I have some hanging wall cabinets that have a 3/4" particle board back. I believe they are screwed onto the wall but the screws have been covered and then the cabinet back was painted. The wall behind the cabinets is wallboard over 2x4s. Other than completely tear up the wall, I can't figure out how to get them off. Anyone have a trick for finding screws that have been covered with spackle or joint compound and then painted over?

2 Answers 2


Any fridge magnet can find the screws if they are there.

Unless it is one of those cabinets that is hung in there, with rails on the back. In that case there are no screws in the cabinet face.

In this case just slight knock and pushing the cabinet upwards will loosen it.


You should be able to use a magnet to find hidden screws but it's not entirely clear what you're describing.

I've seen some cabinets (like Ikea) that don't use screws inside of them but instead mount on a rail.

  • Dang! That was quick!
    – gnicko
    Jun 12, 2022 at 1:29
  • Had an old fashion stud finder that would be perfect for this job. Had a black base, a clear top, and a red tube(magnet). Would point exactly to any nail or screw head in a wall.
    – crip659
    Jun 12, 2022 at 1:35

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