How to repurpose furniture using nailhead trim

Repurpose your furniture using nailhead trim in

8 easy steps.

How to reupholster a chair using nailhead trim

Just as a note a warning:

This was not a beginner project to repurpose this piece of furniture.  If you are just starting out doing DIY projects and if you try this one first, it may be your last.  🙁

That is unless you love a challenge and in that case…….read on.

Before you Begin

You may like this video if you are new to working with tools.  It helps you get your toolbox stocked with the right tools for many DIY projects around your house.

Short on Time

Click here for a Free Checklist of tools needed for this project PLUS a review of the 8 Steps.

Step 1:  This chair had nailhead trim that needed to be removed.

There is a nail per every 4-5 heads so you need to take pliers and pull out the nails to remove the trim. This is a simple process to repurpose this piece of furniture.  It should come off in one long piece.  Be careful as the piece gets longer because the dangling nail trim is sharp.

repurposed furniture

repurposed furniture nail removal

Step 2:  Measure your fabric for the chair seat and the top of the chair and cut out the shape leaving some extra to tuck under.

Since this chair didn’t come off like a dining room chair seat cover, I placed the new fabric over the existing fabric and folded back the material to match the contour of the chair.  This step in the repurposing process takes more time but the nailhead trim will cover over the seam when you are finished.  Make sure the staple is not sticking out like this one.

repurpose furniture stapled fabric

Step 3:  Trim the fabric as close as you can to the outer part of the chair and staples.

I know, we just finished telling you to tuck the excess material under.  However, on the top of the chair, that technique proved to be too difficult because of the oval shape of the chair.  Trimming the material to the actual size was the better solution for this part of the process.  You will want to step back and make sure that your fabric is in line with the chair contour and the staples are also flush with the wood.

If there are any frayed edges of the fabric, cut them off before applying the nailhead trim.

refurbished furniture fabric and staples

Step 4:  Unravel Nailhead Trim and cut excess

The decorative nail trim is great to use when you repurpose a chair or couch.

  1. It adds a finished quality to any piece of furniture.
  2. It comes in a variety of finishes.
  3. It secures the folded fabric edge on a job like this.
  4. It holds the fabric into place and hides the staples.

Since this chair had nailhead trim, I felt that it was worth the effort to learn how to do this repurposed furniture upgrade.

You can purchase nailhead trim at a local craft store or click here to have it shipped to your home.

repurposed furniture decorative nailhead trim

Step 5:  Gather these tools that you will want to have handy for this project.

  1. Have a pair of cutting pliers to slice through the metal when you are done with a trim section.
  2. TIP:  After several attempts, I figured out that if you hold the nail with needle nose pliers then hammer in the nail, you didn’t bend the head of the nail.
  3. A smaller hammer is helpful since the chair wood isn’t massive and you don’t want to leave a mark on the wood.

repurposed furniture cutting the nail trim

Step 6:  Shape the trim around edges.

This took some time and patience to go around the edges of the armrest.  Bending the nail trim is easy but keeping it in place while nailing proved to be more difficult than I anticipated.

refurbished furniture with tips to hold nail

Step 7:  Practice makes perfect.

I have to share this with you so you can laugh: because I wasted a bunch of nails before I learned to hold them with the needle nose pliers, I only had 3 nails left when I finished the project (I don’t like cutting it that close!).  Take a lesson from me: Use the pliers to hold the nail in place.  Like I said, this was more difficult than I anticipated but I’m very happy with the end product.

Step 8:  Sit down and enjoy your work

You will love sitting in your newly repurposed chair and it is bound to look amazing.  You can do this.  Remember to download the FREE CHECKLIST to help you get the materials you need ready to tackle your project.  Let us know how it goes.

[bctt tweet=”Ready to repurpose an old chair using nailhead trim. Use our FREE Checklist and 8 steps to get this DIY project done!” username=”thepinktoolgirl”]

refurbished furniture final product

This is the finished look of my new home office.  I’m excited to work in my space and it is going to serve as the backdrop for videos that we are going to produce to further help you with your DIY projects.

As always, let us know what you are working on or what you would like to see us tackle next.  Sign up for access to our Free DIY Resource Libray to help you with your next DIY project.










How to reupholster a chair with nailhead trim


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6 Responses

  1. Perfect timing, I was just getting ready to try some trimming for the first time. Great tips and I’m soooooo glad the chair I’m going to try trim is almost perfectly square, no round edges, I’ll leave those for round two or three…….

    1. I am so glad that this was perfect timing. I can’t wait to see what you do for a project. Please send me a picture when you are done. I love to see how projects turn out!

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