How to Remove Finish Nails with Minimal Damage

What You'll Need
Pry bar
Wood filler
Palette knife

Removing finish nails is one of the concerns homeowners face when during renovation or home building. Nails that got stuck in wood have to be pulled out. You need to practice care when removing the nails so that the holes are clean. Removing finish nails is not a difficult job, as long as you are careful enough not to scratch the wood. Cover the scratches by using a small amount of wood finish to disguise the marks. Since this type of quick repair will not work in most cases, especially if you are dealing with rare wood, it is be best to exercise utmost care when removing the finishing nails.

Step 1 - Remove the Moldings

The first thing you need to do is to remove the old or existing moldings. Using a pry bar, gently move the molding until it loosens enough to be removed from its place. This prevents the molding from getting cracks or chips as you prepare the room for bigger operation. Lift a portion of the loose molding and check for the back ends of the nails. Make sure you do this on a steady table to prevent any accidents.

Step 2 - Get the Nails

Grab the tip of a finishing nail with pliers. Gently wiggle until it becomes loose enough to be pulled out from its hole. Repeat the same process on the other nails in the molding.

Step 3 – Sand the Holes

After removing all the finishing nails from their place, gently sand the holes, smoothing away any fragments. Make sure all the areas are smooth and free from any wood bits and dirt. There are many types of sandpaper to choose from. Always check the grade of sandpaper before purchasing. Some types of sandpaper are finer compared to others. The type of sandpaper can also affect the look of your wood, especially if you are dealing with rare wood.

Step 4 – Apply Wood Filler

Get a palette knife and put wood filler into the holes left by the finishing nails. The consistency of the wood filler is almost similar to peanut butter. Make sure the levels are even. Leave the wood filler for 2 to 4 hours. Make sure the wood filler is dry before applying any other form of application.

Before you apply paint or any wood finish, sand the dried wood filler to make sure everything is even. It would be advisable to know the kind of wood to determine how you’ll work around it.