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How to Remove Wall Anchors

Come find out how to remove dry wall anchors easily, without tearing up the drywall. It is so much easier than you think!

I just wanted to share a quick tip I learned not too long ago. When I went to replace all of the hardware in my bathroom makeover, I didn’t realize that I would have 5 unwanted wall anchors to deal with.

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Wall Anchors

When the previous owner or builder installed the towel bar, toilet paper holder and towel rack, they hadn’t drilled them into any studs, so naturally, every screw was screwed into a wall anchor to keep it firmly in place.

That’s a great thing when you’re planning on not having the towel holder falling down every time you want to dry your hands. It’s not so awesome when you want to change everything out!

I love sharing my best tips and tools for DIY with you! I’ve shown you how to change a light fixture and how to select the best light bulbs, as well as my top 5 tools for a beginner DIYer! I hope these help you create a home you love on a budget!

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Wall Anchors

At first I thought my new hardware would just fit over the old wall anchors in some places. But I found that either the hardware was different or I wanted to change the location the new hardware.

How to Remove Drywall Anchors

I’ll admit that I was stumped for a few days. How would I get the anchors out without making huge holes in my walls?

Well, one night I got the bright idea to just hammer them in a little further and then patch the small hole.

It worked fabulously!

I actually screwed in a screw part of the way first and then lightly tapped on it with a hammer. Be sure not to tap too hard, or it will dent in the drywall all around the anchor, leaving a dent in your wall. Ask me how I know. 🙂 Luckily it wasn’t too bad and I was still able to just patch it with some patching compound.

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Wall Anchors

I had nightmares of having to carefully pull each anchor out, but I’m so glad that this way worked better. Sorry I didn’t take a picture of the patching and sanding part, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. Just use drywall patching compound, let it dry and then sand. Easy. {This is my favorite patching putty.}

How to Get Rid of Unwanted Wall Anchors

You would never be able to tell that just below this towel ring there once was a wall anchor. Love the results!

Hopefully if you ever have to do the same thing, you won’t have to sit and stew for days or weeks, like I did. Tuck this back there in your “things I may need twice in my life” file and you’ll thank me later!

UPDATE: It’s been brought to my attention that a wall anchor that has the Phillips-head screw driver hole can be unscrewed, instead of hammered in. But you could still use this method on the wall anchors that can’t be unscrewed. 

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31 Comments

    1. The body of a plastic anchor is half that of the head. Use a drill bit half the size of the head to leave a hole half the size of one left by your procedure.

      Greg

    2. Instead of sanding the patch, I wipe the spackle with a damp sponge for small jobs! Thus NO dust!

  1. The round side of a ballpeen hammer works good, also countersinks frayed edges of nail holes, just a light tap works

  2. Hi Laura! I was a house painter for 15 years and had to deal with these all of the time…ARGH! Your solution is almost exactly what I used to do. The only difference, and you may find it a little easier, is that instead of inserting a screw, I used to just insert the end of a phillips screwdriver into the anchor. Then just lightly tap with a hammer. Same conclusion, you just don’t have to mess with the screw!

    1. Yay! So glad I’m on the right track. 🙂 That’s a great tip about using the screwdriver. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      1. The white one in your picture, looks to me to be one that screws into the drywall. The Phillips slots are used to screw it in as well as to remove it.

        1. Yes, for this type of anchor it would have been best to unscrew and remove before patching. Hammering it in will weaken a large area behind the surface.

  3. OH MY WORD! Thank you for this tip! I used to hate anchors but now I can deal with them! YAY!

  4. One thing I’ve done is cut out the anchor’s head using a pen xacto knife then patch where the head was. Works great!

  5. Ok maybe it’s because I’m old and know stuff, but most wall anchors just screw in. You can use a screwdriver and screw them out, and then patch them easier.
    FYI. Hope that helps……

  6. That’s such a great tip. I’ve also had this problem and just tried to cover it up with the new hardware…lol. Will be using your tip from now on.

  7. You always share great tips and this is another one-thank you!

    If you have a minute to spare I’d be thrilled if you could pop by and share your post at my weekly Say G’Day Saturday linky party. It’s on now and this would be a wonderful addition.

    Best wishes,
    Natasha in Oz

  8. My daughter the house flipper says that the screw in the center of wall anchors made like this one will unscrew if you screw it in the direction (clockwise) normally used to screw things IN. She says if it looks like this picture (with a phillips head screwdriver shaped hole), just keep screwing clockwise, as if you are screwing it further IN, and it will come OUT. No phillips head screw hole? Use the genius method above!

      1. However Laura, your idea of pushing it in, gives the wall filler somewhere to stop sinking into the hole. Do you know what I’m trying to say? When filling the hole left from a wall anchor, the puddy just keeps sinking into the hole, making the process of filling and sanding it 3 or 4xs as long. Love it. Thanks.

  9. Genius! I wouldn’t have thought to do this. I have removed them before and they hufe holes in the walls.

  10. That’s a great idea! I have some in my craft room that are just sitting there looking ugly because we didn’t want to deal with taking them out. I will definitely try your method.

  11. Oh so smart! Our previous house owners left about 9 million blue anchors in the upstairs walls. I tried to get them out with pliers, screws, patch putty, etc and it was still an ugly mess!! I’m going to try this in the bathroom, which luckily only has 8 million anchors in it!!
    xoxo
    Goldi

  12. Holy Cow! I’ve got three different sets of these little boogers in our half bath and I had no idea how to cover them up. Brilliant idea!

    Thanks so much for sharing!

    ~ Ashley

  13. This is good to know. We are in the process of selling our house and buying another. I’ve tried pulling some anchors out, but that just left a bigger hole to patch. Didn’t want to leave the holes for the buyer to fix. Thanks for sharing this tip, I will have to try this.

    1. Very nice of you to patch everything up for the new owners!

      When my Mom bought her house the former owners didn’t even bother to sweep the floor …

  14. Hello, Laura!

    Since I am living in my 21st home, I have had to deal with these anchors and they are awful to cover! Your idea is a great one and a wonderful tip! Thank you!

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