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A Bunnings team member using a pry bar to remove an architrave

Overview

Replacing old architraves can give your home a whole new look. We’ll show you how to remove them in just three easy steps. You’ll learn how to pry the timber mouldings safely from a wall, and how to protect your walls during the process. Before you start, arrange some drop sheets around the area and remember to always wear your safety gear. 

Steps

1Make a gap between the architrave and wall

Take your utility knife and slide the blade along the seam between the timber moulding of the architrave and the wall. Gently cut through any layers of paint that may be covering the seam and create a clean gap between the moulding and the wall. This will help stop the paint peeling off the wall when you pull the architrave away from it.

Person using a box cutter to create a gap between architrave and wall.

2Make the gap wider with a hammer and chisel

Now use your hammer and chisel to start pulling the architrave away from the wall. Wedge the chisel in the gap and gradually work your way around the timber moulding, using gentle hammer taps to avoid splitting the timber or the damaging the wall. Carefully pull the timber moulding away from the wall to loosen any nails and to make the gap wider.

Person widening the gap between architrave and wall using a chisel and hammer.

3Pry the timber moulding away from the wall

Now take your pry bar and wedge it in behind the timber. It's a good idea to also wedge a packer between the pry bar and wall so that you don't mark or dent the wall. Then use the pry bar to pull the timber away from the wall. There will be a lot of exposed nails in the timber so wear gloves when handling it for added protection. 

A Bunnings team member using a pry bar to remove an architrave

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More D.I.Y. Advice

Health & Safety

Asbestos, lead-based paints and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber are health hazards you need to look out for when renovating older homes. These substances can easily be disturbed when renovating and exposure to them can cause a range of life-threatening diseases and conditions including cancer. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page.

When following our advice in our D.I.Y. videos, make sure you use all equipment, including PPE, safely by following the manufacturer’s instructions. Check that the equipment is suitable for the task and that PPE fits properly. If you are unsure, hire an expert to do the job or talk to a Bunnings Team Member.