How to Hang Cabinets on Drywall

Cabinets hung securely from drywall dress up the wall.
Cabinets hung securely from drywall dress up the wall. (Image: Tsuneo Yamashita/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Hanging cabinets yourself enables you to save a little money on the cabinet installation. Lower-cabinet installation is pretty straightforward; simply set the cabinets in their intended location and attach them to the wall or floor. Securely mounting upper cabinets onto drywall can be a little tricky. If you don’t hang the cabinets properly, the screws will strip the drywall and slide right off the wall, taking your glasses and dishes down with it. A few simple steps will securely attach your cabinets to the walls and prevent broken-dish mishaps.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Hand or circular saw
  • Deck screws
  • Drill
  • Mounting screws
  • Spackle

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Run a stud finder along the drywall. Lightly mark the location of each stud with a pencil.

Measure from the top of the base cabinet 19½ inches, using a tape measure, and draw a mark the wall. Do this in several locations and connect the marks to create a line around the space to indicate the bottom of your upper cabinet.

Cut two-by-four lumber with a hand or circular saw in the same length as the line. Install the lumber so the top of the two-by-four sits on the line. This will support the cabinet as you are installing. Drive deck screws through the ledger board into wall studs to hang the lumber.

Mark the spots along the back of the cabinet that will sit flush with a stud. Drill a hole through the cabinet’s top hanging rail and bottom hanging rail at these marks.

Set the upper cabinet on the wall so the bottom edge is resting on the support lumber.

Open the cabinet doors and drive a screw through the drilled holes, through the drywall and into the wall stud. Repeat for all screw holes along the top and bottom hanging rails.

Unscrew the support ledge from the wall. Patch the holes in the wall with spackle.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you have found a stud with the stud finder, hammer a nail into the location to verify that you have actually found a wall stud. The stud finder may incorrectly identify plumbing or other hardware as a stud. Once you have found a stud, the next one is usually 16 inches off center.


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