In this video I’ll give you a quick
overview of how to apply decorative nails in your upholstery project. The
tools we’ll be using are: a rubber hammer – and be sure to use the rubber side and
not the plastic side if you have a hammer like this, seven sixteenths
upholstery nails, you can make your own nail spacing ruler out of a strip of
cardboard like this – this one has half inch hash marks to space these seven
sixteenth inch nails, OR use a strip cut from a sheet of plastic graph paper.
Chalk is great for marking because it’s easy to erase, and this is an upholstery
regulator which I use in the video – a screwdriver it makes a fine substitute
in this case. I’ll demonstrate on a curved section of decorative nailing
that I’m working on to finish the leather upholstery on this antique chair.
I’m following a chalk line here which I’ve drawn all the way around the
perimeter of the piece. Since I’m working with leather
I can’t staple the material in place because those holes could be visible
between the nails. If you’re using a woven fabric you CAN use staples, which
you’ll remove as you replace them with your decorative nails. I’m tucking a very
thin layer of batting – wool batting in this case – up into the fold to create a
smooth transition into the back stuffing, and to hide any turn-under crease that
might show through. Then I use the round end of an upholstery regulator to push
the batting back from the edge of the fold. You can use any smooth flat tool –
like a screwdriver – if you don’t have an upholstery regulator. Another tip is to
trim excess bulk as you’re folding the fabric under along a curve. This prevents
puckering and gives you a smoother finished edge. Cutting out triangles just
short of the fold will help you neatly navigate the curves in your upholstery. The spacing of your nails depends on
their size, and your personal preference. I like to have a very small gap between
each nail. The heads on these nails are 7/16 inch so I spaced them about a half
inch apart to get a sixteenth inch space between them.
I start off using a ruler to measure, then as I get the hang of it, I find I
can eyeball the placement pretty accurately. Your finished chair should
look something like this, with the nails neatly lined up around the outside edge
of your material. Thanks for watching! If you found this video helpful, be sure to
share and subscribe to this Natural Upholstery.com YouTube channel below.