Before painting, surface flaws need to be found and fixed. If you've got a nail coming of the surface, the time to fix it is now, before you even dip your brush.
One of the most common problems results from
shrinking or warping in the framing behind the drywall. As the wood studs age and shrink, drywall nails and screws loosen and pop out of the wood, producing an unsightly bump or hole in the surface.
No matter how many times you drive the nails back in, the problem is likely to recur, so it's better to fix it permanently the first time around.
Here's how to fix nail pops in drywall:
Step 1: Redrive popped nails. If nails are sticking out far enough to get claw of hammer around them, pull them out first. To redrive them, hold nail set over nail head and hammer nail as far as you can into stud. Nail head will punch through drywall's outside layer of paper and into drywall itself.
You can generally do the same thing with drywall screws. If the head has separated from the shaft (evident if the head spins without resistance when you put a screwdriver to it), you can also dig the head out carefully and remove it entirely.
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Use a nail set to drive a popped nail as far into the stud as possible.
Step 3: Using putty knife, cover new nail/screw head and fill hole over old one with spackling compound.
Step 4: Let dry, then lightly sand area. Since spackling compound shrinks as it dries, you may need to repeat process once or twice more. Touch up patches with paint or primer.
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