Drywall anchors can be used for a variety of purposes. If you want to hang something securely on a hollow wall, you can do so without hitting a stud. You can also hang something heavy without fear of it falling.
However, when the time comes to remove those drywall anchors, you may be given instructions on how to do so. Sometimes they are easy to remove, and other times they require a little more effort. You can pull it out, back it out, cut and hammer it, and do other things. It depends on your level of comfort as well as the anchor’s tenacity.
How To Remove Wall Anchors From Drywall
There are several methods for removing a stuck anchor from a wall, fortunately. It is possible that when you unscrew the screw, the anchor will pull out of the wall, but this is unlikely. To remove even the most stubborn drywall anchors from your wall, follow these steps. All that remains is to fill the hole with spackle.
You must first obtain the necessary tools for the job. The following tools and equipment are required to remove a drywall anchor:
- Drill (electric)
- Pliers with a needle-nose
- Goggles for protection
Here are the several methods that you should try:
1. Take it out
You’ll need your trusty needle-nose pliers for this step. All you have to do is firmly grasp the anchor’s head or collar with your pliers. Simply rock back and forth gently, wiggling the anchor as you do so.
This should be enough to get the anchor out of the wall for the most part. But if it’s still safe, don’t force the issue. By continuously forcing the anchor, you risk damaging the wall and creating a larger hole than the anchor itself. You should then proceed to the next step.
2. Back it up
If wiggling the anchor out was ineffective, one of the most common methods for anchor removal is as follows. Take a screwdriver that will fit snugly inside the mouth of the anchor. Use a hammer to drive the screwdriver head deeper into the anchor once it’s in place.
Once the screwdriver is securely in place, turn it counterclockwise. You should be able to slowly but steadily back out of the anchor at this point. The anchor should eventually be able to free itself from the wall.
If the anchor turns but does not back out, or if it does not budget at all, you will need to take additional steps to get it out. You don’t want to force the issue, as in the previous method. It may cause a larger hole in the wall, necessitating a larger repair effort.
3. Hammering and cutting
You’ve progressed to the more drastic methods for removing an anchor from drywall. But that doesn’t mean you’ve reached the end of the road. Before you proceed, put on your protective goggles because there will undoubtedly be drywall dust in the air.
Attach a 1-inch cutting wheel to your cordless drill. From here, you must cut the anchor’s head or top off. Take care not to leave a gauge or divot in the drywall; if you do, you will have to repair it.
Tape a large nail into the anchor’s mouth. Tap it in with your hammer until the anchor falls back into the wall. If you don’t have a cutting wheel, you can score the drywall around the anchor head with a utility knife.
Finally, obtain a flathead screwdriver with a head that is larger than the anchor mouth but not larger than the anchor itself. Tape the screwdriver to the back of the wall until the anchor falls out.
4. Take a break
Recessed drywall anchors may be the simplest way to deal with multiple drywall anchors. You should also think about this option if the drywall is water damaged or brittle, as removing it can be difficult.
Simply score the drywall around the anchor’s head with a utility knife. Then, directly over the anchor head, place a screwdriver with a wider head than the anchor mouth. Tap lightly while remaining square to the head. Sink the anchor at least partially into the wall.
When the recessed anchor is below the surface of the drywall, simply patch it with a joint compound. Keep reading to find out how to patch over a recessed drywall anchor.
How To Remove Plastic Drywall Anchors
Here is an almost effortless way to remove the anchor, including the patching process:
1. Remove any remaining screws from the anchors and discard them. Turn the anchor counter-clockwise to see if it is screwed in. If it unscrews, keep turning it until it is free of the wall.
2. Using pliers, grasp the edge of the drywall anchor. Place one side of the jaws into the hole and the opposite side on the outside of the anchor for the smallest anchors. To close the jaws directly onto the lip around the front of larger anchors, gently wedge one side of the jaws behind the anchor.
3. Pull gently toward you while rocking slightly. If the anchor refuses to come out, stop pulling, or you will damage the wall.
4. With the screwdriver, score around the edges of the anchor. Insert a flat-bladed screwdriver into the drywall anchor’s opening. Make sure the screwdriver head is wider than the screw hole in the anchor. To drive the anchor into the wall, tap the screwdriver end with a hammer. Tap until the anchor is hidden behind the drywall.
5. Tap the empty hole lightly with a hammer to flatten any protruding drywall. This protrusion is caused by force used to insert and remove the anchor. Flattening it prevents an unsightly bump on your wall. With a utility knife, smooth out the rough edges around the hole. Remove any splintered edges.
6. With a putty knife, pack spackling into the hole. Put a dab of the compound into a small hole with your finger. Use a putty knife to fill larger holes. Drag the knife in an “X” pattern across the hole to smooth the compound around the hole’s edges and blend it into the wall.
7. With a clean rag, wipe away any excess compound around the hole. Wipe the compound into the wall in a circular motion to create a smooth, even surface. Allow the compound to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
8. Examine the hole to ensure that the compound dries evenly with the wall. If not, sand away the excess compound with medium-grit sandpaper. Then, using a dry rag, wipe down the area to remove any dust.
9. Paint over the hole to match the surrounding wall. Avoid painting the surrounding wall with a small detailing brush to avoid a visible dark patch.
How To Remove Metal Drywall Anchors
- Begin by removing any screws that remain attached to the wall anchor.
- Then, with needle-nose pliers firmly gripping the inside edge of the wall anchor.
- Grab the drywall anchor’s collar or head and wiggle and tug.
- Use your best judgment when determining how freely it can move within the drywall hole.
How To Remove Toggler Drywall Anchors
To remove the toggle drywall anchor or the alligator all-purpose anchor from drywall, tile over drywall, or plaster, remove the screw, insert a razor blade or thin sharp knife between the plastic flange of the anchor and the wall surface, and cut down through the plastic neck of the anchor.