Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tips for Applying Nailtrim (and what I'm nailheading!)

As I finish the cane chair, I thought I would share another project that I've been working on ...

Yesterday I decided to put nailhead trim on our sofa. The other week I mentioned it to David and he was unsure, because of what was underneath ... so I forgot about it. Today as I was looking at it and I decided to try it, whats the worst that could happen a few little holes?

After applying nailhead to the Tufted Headboard and the Ottoman I've learned what works best for me, so here are my tips!

First, one of the most important things is to buy better quality nailheads (i.e. not from wal-mart). It will help keep the nails straighter as they go in, mine are from DIY Upholstery Supply

Also, I like to use a tack hammer rather than a rubber mallet because I have more control (I haven't had an issue with damaging the nail ... as long as I don't hit it too hard :) 

Here's how I do it:

1. Align the nailhead as close to the edge as possible to keep a straight line - this was pretty easy on the headboard since the wings didn't have a lot of padding, the sofa was a little more difficult.

When aligning the next nail, hold it above and center it, aligning it with the edge of the previous nail

2. Hold the edge of the nail with your pointer and thumb and lightly tap the other edge with your hammer until it grabs the wood

3. Hammer harder (once your thumb is out of the way!) till it is almost all the way down

4. Then tap back and forth until the nail is straight

5. and then hammer all the way!

It takes a little practice, but eventually you get in a rhythm and goes by pretty fast!

It's almost done - finished pictures soon!


  1. Love nailhead trim on pretty much anything! I learned the hard way that cheap upholstery nails are not worth the savings...made for my most frustrating project ever. Can't wait to see the finished sofa! Been thinking of reupholstering and nailheading ours too :)

  2. I didn't know this could be done. Can't wait to see the finished pics.

  3. Great tips! I lined a wooden tray with nailhead trim, and had to start each hole with a small drill bit first. I just used a regular hammer with a felt pad on the head - never thought to try a tack hammer. I can't imagine using my method for a sofa or something on a large scale like that, so your tutorial is super helpful! Thank you for sharing :-)


Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing what you think! :)

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