How To Decorate Upholstered Furniture With Nails


If you have fabric furniture looking bland, reupholster it with nail trim. Nail trim is a type of thumb tack that creates a decorative border, and it also secures the fabric. Nail trim can be single nails or a pre-made strip. 

A beginning DIY enthusiast may want to consider starting with a small piece of furniture like a chair or a stool. Follow these steps to upholster furniture with nail trim.

Prepare to add the Nail Trim

To add the furniture nail trim, gather:

  • work gloves 
  • painter's tape or fabric marker 
  • scissors
  • straight edge
  • tack hammer or small mallet 
  • tack puller or needles-nose pliers
  • upholstery tack strips or nails

Single nails can help you create a more personalized design than strips, and you don't have to place nails in a straight line. Accent borders, add a small silhouette, or make a word or your initials. The furniture should have strong, solid frame to support the nails. 

Measure and Mark

For nail strips, measure the area on a straight section of the piece where you plan to add the nails. Make a straight line with the fabric marker to indicate placement. Lay tape across the line, and check for evenness with a straight edge. 

For single nails, lay some nails on the tape to get an idea of the spacing you need. Larger nail spacing compliments contemporary furniture. Make dots on the tape with the fabric marker for nail placement and inspect them for alignment.

Tape isn't required, but it does make straighter lines. Note the number of dots and divide the total area by this figure to get proper spacing.

Add Nails

Draw more attention to the trim by adding a ribbon before you hammer in nails. Tack the ribbon in place with tape following the trim line, then pound the trim in place.

Some nail strips come with ribbons or leather pieces already attached. Add character by mixing and matching nails with a burnished or tarnished finish, sold by hardware stores or craft stores.

Hammer in the nails half of the way into the tape following the dot pattern. If you don't have a tack hammer or mallet, cover a hammerhead with fabric.

Don't try to force bent nails in place. Use needle-nose pliers or the tack puller to pull bent nails. Remove the tape and finish hammering the nails all the way. 

When using strips, have extra nails handy. You only need to hammer nails on strips each several inches. Check for evenness, because any irregularity will get noticed. For more information, contact your local furniture upholstery service. 


26 May 2018

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When I started paying more and more attention to my home, I realized that there were some serious issues with my furniture. It was worn and unsightly, and I knew that I had to replace things--and then learn how to take care of it. It was a little bit intimidating at first, but the more I practiced, the more I realized that I could handle the job. Before I knew it, I had replaced my couches and purchased the right cleaning supplies, and it was really making a difference. Check out this blog for more information about taking care of furniture.