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How to Remove Shelves from Wall | DIY 6 Safe Steps

how to remove shelves from wall

Last Updated on December 5, 2022

You want to remove shelves from a wall but don’t want to damage them in the process. It can be painful to pull out racks from a wall to avoid breaking them. Using a crowbar to pry them off might harm the shelf or break the wall.

Shelves are a great way to organize and store your belongings. They can suit several different purposes. However, sometimes you might need to remove them for one reason or another. There are ways to make sure you don’t break the shelves while separating them.

This guideline will show you how to remove shelves from wall without damaging them and provide some tips on how to avoid accidents when taking off shelves in the future.

How to Remove Shelves from Wall: A Step-By-Step Guide

How to Remove Shelves from Wall: A Step-By-Step Guide

Shelves are a necessary part of any home. They allow us to store and organize our items in a way that is both efficient and stylish.

Protecting your counters and your precious items is important, which is why taking the shelves off the wall can be such a tricky task. You can remove them with minimal damage to the wall or the shelf using the right technique.

Before you start, it’s best to gather the right tools. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • A screwdriver or a drill
  • A hammer
  • A putty knife

Once you have all the necessary tools, you will need to follow the following steps in order to remove the shelves from the wall and prevent ruining them in the process.


Here are step-by-step instructions on what you need to do if you would like to remove shelves from walls:

1. Prepare the Area:

The first step is to prepare the area. Clear away any objects that might be in the way, and make sure you have a clear working space. It is also significant to protect the floor from scratches or damage. Spread a piece of cotton or an old sheet over the area to prevent scratching.

2. Locate the Shelves:

The next step is to determine where the shelves are placed. In most cases, the shelves will be attached to wall studs. Use a stud finder to locate the studs in the wall. Once you have found the studs, mark their position with a pencil.

3. Remove the Screws Or Nails:

Once you have located the studs, unscrew the hardware that are holding the shelves in place. For shelves attached with screws, use a screwdriver to remove them. If the shelves are held in place with nails, use a hammer to take them out.

4. Pull the Shelves Away from the Wall:

The shelves might be firmly attached to the wall by this step, so you will need to exert some force. Once the shelves are loose, you can remove them completely. Be careful not to damage the wall or shelving unit as you remove it.

You may need to use a screwdriver or other tool to loosen the shelving unit from the wall if it is particularly stubborn. Just carefully and gently move them apart until they are free.

5. Patch any Holes:

Immediately after you remove the shelves, holes will appear in the wall. Use a putty knife to fill the holes with speckling compounds. Once the compound has dried, sand it down until it is flush with the wall.

6. Clean Up The Space:

The last step is to clean up the area. Clear away any debris or dust that might have been left behind. Put away all of the tools you used, and make sure the area is clear.

Remember, safety is always the number one priority. Just be patient and give it enough time, and you will find that the job can be accomplished without too much difficulty.

Reasons to Remove Shelves from Walls

Reasons to Remove Shelves from Walls

There are a few reasons why you might take them down from your side. You might wonder what will be the causes of this. Here are some of the most common reasons:

1. For Redecorating:

If you are redecorating your home, you may want to eliminate some shelves. This will give you a blank canvas to work with and allow you to start fresh with your decorating.

2. To Change The Look of a Room:

You may be tired of the style of a room when you look at it over the years. In this case, replacing shelves from walls can change the entire decor merely by not having to do any other work.

3. To Prepare for Painting:

It is necessary to dispose of all shelf components from walls prior to painting a room. By doing so, you’ll ensure a clean paint job and that shelves won’t get damaged during the process.

4. To Move:

There is the possibility that you will be moving and that you might want to take your shelves with you. If this is the case, it will be necessary to take them out from the walls so that they can be safely transported.

5. To Sell Your Home:

Selling your home may require you to clear away the shelves. This will make the home more appealing to potential buyers and help you get a better price for your home.

Tips for Removing Shelves from Walls

Tips for Removing Shelves from Walls

Now it’s time for helpful tips that you should keep in mind while taking down shelves. If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to separate your shelves from damaging them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Have Someone Help You:

It’s always a good idea to ask someone to help you when removing racks. This will help to prevent accidents and allow the process to go more smoothly. In most cases, two people are needed to pull out shelves.

2. Protect Your Floors:

Take extra precautions before you pull out shelves from your wall so that your floors don’t become damaged. Cover the area with a drop cloth or old sheets to avoid scratches or other accidents.

3. Be Prepared for Holes:

As soon as you take the shelves down from your walls, you will be left with holes. It is advisable to keep the sparkling compounds on hand to fill in the holes before hanging new shelves. It will make the process go much smoother and help you avoid any mistakes.

4. Hang the Shelves Back-Up:

Once you are finished redecorating or painting, you can reinstall the shelves. Be sure to use a level to make sure they are level before screwing or nailing them into place.

By following these tips, you can successfully remove shelves from your surfaces without damaging them.


Let’s see a few of the most prevalent questions people ask, so here are a few of them.

Do Shelves Need to Go into Studs?

Generally speaking, it’s always best to install shelf brackets into wall studs when installing shelves. This will ensure that the shelves are properly supported and can hold a lot of weight.

What Does a Molly Screw Look Like?

The moly bolt is a steel screw that is enclosed in plastic and expands in predrilled holes to allow it to support objects of medium weight. They come in a variety of sizes and materials. The molly-like metal anchors might look similar to common drywall anchors, but their construction makes them more durable and more reliable than their traditional counterparts.

What is a Center Stile?

There is a type of cabinetry panel known as the center stile. This panel is installed right in the middle of the cabinet to prevent it from sagging. As a support beam for your cabinet, consider the stile to be the central support beam.

Can I Use Command Strips to Hang Shelves?

Yes, you can definitely do that. However, it’s vital to note that they may not be able to hold as much weight as shelves that are screwed or nailed into place.


Once you learn how to remove shelves from wall, you’ll be able to easily take them down for redecorating, cleaning, and moving purposes in the future. It is critical that you follow the tips in this article so that you do not damage your shelves and walls while working.

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How to Remove Shelves from Wall | DIY 6 Safe Steps

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