Asked on Oct 07, 2014

How to remove wall anchors from plaster walls?

by MauiMom
I love to hang pictures, but I want to keep PLASTER wall damage to a minimum. I have read the great tutorials about installing anchors and screws for Medium to Heavy-weight pictures. What is the best way to remove the anchors when I'm ready for a change?
  10 answers
  • The repair will depend upon the type of Anchor it is that you used. If they were plastic types, simply take a razor blade and cut the head off of it and push it into the wall. Then fix plaster hole. If its a metal one, these are a bit harder as you cannot take head off with razor. A sharp drill in the center of the hole where the screw was located should be used. The drill should be just a tiny bit smaller then the round head size of the anchor. Drill slowly into the anchor until the head falls off of it. Then push the rest into the wall. You need to push lightly on the drill so it will not simply turn the entire anchor, Once that happens the only way to remove is to use a nail punch and tap the top of the anchor into the wall surface until it can be covered with plaster. This may crack the surface but its your only option.
    • MauiMom MauiMom on Oct 08, 2014
      @Woodbridge Environmental Thank you for your detailed answer. There are a few old metal anchors I have to remove - this is a great help. I'll only use plastic from now on. They'll be a lot easier to deal with.
  • Anna @Annabode Anna @Annabode on Oct 07, 2014
    At Home Depot you can buy plastic anchors that you can screw in and out with just a screwdriver, or a drill. Removal is easy-peasy.
  • Cornelia Schott Cornelia Schott on Oct 08, 2014
    I went to you tube for a tutorial. My anchors were plastic so I took a razor blade and shaved off the end and once the end was off I pushed the remaining part of the anchor into the wall. Then fixed the hole, waited for it to dry, sanded and painted.
  • Nancy Merrell Nancy Merrell on Oct 08, 2014
    Didn't think about cutting off edges, just tapped into wall then spackled and sanded smooth,Worked for me, will try cutting top next time or buy the ones that screw in.
  • Funnygirl Funnygirl on Oct 10, 2014
    I like the idea of slicing off end,if you really need it out completely,grab a long nose plier and yank it out.
  • Page Walker Page Walker on Oct 11, 2014
    You can, also, leave the screw screwed into the anchor just a little & pull it out of the wall with pliers..
  • MauiMom MauiMom on Oct 13, 2014
    @Page Walker Great tip - thank you Page.
  • Pulling an anchor out of the wall is not suggested with anything other then small plastic ones. The metal ones open up in the back to a much larger size then the hole itself. So pulling it out will make a big hole that in plaster type walls can be difficult to fix.
  • MauiMom MauiMom on Oct 13, 2014
    @Woodbridge Environmental Thank you Woodbridge - yes, I definitely want to keep damage to a minimum.
  • Susan Sease Susan Sease on Nov 04, 2014
    Have you ever heard of a picture rail? You install it like crown it near the top of the wall and use special hooks to hang your pictures from it. This would allow you to change and move pictures very easily and also adds architectural interest.