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How to Fix Nail Pops in Drywall

April 9, 2023
nail pop repair

How to Fix Nail Pops in Drywall

If you look at your drywall and see small circular areas poking out from the wall, you may be dealing with nail pops. These small imperfections can ruin the beautiful and uniform look of your walls and even cause cracks in the paint. In this article, we'll discuss what causes nail pops, whether or not you should be worried about them, and how to fix them.

What are Nail Pops?

Nail pops are small circular areas caused by nails or screws that have popped out of the drywall. They may not stick out far, but they're visible and can be a cosmetic problem.

What Causes Nail Pops in Walls?

The main cause of nail pops in walls is the expansion and contraction of the wood frame behind drywall. As the seasons change and humidity levels fluctuate, the wood framing expands and contracts. As this happens, the nails or screws lose their grip on the frame, causing them to pop out and form a nail pop.

Should You Be Worried About Nail Pops?

If you only see one or two nail pops, there's no need to worry. However, if they keep popping up all over your house, they could point to a deeper structural problem, and it's time to contact a foundation expert. It's important to keep an eye out for more nail pops and not just in that area, as they may be an indicator of a structural issue.

Tools for Fixing Nail Pops

To fix nail pops, you'll need the following tools:

  • Scraping tool
  • Screw gun
  • Hammer
  • Inch-and-a-quarter coarse-thread screws
  • Patching tools
  • Patching material
  • Medium-fine coarse sanding sponge

How to Fix Nail Pops in Drywall in 7 Steps

  1. Scrape the nail head clear - Use the scraping tool to remove excess drywall from the nail or screw head.
  2. Put the popped nail back in - Loosen the popped screw with a screw gun, making it easier to screw back into the wood frame behind the drywall. For nails, hammer them back into place, trying not to damage the drywall more than necessary.
  3. Add drywall screws to the wall - Add screws one inch above and one inch below the original screw to provide more security to the frame and prevent the nail pop from happening again in the same place.
  4. Check to make sure the area is flat - Run your hand over the area to make sure none of the screw heads are popping out.
  5. Patch the holes - Use a patching tool to apply patching material over the holes. Smooth it out and get ready for sanding.
  6. Sand the patched area even - Once the patching material dries, sand it down, making it even with the wall.
  7. Check the wall to make sure it's even - Run your hand over the area again to ensure everything is even and no further sanding is required.


Nail pops can be an eyesore and a potential indicator of a deeper structural issue, but they're also easily fixed with the right tools and techniques. If you're dealing with nail pops or any other drywall issues, our team at Apcon LLC is here to help. Contact us today for a free consultation!