Home Improvement How-To's: Resetting Popped Nails

Wallboard fasteners pop for a couple of reasons. If the fasteners have been improperly applied, they will pop; or if the framing lumber is not properly dried when the wallboard is applied, the wood will shrink somewhat and cause the fasteners to pop. When making your repairs, be sure to use wallboard screws because they have threaded shanks that will hold the wallboard more securely and resist popping.


Resetting popped nails should take you from one to two hours.

Screw gun

Wallboard screws
Wallboard compound


Step 1 Press the wallboard tightly against the stud or joist and drive in the new screw about 2 inches from the popped fastener until its head is slightly indented.

Step 2
If possible, it is best to remove the popped nail. If you think you may damage the wallboard by trying to remove it, just hammer the popped fastener back into the board, leaving a slight indentation. Then fill the dents with wallboard compound, let them dry and sand the surface. You are now ready to repaint the patched area.