This week I’m sharing a tutorial on how to remove wire shelves without damaging your walls. Getting rid of the old shelving was step one of my One Room Challenge pantry renovation so I’m happy that this part is behind me. That said, now all of my pantry food is sitting on my dining room table so this project needs to get completed fast! White wire shelving is very common but many people choose to replace it over time. I’ve witnessed a few cases where someone removes their wire shelves and in the process they create giant holes in their walls so I figured it may be helpful if I share my process to remove wire shelves and brackets without damaging your walls. Seriously, it’s so easy, you just need a few tools. I bet most of you even already have these tools on hand.
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How to Remove Wire Shelves
Before I get into the details, here is what my pantry shelving situation looked like. All of the closets in my home have this white wire shelving. It isn’t terrible but it also isn’t my preference so I’ve slowly been upgrading my closets one by one.
Step 1 – Lift the Shelves Out
The shelves aren’t physically attached to anything so they can just be lifted out of place. If they are seated tightly in any of the brackets just use a rubber mallet to knock them loose. For areas close to the wall it was easier to use the opposite (wooden) end of the mallet.
Step 2 – Pry out the Nails in the Brackets
This is where some people get too excited and just rip out the brackets pulling large chunks of drywall with them. There is an easy and quick solution though! Just use a small flathead screwdriver and pry the nail out until it extrudes far enough to grab it with some plyers and pull it out.
Note that if your brackets were installed with screws instead of nails you will need a drill/screwdriver to remove the screws.
Step 3 – Remove the Plastic Brackets
Lastly, once the nails/screws are out, use the plyers to remove the plastic brackets.
That’s it, super simple and no damage to the wall! I am working on patching the small nail holes in the wall using DAP spackling and a small putty knife. In between coats I sand with a drywall sanding sponge. Since the walls will all be covered with either cabinets or wallpaper I’m not too concerned about the finish but I want it to be as smooth as possible so that there aren’t any lumps under the wallpaper.
I also removed the baseboards as you can see in the photo above. Since I’m building custom cabinetry I won’t need baseboards in most of the finished pantry.
I’m officially 2 weeks in to the One Room Challenge. For the next two weeks I will be working on the custom cabinetry. This is by far going to be the most time consuming and elaborate part of the renovation. Hopefully everything goes as planned and I don’t run into any issues. I just received a new recycling bin and a dog food storage container today so I’m excited to build a tilt out recycling bin and a pull out cabinet to store my dogs food. It’ll be nice to have a place to store them but have it be behind beautiful cabinetry so you don’t see it all the time. Here is my full renovation plan.
Week 1: October 8th – Design Plan
- Week 2: October 15th – Remove existing shelving and prep walls
- Week 3: October 22nd – Cabinetry Build
- Week 4: October 29th – Cabinetry Build
- Week 5: November 5th – Wallpaper/painted accent wall & open shelving
- Week 6: November 12th – Final Reveal!
You can visit the One Room Challenge blog to see room transformations from all of the participants. Everyone will be sharing progress updates each week with the final reveals on November 11th-12th.
I hope that you found this simple tutorial on how to remove wire shelves helpful. By next week this pantry is going to look quite a bit different since some of the cabinetry will be done.