How-To Videos

How to Repair a Popped Nail in Drywall

By: Danny Lipford

Unlike screws, drywall nails can work loose over time, leaving an unsightly bulge in the surface of the drywall. Here’s how to go about repairing a popped drywall nail.

Tools Needed:

  • Cordless drill driver
  • 6” drywall knife
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Crown head hammer
  • Paint roller
  • Roller pan
  • Paintbrush

Materials Needed:

  • Drywall screws
  • Joint compound
  • Sandpaper
  • Wall primer
  • Wall paint

To repair a popped nail in drywall:

  1. Use a flathead screwdriver to remove the drywall around the nail and expose the nailhead.
  2. Grasp the head of the nail with pliers and pull it out, twisting back and forth to loose it.
  3. Drive drywall screws in the stud above and below the hole, so the screws are recessed slightly below the surface of the drywall surface.
  4. Tap the holes with the butt of a drywall knife or a crowned head hammer to indent the edges of the hole.
  5. Use the drywall knife to fill the holes with joint compound. Apply firm pressure to force the compound into the holes, smooth it out even with the surface and allow it to dry overnight.
  6. Apply a second coat of joint compound, feathering it out over the surface, and allow it to dry.
  7. Sand the patch lightly with fine grit sandpaper to smooth out the dried joint compound.
  8. To give the patch texture so it will blend in with the wall, apply a thin third layer of joint compound to the area then roll a dampened paint roller over the surface while wet.
  9. Spot prime the area with latex wall primer.
  10. Apply a coat of latex wall paint to complete the repair.

Further Information



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How to Repair a Popped Nail in Drywall