How to Remove and Replace Hollow Wall Anchors

What You'll Need
Utility Knife
Philips head screwdriver

If you have added hollow wall anchors to a room in the past, you may have finished using them, but be left with unsightly holes in the wall. These plastic anchors are particularly difficult to move as they are designed to hold securely to the wall. Therefore you may decide to try digging them out of the plaster using a chisel. Before things get to that stage, however, you should consider that you have some other options which can take out the hollow wall anchors without damaging the plaster. This is the best option for those who are planning to paint or paper over the wall, or if you want to replace the old anchor with a new one.

Step 1 - Push in the Anchor

The simplest way to get rid of the old anchor is simply to push it further into the wall. This will cause more permanent damage to the wall, and it will also mean that you will not be able to use the hole for your replacement hollow wall anchor. However, if you have struggled to take out the piece of plastic, and do not want to make a large hole, then pushing it in remains an option. Take out the screw, and then insert your knife between the anchor head and the wall behind it. Saw through the head of the anchor, and then use the Philips head screwdriver to push the rest of the anchor further into the wall.

Step 2 - Pull out the Anchor

An alternative is to pull the anchor out of the wall. First, loosen the screw inside the anchor, but don't take it out. You should then take your pliers, and grab hold of as much of the screw as possible. Tug on the screw, or wriggle it from side to side, in order to remove the anchor from the wall. Keep up constant pressure on the screw, and gradually you should be able to pull out the anchor without causing too much damage to the wall.

Step 3 - Add the New Anchor

Inserting a new anchor can be very difficult if you have removed an old one from the same spot. The insertion and removal of the other hollow wall anchor will mean that the plaster has been damaged. You can solve this by putting a touch of glue to the surface of your anchor, and then adding it to the wall. You could also try applying a little bit of plaster to the anchor.

Step 4 - Installing the New Anchor

Make sure that there is no debris in the hole, and then push the anchor in with your hand as far as you can. If the anchor has not gone in deep enough, use a hammer to drive it into the wall until you can see only the very top of the head. You can then take your screw, and apply this to the anchor, as before.