how to take apart an IKEA Liatorp sideboard. Perhaps we could call this a non-hack.

No turning back now.

Since I did not keep the instructions from over nine years ago, I downloaded them and read ’em backwards to aid me in formulating a plan.


Tools used: the tools it came with plus a large head flat screw driver, a medium Phillips head, a rubber mallet and some sturdy pliers.

As I removed screws and wood plugs, I put them right into a zip lock bag. The only thing I did NOT keep were the panel pins from the backing boards. Most were a tiny bit bent and a pack of those would not be difficult or expensive to acquire should the unit be reassembled. You’d want new holes anyway for strength.

NB: The numbers in parentheses below correspond to the steps in the official assembly instructions from the IKEA site.


I removed the ‘easy stuff’: the centre drawer (19-20), the shelves and hardware that holds the shelves (25-27) plus the back boards (11). Then I took off the three ‘trim’ pieces at the bottom edge (12-15).


NB: I left assorted hardware ON the pieces when it seemed sensible to do so: i.e. the small brackets on the front trim (14) and door hinges (21-23).


All over the unit I left cam screw locks in place (7-9) since they seemed quite happy to remain.

(Okay, I couldn’t figure out an easy way to get ’em out).

DO NOT try to COMPLETELY unscrew these: make sure they are reasonably tight, then use your large head flat screwdriver to turn them one quarter turn to counterclockwise (that’s to the left).

No more. No less. The screw they are holding in place will be released.


Gently persuade the connected pieces to come apart.



(Did I mention you should do this gently?).

I used my mallet as well as the flat head to get things started then — for the most part — could just pull the pieces apart by hand. If you need more than a few taps, I reckon that means you need to turn the cam screw lock a tiny bit. After loosening a few, I could feel each ‘release’ the ends.

It was kinda Zen.

Now, should you run into problems at this juncture, locate someone with more joinery/carpentry skills than your good self or check online for tips. If you force things using my above tip, you have only yourself to blame if things go wonky!

If you assembled it properly in the first place and the hardware is not damaged, you should be okay.

Nonetheless, best of luck. This was the most fiddly part of the project.

The only thing with which I am unhappy is the two sets of large holes on the side uprights as seen in the above picture. I could have been a little more gentle removing the plastic leg bits that fit here. However, this is covered by the trim sand I could fill the holes a bit at the edges, then drill new perfect holes if needed.

I will not sweat this a moment longer.


Put sunroom back to rights. Make sure any remaining plugs, screws et al are removed. Stack pieces in front hallway for husband to take upstairs to loft.

(Ponder how long that might take while making much deserved pot of peppermint tea).


Admire the serenity that has returned to the sunroom — with all of its refurbished, revamped and recycled furniture — now that the monster sideboard is away.

Start to finish? Forty minutes, so allow yourself an hour ten if you are union….