How to Remove Furr Down Above Kitchen Cabinets

An enclosed area between the top of a kitchen cabinet and the ceiling is often called a “furr down.” Removing the furr down can give a kitchen a more open feel but it can also expose plumbing, wiring or duct work that may be hidden inside. The only way to know is to open it up.Cut any caulk lines around trim that bridges the joints with the cabinet and the ceiling. Carefully pry off the trim to reveal the seams in those areas. These furr downs are made of plywood so they can also be pryed off. Some furr downs are covered in drywall and are slightly messier to remove.

Here, there is no plumbing or wiring inside the fur down and the ceiling texture extends under the covered area, so the only thing left to remove is the framing that supported it.

Extend the crown molding and add molding to the cabinets for a finished look.
Extend the crown molding and add molding to the cabinets for a finished look

If removing the furr down has revealed a vent pipe from the range hood you can simply enclose it by building a box around it with plywood. Here, we wrapped the crown molding around it to help it blend into the wall.

Touch up the ceiling texture where the furr down was attached to the ceiling. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a small paint brush to “stipple” the texture onto the flat spots.

If the rest of the room has crown molding, extend it into the newly opened spaces above the cabinets. With careful cutting, you can tie into the existing crown mold with “butt” joints. Be sure the new molding matches the old in terms of the angle and profile. You may also want to add crown molding to the newly exposed top edge of the cabinets. Installing crown molding here requires nailing along the bottom edge only since there’s usually only about 3/4 of an inch overlap there.

After all the surfaces are repainted, the result is a lighter, brighter kitchen.

Removing the furr down opens up the kitchen.
Removing the furr down opens up the kitchen.


  1. I had a furr down above my 60 cabinets, before I remodeled my kitchen. They were added later for some reason, and it shows how they were the in thing at one time. Had a heck of a time removing them. Now, it is so open above the cabinets, and I can store things above them as well.

  2. I want to remove the fur down and put storage with doors. Do you have any videos or written directions for this? I want to take and put flat trim on existing doors and new ones. Any suggestions? Can I lighten the oak without painting? I like the wood grain, but want a lighter cabinet in my small galley kitchen. Have butcherblock looking top and back splash. Thinking granite with tile backsplash. Cabinets are solid wood.

  3. Hello,
    I have a 59 year old home I purchased and I’m updating it on my own. In my kitchen I have these old cabinets that has (I don’t no how to explain it) a board between the doors to close them. And I need to know if I can cut the board off and add new doors?


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