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Pop-Nails on Ceiling

I'm beginning to work on updating the master bedroom.  I thought that by this time, the end of the year, I'd be showing you a reveal, not even close!  Instead, the first problem that got fixed is what I'm showing you today!

The whole room needs a good coat of paint.  Obviously, the ceiling is the first to be painted.

In order to get a good paint job, it is necessary to prepare the surfaces thoroughly.  It means all those little, medium and big holes I could see very well up there on the ceiling had to be patched.

Those are Pop-Nails!

Long time ago when there were only two pop-nails visible, I tried to fix them by simply pushing them back in and patching the hole.  Silly me.  It didn't work!  And,  like if they were laughing at me, three more appeared on this side.

And many more to the other side!

Looking for answers, I found a great article by Jim Rooney at Capital, where he explains why this occurs, and the way to fix that problem.

The pop-nails were taken out!   Hubby helped me with this part.  Look at the piece of shim he grabbed! the one I used for stirring paint! :D  Oh boy!

Nail Puller
Even though the article recommends pulling the nails out and patching the holes without driving a screw  in the places where the ceiling meets the walls, I just didn't do it!  (I couldn't live thinking that my roof could fly away!),  I drove a screw in every hole.  Later on I'll let you know if they come out again.

I don't know why they still use nails?!  They are destined to come out, especially on ceilings where, I guess, gravity helps!

Well, after driving a screw in each hole, it was time to patch up e-v-e-r-y one of them.  For that I used All Purpose Joint Compound,  a sanding block ( the block was easy to use and all I needed, I didn't use the screens), and a 6-inch taping knife.

The next left picture shows one of the holes covered with one full, fresh coat of compound. When it dried, it shrunk.  Wait until it is completely dry to apply a new coat.

After two or three coats, in some of them, and good sanding,  it looks like I don't even need to paint!  Just kidding :)

It certainly looks way better!

More ceiling trouble?  Check HERE how to repair

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  1. Great work, Cristina. This is something I've got to do in a couple of rooms. I appreciate the tips. Megan

  2. This is a great post Cristina! We have some of those too (okay, we have a LOT of those) and I probably would have done what you did at first...just hammer them back in. Thanks for filling me in on the better way to handle them!

  3. I have this problem on the walls going up our staircase. Thanks for letting me know I can fix it myself.

  4. yep, definitely drywall nails don't do the job on ceiling...but it is faster. That's why they probably did that

  5. This is such great information. Thanks for posting it.

  6. That is a lot of work! The thing I hate the most is working on drywall and painting, but it is always worth it in the finished product. Looks so much better already; great job!

  7. I HATE those nails. They also rust so badly. I only drywall with screws since those nails are just a disaster waiting to happen. I'm impressed with your focus on the details! It looks great!

  8. What a pain! Glad you found a way to get them patched for good!

    Have a great day.

  9. wow! that looked like a lot of work! but certainly looks a lot more better now than it was before...can't wait to see after you've painted it!


  10. I thought I was the only one with these pesky nails.

  11. Cristina
    Me fascina tu blog y no es frase cliché estoy feliz que me sigas. Además me encanta que entiendas el español. Yo entiendo el Inglés pero en español se me hace más amigable

  12. Great job, you must feel much stress-free now!

  13. I have never heard of a pop nail. Looks like an awful problem. Our house was built in 1959 and made of plaster, that has its own cracks that keep coming back...we used the same screws to hold it in and then mud over that and then tape and more mud and then the sanding and painting...well, at least that is what the contractor had to do.
    So, I feel your pain!
    Good job.

  14. Will have to keep on the lookout for this on the ceilings - I do have a few places where they are popping on walls (mostly in stairway). Great job, too! I know good prep is the foundation for a great job, but...I hate prep :)

  15. Hi, Cristina

    This is a great tutorial. Thanks for sharing.


  16. You know, we have some of the nail pops coming through in a few places too and so I will give this a try. I like the idea of using screws over nails anyways, so this is perfect!! Thanks for the tips!
    xoxo ~Jennifer

  17. Our house is five years old, and so far we only have one nail, which is in my oldest son's room, and I hate it because I keep thinking there is an insect up there! Thanks for the tutorial on fixing it. I agree with not liking the thought of not replacing it. We also have problems with nails on our second floor where they don't stay put, causing squeeks as you walk. Again, the fix is to use screws. Cheap builders! I hate nails.

  18. Awe, man. I hate those little projects - but you did an awesome job and I bet it feels good knowing it's done and secure!

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