How to remove a hollow wall anchor

Written by debbie tolle
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How to remove a hollow wall anchor
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Hollow wall anchors are used to secure an object to the wall when there is no stud available. This type of wall anchor is weight-rated to hold from small, lightweight items to large, heavy items. The hollow wall anchor is inserted through a drilled pilot hole (with the exception of the self drilling anchor) and it expands or spreads out when it is pressed through the hole. The removal method of a hollow wall anchor is based on how it remains anchored to the wall after it is installed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Variable speed drill
  • Hammer
  • Mesh drywall tape
  • Utility knife
  • Drywall compound
  • Two-inch putty knife
  • 100-grit drywall sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Remove the anchor screw from the centre of the hollow wall anchor with the variable speed drill. This step is the same for all hollow wall anchors.

  2. 2

    Remove a hollow wall plug by inserting a screwdriver into the end of the anchor as far as it will go. Twist the anchor and pull out at the same time. Use the variable speed drill and drill bit to unscrew a self-drilling hollow wall anchor.

  3. 3

    Cut a strip of mesh tape and place it over the anchor hole in the wall. Spread a light coat of drywall compound over the tape and allow to dry. When the first coat of compound has dried, apply a second coat and let dry. Lightly sand the patch with 100-grit drywall sandpaper until it is smooth and level with the surrounding wall area.

  1. 1

    Remove a hollow wall toggle bolt by simply removing the anchor screw with the drill. The hollow wall toggle bolt has a wing nut on the back that falls off into the wall when the screw is removed.

  2. 2

    Strike the head of metal sleeve hollow wall anchors, molly bolts and plastic winged anchors to push the head into the wall. You only need to hit the anchor hard enough to create an indent in the wall. Hitting the anchor any harder can puncture the drywall in that spot, leaving you with a larger hole to patch.

  3. 3

    Spread drywall compound over the indent with the putty knife, and allow to dry. Lightly sand with drywall sandpaper to smooth and level the repair. Repaint as needed.

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