Nail Pops In Drywall

Nail pops are a common issue in drywall (sheetrock, blueboard, and the like) that many homeowners encounter. When you look at your wall and notice small bumps or protrusions, often circular or oval in shape, you might be seeing a “nail pop”. These pesky little imperfections can be frustrating, but understanding why they happen and how to fix them can make the task less daunting.

Why do nail pops occur in the first place? Drywall (also known as gypsum board or plasterboard – i.e. – sheetrock, blueboard, etc.), is typically installed on walls and ceilings using nails or screws. Over time, factors such as temperature changes, settling of the house, or simply the natural expansion and contraction of the materials (both the drywall and the framing it is fastened to) can cause the nails or screws to push through the drywall. This results in the formation of a small bump or “pop” on the surface of the wall.

So, what can you do about nail pops? Fortunately, fixing them is a relatively simple process.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Identify the Nail Pops: Walk around your room and inspect the walls closely. Look for any bumps or protrusions that seem out of place. Run your hand over the surface gently to feel for raised areas. Once you’ve located the nail pops, mark them with a pencil or masking tape so you can easily find them later.

Secure the Drywall: Before addressing the nail pops themselves, it’s important to ensure that the drywall is properly secured to the studs or joists behind it. Use a hammer or screwdriver to gently tap any loose areas back into place. If necessary, add additional drywall screws or nails along the edges of the drywall to provide extra support – what is SUPER important here is to make sure the fasteners are properly penetrating the studs; screws should be penetrating the stud by at least 5/8 of an inch, nails should penetrate the stud by at least 7/8 of an inch – though my personal preference is to ALWAYS use screws (vs. nails) when fastening any type of wallboard.

Remove the Old Nail or Screw: Carefully use a hammer or screwdriver to remove the nail or screw that is causing the pop. Be gentle to avoid causing further damage to the surrounding drywall.

Drive in a New Screw: In place of the old nail or screw, insert a new drywall screw slightly above or below the original location of the nail pop. Make sure the screw sits flush with the surface of the drywall without breaking through the paper facing (the guidance for how deep the new fastener is positioned is the same as in the ‘Secure the Drywall’ section above).

Cover with Joint Compound: Once the screw is in place, use a putty knife to apply a thin layer of joint compound over the area. Smooth it out as much as possible, feathering the edges to blend with the surrounding wall surface.

Sand and Repeat (if necessary): Allow the joint compound to dry completely, then gently sand the area until it is smooth to the touch. If any imperfections remain, repeat the process of applying joint compound, allowing it to dry, and sanding until the surface is level.

Prime and Paint: Finally, prime the repaired area to ensure proper adhesion of the paint, then apply a coat or two of paint to match the rest of the wall. Be sure to feather the paint outwards to blend things as seamlessly as possible with the surrounding area.

By following these steps, you can effectively repair nail pops in your drywall and restore the appearance of your walls. It’s a simple task that can make a big difference in the overall look and feel of your home, especially when it helps in eliminating that annoying bump on the wall that stares at you in the face as you walk down your stairs each morning!

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