How to Fix Nail Pops in Drywall: A DIY Guide

calander Mar 28 , 2023 user-icon Nash Painting
drywall nail pop repairs


As seasoned professionals in the construction industry, we understand the common frustration of encountering nail pops in your drywall. These unsightly bumps can mar the surface of your walls, but fear not! In this comprehensive blog post, we'll equip you with the techniques needed to both prevent and remedy nail pops during drywall installation.

We'll delve into selecting the right fasteners, spacing them appropriately, and providing expert tips for repairing existing nail pops without causing further damage.

By following these straightforward steps and techniques, you'll ensure that your finished project boasts smooth and seamless walls, free from pesky nail pops. Let's dive right in!

Table of Contents:

  1. Understanding Nail Pops in Drywall
    • Identifying and Grasping the Issue
  2. Tools Required for Fixing Nail Pops
    • Essential Equipment for DIY Repairs
  3. Steps to Fix Nail Pops in Drywall
    • The DIY Repair Process Demystified
  4. Tips for Preventing Nail Pops
    • Building for the Future: Preventative Measures
  5. Conclusion
    • A Smooth Finish, Every Time

Understanding Nail Pops in Drywall:

Before we tackle the repair process, it's crucial to comprehend what nail pops are. Nail pops, often referred to as nail heads or drywall nails, are protrusions on your wall's surface. They result when nails used for securing drywall pull away from their original positions. These pops can occur due to various factors, including changes in humidity and temperature, improper installation techniques, or a home's foundation settling over time. Nail pops are easily recognizable as they manifest as raised bumps with surrounding paint chipping.

To address nail pops effectively, we must first identify their location on your walls and ceilings. Scrutinize surfaces, including corners and joints between drywall sheets, for signs of raised bumps or discoloration. Proper prep work is essential, involving the removal of loose material like old paint chips or caulking using a putty knife, followed by gentle sanding to ensure new materials adhere securely.

Tools Required for Fixing Nail Pops:

Repairing nail pops demands the right tools. Here's what you'll need:

  • Hammer: For driving nails back in and smoothing bumps.
  • Drill or Screwdriver: To remove protruding nails or drive the screw deeper.
  • Joint Compound: Applied with a putty knife and sanded when dry.

Equipping yourself with these essential tools ensures you're ready for the task at hand.

Steps to Fix Nail Pops in Drywall:

Identifying nail pops is the initial step in their repair. Visual inspection helps spot raised areas, bumps, or indentations that may signal a popped nail. Use a stud finder to confirm the presence of an underlying nail causing the issue. Don't forget to inspect corners and seams, which are common problem areas. Tapping lightly on suspect areas with a hammer can confirm nail pops through the distinctive hollow sound they produce. Once identified, repair involves either resecuring nails or filling gaps with joint compound, followed by sanding for a seamless finish.

  1. Pole sand the wall to reveal hidden and exposed nail pops.
  2. Use a nail punch to slightly drive the nail deeper, or use a screwdriver to quarter-turn
  3. Apply a first coat of drywall mud
  4. Sand and apply a finish coat of drywall mud
  5. Sand the patch smooth with the existing walls
  6. Spot prime the patch multiple coats with the same roller as the wall until the texture matches the existing wall

Tips for Preventing Nail Pops:

Prevention is always the preferred approach. To mitigate future nail pops, adhere to proper installation practices during construction:

  • Use appropriate nail types and sizes.
  • Drive nails at an angle into studs.
  • Maintain regular nail spacing.
  • Consider screws for added stability.

By following these guidelines, you'll save time, money, and future frustrations.


Fixing nail pops in drywall is a manageable DIY project, achievable with the right tools and techniques. By following these steps, you'll regain smooth, flawless walls without the interference of troublesome nail pops. Should you need expert house painting services in Nashville, Nash Painting is your trusted partner. Our experienced team ensures the highest quality finish, paying meticulous attention to detail.