop cloth on any counters below the soffit to protect the counter from damage due to falling drywall.

  • Find the studs in the soffit with a stud finder. In many cases, the bottom of the soffit is open once you remove the cabinets. If it is, you can see what is inside the soffit and mark out the studs. If not, cut a hole in the drywall between the soffits to determine what is inside. If there is nothing inside the soffit, use a keyhole saw to cut away all the drywall. Otherwise, pull the drywall off the framing with a pry bar and your hands.

  • Disassemble the framing by removing the screws. If the framing was nailed together, use a hammer and pry bar. But take caution. The framing secures to the joists in the ceiling. Pulling the framing loose could damage the ceiling drywall.

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