How to Repair Protruding Nails in Drywall

Nails in drywall can work their way out over time, causing unsightly bumps on walls. Here’s how to repair popped drywall nails so they don’t come back.

How to Fix Popped Drywall Nails:

  • Remove Nail: Use a screwdriver and pliers to remove the protruding nail.
  • Attach Drywall: Drive 1½” long drywall screws into the stud above and below the nail hole.
  • Apply Joint Compound: Apply several coats of drywall joint compound to the area until it is flush with the surface, allowing each coat to dry before applying more.
  • Sand Joint Compound: After the joint compound has dried, sand the surface smooth.
  • Paint Wall: Apply primer and paint the wall using a roller so the texture will match.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: People often discover nails popping out of the drywall in their homes, and they want to know how to correct it.

First, dig the loose nails out of the wall completely. Then replace them with drywall screws at least an inch-and-a-half in length, so the problem doesn’t reoccur. You’ll want to drive them down, so that they’re just below the surface, without tearing the drywall paper.

Next, you’ll apply a coat of drywall joint compound to the holes, forcing it down into the voids with a putty knife while smoothing it out to flush with the surface. When the compound dries, it will shrink a little bit, so you’ll need a second coat to fill the dimples.

When the second coat is dry, a light sanding removes any excess joint compound and smoothes out the wall surface so that you can repaint it and complete the repair.


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