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What is a recommended way to go about removing screw anchors from a wall, after they've been there for "quite some time". I tried simply pulling them out with pliers, sometimes that works but more often (since they've been there a long time) I just tear them apart with the remainer in the wall. I tried drilling through them, but that still seems like overkill, and often leaves even more damage in the wall.

What are your experiences and recommendations?

Screw anchor

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    Why not just spackle over them to cover them? – Craig Jan 25 '15 at 10:37
  • @Craig - Sometimes they are protruding 1-3mm outside of the wall surface, so it wouldn't look nice. Besides, I just don't like the idea that I have then in my walls. – Rook Jan 25 '15 at 12:31
  • Good point. Both the current answers seem pretty good (drive it through the drywall and just let it drop inside the wall cavity, or use a screw to pull it out). – Craig Jan 25 '15 at 20:25
  • You would be surprised at what is in your walls unless you built the house. I have found everything from dead rodents, beer cans from when the house was built and one time a pair of derringers. I don’t think a few plastic anchors will bother anything. Less damage to push them in my experience use screw in anchors in the future and these will unscrew and they work quite well. + @Mikes – Ed Beal Mar 1 '16 at 20:00
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If the wall is standard drywall, I would use a punch, wooden dowel or something similar and push them in. By design they are resistant to pulling out with out some wall damage. They just need to be slightly below the surface. Repairing the holes will depend on the wall finish. If it is painted then spackle as @Craig suggested, and repaint. If it has wallpaper with and intricate pattern you can try to use small pieces (providing you have some extra) cut with a paper hole puncher and glued in place.

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What generally works for me - when just pulling them out with my hands doesn't - is to insert a screw, rotate it a few times so it gets some grip on the anchor and then pull both of them out.

A screwdriver will work, too, I think, though, you'll want to apply some pressure to one side and either pull or pop it out that way.

If they're really stuck.. then I get someone else to do it. ;)

I prefer not to spackle over them because I've seen too many walls where you keep seeing the dents. Other people don't notice 'em, maybe, but I know where they're at, man..

  • My feeling exactly. Don't like leaving anything inside walls but well... walls. – Rook Jan 25 '15 at 12:32
  • @ldigas - you have walls in your walls? Is this an infinite loop? – DMoore Jan 25 '15 at 17:41

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