How To Remove Drywall Anchors

It’s not always about the furniture and drapes you need to buy for decorating your home. Your interior walls are as an important area as any; thus, your home improvement often requires more technical artistry.

Because of this, when you have drywall in your home, you’ll find it doesn’t offer purchase to hang. It is here that drywall anchors are used. However, for removing wall anchor, things get challenging.

Drywall anchors are difficult to reuse because you drill a hole into the wall for the screw to enter.

drywall anchors

A drywall anchor expands once you use it and tighten the screw. Although most drywall anchors are made for a one-use solution, yet there are some alternatives available. Drywall anchors are a great option for homeowners or renovators who want full use of their wall space.

In our guide, you can learn more about how to remove dry wall anchors from a hollow wall and how you can fix the space where they were. (Learn How To Hang Plants From Ceiling)

By the end, you’ll know all there is about how to deal with various expanding anchors and how to make it look as if they were never there.

How Do You Remove Old Wall Anchors?

Thankfully, there are several options for removing a stuck anchor from the wall. It’s possible that when you unscrew the screw, the anchor will pull out of the wall, although this is unlikely.

These steps can help you remove even the most stuck drywall anchors from your wall. After that, all you have to do is cover the hole with a little spackle.

Before you can begin, you must first get the right tools. 

To remove a drywall anchor, you’ll need the following tools and equipment:

  • Electric drill
  • Hammer
  • Flat Head Screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Protective goggles

Here are the most common ways on how to remove wall anchors.

Method 1: Pulling Out the Anchor

With the first method, you’ll need needle-nose pliers. Grab the head or the collar edge of the anchor using your pliers or your putty knife. Grip hard and rock back-and-forth to wiggle the anchor loose as it comes from the hole.

This is often enough to remove the anchor edge from the wall. But if it remains secure, don’t force it. If you pull too hard on the anchor, you risk damaging your wall and making a larger hole where the anchor sits. (Learn How To Remove Adhesive From Wood)

Method 2: Back Out the Anchor

This method is one of the most widely used for anchor removal if you’ve tried wiggling the anchor out to no avail. Select a flat head screwdriver that fits into the anchor’s mouth. Using a hammer, tap the screwdriver head into the anchor.

Twist the screwdriver and anchor counter-clockwise once it sets in position. Now, carefully back out the anchor. You could be able to pull the anchor away from the wall.

If the anchor turns but won’t back out, you’ll need additional steps as even this method can make a larger hole in the wall, leading to a more extensive repair.

Method 3: Cutting and Hammering

You’ve reached the point where you need to use more extreme procedures to remove your anchor from the drywall. Before carrying out this step, wear protective goggles and a mask as there could be flying drywall dust.

Grab your cordless drill and attach a 1-inch cutting wheel. From here, you’ll need to cut the anchor’s head off. Take it steady, so you don’t leave a larger divot in the drywall.

Tape a wide nail into the anchor’s mouth, then tap the anchor into the wall with your hammer until it falls back into the hollow behind the wall.

If you don’t have a cutting wheel, you can score the drywall around the anchor head using a utility knife. (Read Screws For Concrete Walls Guide)

Grab your flathead screwdriver with a head wider than the hole in the anchor but not wider than the anchor. Tap the screwdriver and wait until the anchor drops into the wall.

tools for drywall anchor

Method 4: Recess It

If you have many drywall anchors to deal with, recessing them can be the best way. If the drywall is water damaged or brittle, explore this alternative because removing them can make things worse.

Using your utility knife, score the drywall around the anchor mouth. Then, place a screwdriver over the anchor head; lightly tap the head and push the anchor into the wall.

When the recessed anchor is under the wall’s surface, you can patch it using a joint compound and your putty knife. (Find Wood Chipper Rental)

Patch Dry Wall Anchor Holes

The small hole left after removing the drywall anchor is unsightly, yet it’s an easy fix. To patch a recessed drywall anchor, use this method.

The anchor sits in the wall, whereas in other scenarios, it would be removed. All you need for the patching process is your putty knife and drywall compound.

Flatten Anchor Edges

The first step in patching recessed drywall anchors is to flatten the hole’s edges. All you need is a hammer and some care to tap the hole with your hammer. The anchor edges should flatten and end up flush with the wall. Clean up any drywall dust to ensure proper drywall compound adhesion.

Apply Drywall Compound

Apply the drywall compound with your putty knife when the hole is flush with the wall and free of drywall dust. Apply just enough to fill the hole, moving in a cross pattern over the damaged area. Use a putty knife to spread the compound evenly over the hole bigger than the anchor.

With your putty knife, remove the excess drywall compound. Depending on the type, it may need to dry. Just read the label and let the compound dry overnight.

Sand Smooth

Once the drywall compound is properly dry, it is time to lightly sand. Use medium-grit sandpaper to sand the spot until it is smooth to the touch.

Once you finish, clear up any drywall dust with a damp cloth and then wipe with a dry rag. You can then touch up the area with paint.

white drywall anchor

Can You Remove and Reuse Drywall Anchors?

Whether wall anchors or a drywall anchor can be reused varies by product. Some drywall anchors can be used again, while others are strictly single-use.

Trying to reuse a drywall anchor can weaken the plastic, and the drywall anchor could come loose once inside a new hole where the anchor falls out under the weight of your new object.

If the screw and anchor are removed correctly, some drywall anchors can be reused.

Drilling a shallower hole in the drywall enables you to remove screws from the wall anchors easily, yet there isn’t as much grip on your wall. (Learn How To Get Spray Paint Off Concrete)

Here are the steps to remove a wall anchor:

Step 1: Remove A Wall Anchor

Remove the anchor’s screw. Select a drill bit two sizes larger than the hole in the anchor’s metal collar. The bit’s cutting edges should only touch the collar edges around the screw hole, not slipping inside.

Step 2: Remove A Wall Anchor

To drill, center the bit in the anchor’s hole. The bit will probably push the anchor out of the drywall as soon as the collar breaks free of the anchor. Let it fall into the wall.

Caution: Don’t let the drill bit go into the wall cavity as electrical wiring or pipes could be.

Step 3: Repair A Wall Anchor Hole

Push drywall compound into the anchor’s hole with a putty knife. Fill the gap in stages if needed and let it sit overnight. Sand, prime, and paint the wall.

These anchors are so difficult to remove because there is a metal collar that grips the drywall from the outside, and prongs expand and push against the drywall from the inside.

How To Remove Drywall Anchors (1)

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