How to Install Nailhead Trim

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Nailhead trim is a decorative accent for furniture used to embellish upholstered pieces. Nailhead trim hides the staples used in adding batting and fabric over the frame of a chair or couch and infuses the furniture with style and sophistication. If some nails have fallen out of your furniture or if you want to reupholster a piece, nailhead trim is a fairly simple way to finish off the arms and rails. Nailhead trim is available in many different designs and finishes, so it will fit into any decor.

How to Install Nailhead Trim
(Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth tape measure
  • Nailhead trim
  • Matching individual nails
  • Mallet or tack hammer
  • Nail spacer
  • Wire cutters
Step 1

Measure the area to be covered with trim, using the cloth tape measure for accuracy.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 2

Lay the chair down, if possible, so gravity can assist you as you lay out the nailhead trim. Trim on a roll needs a nail only every third space, using false nailheads in between.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 3

Start in a corner. Draw the fabric taut over the batting and line up the trim on the edge of the fabric. Using a mallet or tackhammer, gently nail the first nail into the hole.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 4

Continue around the chair back or arm, bending the trim as necessary.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media
Step 5

Cut the trim with wire cutters at the corners. If you can't end the line of trim at a nailhead, cut the trim at the closest hole and add individual nails to finish off the line. Use a nail spacer to maintain consistency between the nailheads. Start the next row by cutting off the two false nailheads so you can start the new row with a nail.

Adrián González de la Peña/Demand Media

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