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A person wearing protective gear pulling a sheet of plaster off a stud wall

Overview

Removing plasterboard from walls and ceilings can be a messy job but there are a few simple tricks to getting it right. We show you the tools and techniques you need to remove cornice and plasterboard properly. There's also a few simple tips to make everything easier and show you how to do the job safely.

Steps

1Remove the cornice

Start by turning off the electricity at the fuse box. Even if you can't see switches or sockets, there could be wires in the wall. Then use a trimming knife to cut along the edges of the cornice to stop paint coming away from the ceiling. Once the cornice is trimmed, use the wrecking bar to pry the cornice off.
A person running a trimming knife along the top edge of a cornice

2Remove the plasterboard from the wall

Working as close to one of the top corners as you can, use the wrecking bar to gently pry the whole sheet of plaster away from the wall joists. Sometimes a whole sheet can be too large to handle in one go. If that's the case, run a shallow saw down the middle of the wall, being careful to avoid cutting the timber frame behind the plaster.
A person wearing protective gear pulling a sheet of plaster off a stud wall

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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.