If you live in a fairly new house, you may have noticed some round blemishes in your fresh, smooth walls. These are drywall nails. As the studs in your walls have continued to dry, they’ve shrunk. And your house is settling, too. This has combined to squeeze the nails out of the wood, and the nailheads are pushing out the drywall compound that covered them.
Okay, okay, so what do you do about it? Start by picking up some 1 1/2″ drywall screws, a drywall bit for your power drill and some drywall compound. Drive one screw in about 2″ above the nail pop and another 2″ below. Drive them so they just dimple the surface, but don’t tear the paper. This will secure the drywall to the stud as you hammer in the popped nail.
Peel the compound off the head of the nail with your fingers. You’ll probably find the nail is now flush with the surface of the drywall, which is no good. Go ahead, hit it. Don’t worry about denting the wall; you’re going to need to fill the space anyway.
As a matter of fact, you don’t even need to worry about tearing the paper, since the screws you’ve used will hold the drywall in place.
What you do want to do is make sure the nail is below the surface of the wall.
Now fill the dimples around the screws and the nail with drywall compound. Let it dry overnight, and apply another layer, using a 3″ drywall knife. When it’s dry and flush with the surface, feather the edges of the compound with fine sandpaper.
Prime and paint.