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How to Recycle a Kitchen Cabinet

Here's how to make old kitchen cabinetry fit a new space.

More in Kitchen

Step 1: Remove the Countertop

If the countertop is still in place, carefully cut through the caulk around it with a razor blade or utility knife. Gently pry up the countertop and set aside. For this project, Karl and Cara cut down the old granite countertop to fit the redesigned nook.

Step 2: Remove the Base Cabinet

Remove the drawers from the cabinet and set aside. Using an electric screwdriver, remove the screws connecting the cabinet to the wall. Carefully pull the cabinet out of the nook.

Step 3: Disassemble the Cabinet

The large base cabinet is actually three cabinets held together by screws. Use an electric screwdriver to unscrew the cabinet pieces from each other. Use a hammer and chisel to remove the toe kick so that the three pieces can come apart.

Step 4: Frame a Hidden Storage Drawer

To create a secret storage drawer hidden in the cabinet's toe kick, turn the cabinet upside down and cut a notch in the toe kick the desired width for the drawer. Since the toe kick isn't tall enough to house a useful drawer, Karl built a box-shaped extension for the toe-kick and attached it to the toe kick with screws and small pieces of plywood. He notched this piece as well, creating a space for a drawer.

Step 5: Build and Install the Secret Drawer

Build a simple plywood drawer – basically a plywood box without a top – to fit inside the toe kick opening. Install with standard drawer slides and finish as desired.

Step 6: Install the Cabinet

Flip the cabinet right-side up and position it in the nook as desired. Shim the cabinet to make sure it's level, then attach to the wall studs with screws.

Step 7: Install a Countertop Support

Draw a level line even with the top of the cabinet, extending around the nook. Cut a small wooden ledger and screw it to the studs so with the top edge on the line. This will support the part of the heavy granite counter that's not supported by the cabinet.

Step 8: Install the Countertop

Apply construction adhesive to the top of the base cabinet, to the top of the ledger, and along the wall where the granite will rest. Carefully slip the countertop into position and gently press into place.

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