How to Remove Metal Drywall Anchors
Metal drywall anchors can be a great way to hang heavy items and anchor them to ensure the hung piece doesn't fall off the wall or pull a nail or screw out of the drywall. They are also an eyesore if they are pre-existing and you didn't want or put them there, or have changed the decor in your home and no longer need them. Drywall mud or joint compound does not adhere to them, and they are difficult, if not impossible to completely cover without intervention. They can also be next to impossible to remove from the drywall without creating a much larger than necessary hole in the wall that will require more patching than many bargain for. They do not however have to be difficult to get rid of if you use a little creativity. Here you will find the information needed to remove them from the drywall and the steps needed to refinish the area.
Step 1 - Remove the Anchor
There are a couple of different ways to do this, but as previously mentioned, pulling it out entirely can leave quite a large hole in the drywall. Try prying the flared head of the anchor with a flat-head screwdriver, just so it is sticking out from the wall enough to grip with a pair of pliers. Pull straight out with the pliers. The anchor may not budge more than a quarter of an inch or so. They were designed after all to not pull out of the wall. If this is the case, push it into the wall. Thread the screw four or five turns into the anchor. Use the hammer, tapping the screw to push the anchor through the drywall so that it will drop onto the back side of the drywall (don't drive the screw so far in that you can't get to it). Use a screwdriver to back the screw out of the anchor.
Step 2 - Patch the Hole
Using the mud or spackle, fill the hole until it is completely covered. If it is a large hole, you may want to do this in stages, to give the mud or spackle a chance to dry completely. If the mud is too thick, it will crack, requiring additional work. Regardless, most of the time it will shrink and require at least a second application.
Step 3 - Sand
Once you have added enough spackle or mud that the hole is filled to the point of being flush with the rest of the drywall, it may actually protrude past the remainder of the area. This is preferable to a depression where the hole was. Allow the mud or spackle to dry completely, and lightly sand the area until it is smooth and even.
Step 4 - Prime and Paint
Use paint primer on the area that has been filled and sanded. Let the primer dry completely, then paint with the color of choice.