How to Properly Remove Drywall

How to Properly Remove Drywall Without Making a Mess

Looking to convert one of your bathrooms into an extra bedroom? When you want to remodel the interiors of your house, removing drywall may become necessary so you find access to all pipes and wires. You’ll see most people make a mess out of removing drywall. People don safety glasses, a face shield, and a dust mask and smash the wall to pieces with a hammer and pry bar.

You may end up making a mess of what is actually a pretty easy job if you’re a newbie. We share with you a step-by-step walkthrough on how to remove drywall smoothly and avoid ending up with a mess.

Step 1: Get the Right Tools

You’ll need to prepare yourself before you start taking the drywall down. Things start with getting the perfect tools that make the job easy. To accomplish much of the job, you’ll need power and hand tools that are readily available in almost every home workshop. These tools are:

  • Flat bar
  • Power drill or driver
  • Utility knife
  • Handsaw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Hammer

If you don’t have any of these with you, you needn’t worry. You can manage things with something else. However, having these specific tools make the job that much easier. Oh, you’ll also need a dust mask so you don’t breathe in the dust when you’re breaking down the drywall.

Step 2: Switch off All Utilities

You’ll have to avoid what lies beneath the drywall when you’re removing it. It’s absolutely vital that you do so. You’ll likely have to deal with electrical outlets, vents for HVAC, or plumbing connections depending on which part of the house you’re working in.

As a safety precaution, turn off all the utilities in the area of your work. Get a stud finder that shall help you locate if there are any obstacles underneath the drywall. You can use tape to mark those areas off. This way, you’ll know which areas you should avoid cutting and come back to later.

You don’t need to turn off power to all the utilities in the entire house. Just concentrate on the area you’re working in. You’ll also have to remove all the coverings that the wall and electrical outlets and vents have.

Step 3: Prepare the Room for the Job

Especially when you’re working on a larger project, you’ll have to avoid spreading the drywall dust. Start by sealing off or closing any vents the room has. That way, you’ll prevent the possibility of any dust traveling into the HVAC vents and spreading throughout the home when you switch on the HVAC.

You’ll also have to seal off the door with plastic sheeting—another important step to prevent the dust from traveling throughout the house. Make sure that you put on the necessary safety gear- safety glasses, gloves, and a dust mask.

Step 4: Get Rid of the Molding

To find access to the entire drywall, you’ll need to remove the molding. You’ll need to use the utility knife now. With the knife, cut the part in the top where the drywall meets the molding. To pull the baseboard or molding up, you’ll need a pry bar.

You must get behind the baseboards and molding so you can effectively remove the entire drywall. You shouldn’t skip this step. That’ll make sure you don’t end up with an uneven removal putting you in trouble when you work on installing the new drywall.

Step 5: Mark Out the Area of Work

You’ll have to single out the area you seek to remove. Pick an edge where you can start if you want to remove an entire section of drywall. This is when you’ll need a reciprocating saw. To avoid any impact on the wood framing beneath the drywall, use it at an angle so it’s possible to cut across the drywall.

You may also cut a notch surrounding the door trim which can help. Use your utility knife in the corners as using the reciprocating saw there is actually inviting trouble. Give the cutting enough time as any callousness during cutting can create problems at a later stage.

Step 6: Locate the Framing Nails

When you’re removing drywall, you’ll need to tackle the nails and other obstructions that were used when installing it. You can do this with a strong magnet. The magnet indicates where the nails are so you can mark them out. For a more precise locating of the nails, turn the magnet on its end.

Finding the nails at intervals of 12 inches vertically and 16 inches horizontally is what you can expect if local codes have been followed, which however doesn’t happen always.

Step 7: Nail Removal

Use your hammer and pry bar to remove the nails now that you know where they are. You’ll only have to hammer the pry bar just beside the nail into the drywall. Keep pounding gently while holding the pry bar at an angle so you can get beneath the nail head.

To deal with screws, use screwdrivers or screw guns. You needn’t worry about the holes you’re making. You’re taking the drywall down after all. Be careful at this step since the screws and the nails are what hold the drywall in place. Negligence can bring all of it crashing down.

Step 8: Removing the Drywall

Even after removing the nails and screws, in most cases, the drywall remains in place. Drywalls come out easily if there are no nails or screws. If it doesn’t come out easily, see if you have missed any screws or nails. Look for a seam somewhere around the 4-foot mark from the floor. Pull away the bottom piece so you can haul away the drywall’s larger sections easily.


If removing drywall has had you worried, these steps are sure to help. Removing the nails is a very important step since carelessness can cause injuries. No less important is turning off the utilities so you can be sure that no one suffers an electrical shock. Getting the right tools for the job is vital so you are prepared for every step. You are ready to work as a pro now. Good luck!

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