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How to Remove a Countertop: Ditch the 90s Look!

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Need to remove a countertop to replace a vanity or to replace it with something new? Here’s how. It’s easy and DIY friendly.

When we were working on our small bathroom renovation, I knew I wanted to update the countertop. It was that old 1990s laminate, and a bit off white. Why was off white ever popular?! It looks dirty ALL THE TIME. I debated painting the countertop, but the paint I saw recommended is apparently highly toxic and you need good ventilation. The room does NOT have good ventilation. I could have pulled it off to paint outside, but I opted to replace the countertop.

The main reason for replacing it vs. painting, beyond the fumes, was that we wanted to add a tall shelf for storage in the bathroom. We converted the long vanity with makeup station (something my three boys will never use) to a small vanity with a tall shelf for storage. It’s much better.

This is the before picture:

Long countertop with a short vanity in the 1990s off white style. I removed this and converted to a shorter vanity and countertop. Here's how to remove the countertop on these.

How to Remove a Countertop


  • Hair Dryer
  • Utility Knife
  • Caulk Softener
  • Hammer


Step 1: Cut caulk at seams of the sink and wall/countertop.

Caulk pretty much acts as glue to hold the countertop in place. The caulk also provides a moisture-proof barrier so water droplets can’t drip down your walls and behind your cabinet. By cutting the caulking, this helps you remove it more easily.

Cut your caulking that attaches the countertop to the vanity and the countertop to the wall.

Step 2: Some people use something called Caulk Softener to help make removing the caulk a little easier. I used a hair dryer on hot. The heat helps release adhesive so I figured it would help to make it peel off easier.

Step 3: Peel off the caulk.

Heating up the caulk to help remove it.

Step 4: Remove the small backsplash sides of the countertop. These go on separately so they’ll need to come off separately.

Prying off the side pieces of the countertop using a hammer.

Step 5: Turn off water. Remove faucet and drain. Not a plumber so not going into that piece.

Sink with the faucet and drain removed.

Step 6: Remove main countertop. These are very heavy so bring a helper.

The vanity after the countertop was removed.

We managed to get ours off with almost no damage and we put it up on Marketplace for free. Someone came to get it! I love keeping stuff out of the landfill.

Once we finished this, we removed the section on the right with the two drawers. I painted the main cabinet, added a new countertop, and then built a shelf to go on the right. This gave us a lot more storage space. You can also install a pull out shelf inside the cabinet to make accessing items easier.

Please share and pin this post! If you make this project, share it in our Stuff Mama Makes Facebook Group. We have regular giveaways for gift cards to craft stores. You can also tag me on Instagram @doityourselfdanielle; I love seeing everything you make!

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