How to remove cornice

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How to remove cornice

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Project Overview

A lot of houses use plaster cornice to cover the join between the wall and ceiling.  It is an easy job to remove it with a few basic tricks. These techniques will help you protect your paint work and remove your old cornice with a minimum of fuss.
Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut along where the cornice joins the wall and ceiling
2 Remove the cornice
  • Step 1. Cut along where the cornice joins the wall and ceiling

    Run a trimming knife along where the cornice joins the wall, the ceiling and any cornice you want to keep. Cut into the cavity behind the cornice, making sure you avoid cutting into the wall or ceiling. By cutting along these joints, you stop the paint on both surfaces from coming away when you remove the cornice.  
  • Step 2. Remove the cornice

    Use a hammer to gently nudge a chisel in under the cornice. Then use the chisel to start prying the cornice off the wall. Once the cornice begins lifting off, wedge your wrecking bar into the cavity behind it. Then you can leverage the wrecking bar on the wall frame and push the cornice off. 

Tools and Materials


  • Chisel
  • Dust mask
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Ladder
  • Safety glasses
  • Trimming knife
  • Wrecking bar
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