Close up. It’s old wood putty that doesn’t match our newly stripped wood, probably filled in just before it was painted.
I tried a few tools out to loosen the rock hard putty but the chisel was the winner.
After chiseling the old material away, I used the nail punch to further recess the old nails. Then I filled with our magical Golden Oak putty.
I also filled a few other minor blemishes and ended up with this polka dot free vista:
Much less distracting than this, right?
Wish the trim that used to be installed over these holes was still around. Oh well.