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How To Repair Drywall Nail Pops

Nail and screw pops are a very common and easy drywall repair. Occasionally, a nail or screw head will protrude from the drywall, or the joint compound that covers it chips off. When that happens, simply reset the fastener and cover it with joint compound or other patching material.

If the fastener is not protruding from the surface, then you can skip this step. The popped fastener may be removed from the wall or it can be reset. However, start by driving a new fastener nearby. It will be necessary to determine the location of the stud behind the drywall, so that you drive the new screw into a solid support. About 1.5" to 2" inches away from the popped fastener, drive a new drywall screw so that the head just dimples the surface of the drywall. As you begin driving the screw, use firm pressure with your other hand to snug the drywall against the supports. Now you can either remove the old fastener, or reset it.

To cover the fasteners, use joint compound or other patching material.You could apply the material directly over the fasteners, however, the patch may chip out again or it may appear unsightly. A more secure solution is to apply a small piece of mesh drywall tape. The tape proves a substrate for the compound to adhere to, resulting in a smoother, stronger patch.

If there is any depression, void or other damage, remove any loose material and then fill it with joint compound. Next, cut a piece of mesh tape and adhere it over the fasteners and any surrounding damage. Next, using a 3" putty knife, spread a coat of joint compound over the mesh tape and allow it to dry.

After the compound has dried for at least a couples hours, lightly sand it smooth. Wipe away any dust and apply another coat of joint compound. Taper the compound at the edges to blend it with the surrounding surface. Allow this coat to dry and then sand.

Finally, apply a third coat of joint compound. With this coat, it will be necessary to blend it with the surrounding decorative texture. There are many different textures, so we can't list all of them here. However, matching a texture can sometimes be done by dragging the compound around with a putty knife, dabbed with a moist sponge, or sprayed on with off the shelf products designed to retexture small patches.

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