How To Add Nailhead Trim To Sofa Easily At Home

Did you know that it’s easy to learn how to add nailhead trim to sofa because it’s only two steps? We discovered the simplest two-step method for installing nailhead trim on the furniture. You can even use pre-made trim, and we included its installation procedure for that as well. 


how to add nailhead trim to sofa

How Do You Attach Nailhead Trim To The Sofa?


Step 1. Plan your trim design

  • Select the nails that you want for your sofa and prepare a tack hammer to make pounding easier since it allows better precision compared to your usual hammer
  • If you don’t have an upholstery hammer, cover a regular hammer with cloth for additional upholstery protection
  • Visualize your nailhead pattern with your chosen shape, size, and color nails in mind on a sketch of your sofa
  • Since you’re pounding one nail at a time, you have full control of the spacing and the resulting pattern
  • Some common nailhead patterns include diamond, teardrop, wave, double row, parallel, and broad spacing
  • Apply painter’s tape on the edge of the sofa, where you’ll place the nailhead trim and mark the positions of the nails with pencils
  • Some common placements for the nailhead trim include the border of the sofa seat, around the arm, skirt, inset, or to outline the back of the couch
  • Use a ruler if necessary to achieve an even finish

Step 2. Follow the pattern and pound the nails in the sofa

  • Hold the nail with pliers and begin pounding one at a time directly on the sofa’s upholstery
  • Follow the markings on the tape and work carefully to protect your fingers and the couch itself
  • Having pliers holding the nail is a safe way to pound each nail on the sofa seam, but you can also use your fingers 
  • Push each nail onto the sofa halfway and then remove the tape before hitting them deeper with the hammer
  • Be on the lookout for nails that get deformed and remove them immediately with a tack puller to hold the small upholstery nails
  • After finishing the nailhead trim on the rest of the couch, remove the tape and check if you should pound the nails deeper

How To Install Decorative Nailhead Trim

Adding nailhead trim to the sofa is easy as long as you use the right tools and create a pattern that will prevent uneven placement. However, you can make this process even easier by using a pre-made nailhead trim available at most hardware stores. These trims are available in various styles, so you should easily find the best one for your sofa.

  1. Select the nailhead trim that will complement your sofa upholstery best
  2. Mark the sofa to know where you’ll install the pre-made nailhead trim using a pencil and a ruler
  3. Install the trim onto the outline one section at a time until you cover the entire edge of the sofa
  4. Pound the trim in place with the nails included
  5. Check the trim for any irregularity and reattach that section to correct it
  6. Remove any warped nails and use new ones 

How Can I Make My Upholstery Tacks Straight?

The key to ensuring that your upholstery tacks will remain straight with even spacing is by outlining their placement with a painter’s tape. Place the tape onto the area for the nailhead trim and mark it with dots. Step back to inspect if the tacks are even, and if not, measure the location of the sofa. 

Divide the number of dots into space they’ll cover and use the answer for the spacing. Another tip to keep your upholstery tacks straight is always to step back and assess your work throughout the process. You also want to hold each nail carefully so it wouldn’t warp or bend, which creates an uneven and unsightly finish.


Can I Reuse Upholstery Tack Strips?

You can reuse upholstery tack strips as long as they are still in good shape. If they are no longer straight, you’re better off using new ones. Note that your installation procedure for the upholstery tack strips should also be consistent to ensure that they won’t be deformed and can still be reused. 


How to install upholstery tack strips

  1. Create a crease on the fabric along the edge of the sofa that you want to secure
  2. Place the tack strip next to the folded fabric and poke the tacks through the upholstery
  3. Flip the material over and stretch out the fabric so that it’s smooth
  4. Hammer the strip in place, and you’re done


Nailhead trims are easy DIY projects you can do to spruce up your couch. In this article, you have learned how to add nailhead trim to sofa, which is basically pounding one nail at a time along the edge of the couch. The trick is marking their placements with painter’s tape and using tools such as a tack hammer, pliers, and tack puller for precision. You can even use pre-made trims if you want to avoid the hassle of checking for even placement of each nail. 

But if you’re not feeling crafty, you can always decorate your couch without holding a hammer. For example, mix and match throw pillows on the sofa to help it stand out in the room. Overall, decorating the couch should not be overlooked because there are different ways you can try regardless of your skill. 

Let us know in the comments how you decorate your sofa. 


Leave a Comment