How to Remove Laminate Backsplash from Drywall

Removing laminate backsplash from drywall can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, it can be accomplished with minimal damage to your walls. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to safely and effectively remove laminate backsplash from drywall.

What You’ll Need

  • Pry bar or putty knife
  • Hammer
  • Flat bar or wonder bar
  • Painter’s tape
  • Drywall patching compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint supplies

Prepping the Area

Before starting demolition, you’ll want to prep the area to minimize damage.

  • Clear the countertop and remove any items on the backsplash.
  • Tape around the perimeter of the backsplash with painter’s tape to protect the surrounding surfaces.
  • Score around the edges of the backsplash with a utility knife to cut through the caulk and loosen the bond between the laminate and drywall.

Removing the Backsplash

With the prep work done, it’s time to start removing the laminate sheets.

Pry Up the Laminate

  • Working in one corner, slide the pry bar or putty knife under the laminate to lift it up slightly from the wall.
  • Apply gentle pressure with the pry bar to slowly work the laminate away from the drywall.
  • Lift up and out to remove the freed laminate pieces.

Remove Adhesive Residue

  • Use a flat bar or wonder bar to scrape off any leftover adhesive or backing from the drywall.
  • Avoid gouging into the drywall surface while scraping.
  • Clean off any remaining adhesive residue with mineral spirits and rags.

Remove Drywall Screws

  • Using a hammer or screwdriver, remove any drywall screws that were holding the laminate in place.

Patching and Repairing Drywall

Once the backsplash has been removed, you’ll need to patch and repair the drywall to prep it for fresh paint or new backsplash.

  • Inspect for any gouges, holes, or damage in need of patching.
  • Apply drywall joint compound to fill any imperfections. Let dry completely.
  • Sand patched areas smooth and blend with surrounding drywall.
  • Carefully sand and feather out edges around patched areas.
  • Wipe away dust with a dry cloth.
  • Apply primer and paint once repairs are made for a seamless look.

Hanging a New Backsplash

If desired, you can now install a new backsplash following the manufacturer’s instructions. Some options include:

  • Tile
  • Wood
  • Stainless steel
  • Faux stone
  • Painted drywall

Be sure to caulk around all edges for a waterproof seal.

Tips and Warnings

  • Work slowly and carefully when prying up laminate to avoid tearing drywall paper or causing unnecessary damage.
  • Wear safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask when demolishing and repairing.
  • Check for wiring or plumbing before prying into walls and call a professional if needed.
  • Dispose of old backsplash pieces properly by checking local regulations.
  • Allow patching compounds to dry fully before sanding or painting.
  • Take time to prep the area and wall surface well for best results with new backsplash.

Removing laminated backsplash can be a messy process, but with some patience and the right techniques, you can reveal your beautiful drywall and install an updated backsplash of your choice. Just work deliberately, make clean cuts, and repair any damage for a successful project.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to remove a laminate backsplash?

It typically takes 2-3 hours to fully remove a laminate backsplash, including prep work and clean up. Work time depends on the size of the backsplash area.

What’s the easiest way to remove laminate backsplash?

Scoring around the edges with a utility knife and then carefully prying it up starting at a corner is the safest and easiest method. Go slowly and be patient.

What damage can removing backsplash cause?

Potential damage includes tearing drywall paper, gouging the drywall, damaging surrounding countertops or walls, or improperly exposing wires. Be cautious when prying.

Can I install new backsplash over laminate?

No, laminate should be fully removed before installing new backsplash. The new backsplash will not adhere properly over laminate.

What tools do I need to remove laminate backsplash?

Essential tools are a pry bar, putty knife, hammer, screwdriver, painter’s tape, and a utility knife. Safety gear like goggles and gloves are also recommended.


Removing laminate backsplash requires careful prying techniques and patience to avoid wall damage. With the proper prep work, tools, and repair materials, you can safely remove laminate and install beautiful new backsplash. Take your time and employ the methods outlined to reveal your wall surface and upgrade your kitchen in no time.