How to Remove Drywall Safely And Efficiently

Lead Image
  • 4-8 hours
  • Intermediate
  • $20-110
What You'll Need
Plastic Sheeting
Duct Tape
Pry Bar
Face Mask or Air Respirator
Stud finder
Masking tape

If you are beginning a remodeling project that requires you to remove drywall, make sure that you are using safety measures in the process. Removing drywall involves more than just using a sledgehammer to knock the drywall off of the wall. Care should be taken to locate any existing plumbing, electrical and any other mechanisms that might be located inside the wall. Also, for maximum efficiency, you should block off the rest of the house to protect from dust and debris.

WARNING: Before removing the drywall, check your home's building records to see if the walls contain asbestos. To be totally certain, have an expert test the walls.

Step 1 - Seal Off Room

Hang plastic sheeting to seal off the rest of the room or house. Attach the sheeting with duct tape. Close any cabinet door. Turn off the air conditioner or any circulating fans to keep dust and debris from circulating throughout the house. Close the air vents to the room. Close any windows.

Step 2 - Remove Trim and Begin to Remove Drywall

Wearing a face mask or air respirator to protect from dust, use the pry bar to remove all of the trim from the wall, including the baseboard, crown molding, any chair rails, and any molding or trim from around doors or windows where the drywall is located.

Use a small pry bar to remove the trim. Begin at the edge of the wall or where the trim has been removed. Place the pry bar above a nail and pull the drywall toward you. Move the pry bar to below the nail and pull the drywall towards you. Repeat at each nail section on the same edge. Once the drywall is loosened, pry the nails out. Most pry bars have a slot for pulling nails. If your pry bar doesn't have this slot, use the claw section of a hammer. Remove as many nails from the drywall as possible.

Step 3 - Remove Large Sections

Using a hammer, tap on the back side of the drywall. This will loosen the drywall but not break it into small pieces. Remove the large sections of drywall and set them aside. With the larger pieces of drywall removed, begin to remove the smaller pieces of drywall that are located closer to the nails.

Step 4 - Remove Drywall Approaching from Back

A hole in drywall.

If you cannot reach the back side of the drywall, use a hammer to make a small hole into the drywall. Make a hole near the edge of the drywall but away from the nails. Insert your hand and hammer into the back of the drywall. Tap on the back side of the drywall to remove it.

Step 5 - Remove Remaining Nails and Clean Up

Remove all remaining nails located on the wall studs. Use the slotted end of the pry bar or the claw end of a hammer.

Place the nails in a covered jar and set aside all of the drywall in an area outside to reduce dust and debris. Use a shop vac to clean up any dust from around where you removed the drywall. Clean up the area completely and remove the plastic sheeting and duct tape.