Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We put up some composite trim using an 18 gauge air nailer, however, some of the nails did not go in all the way, mostly due to operator inexperience. What's the best way to cover up/remove the nails that are not countersunk? And after they get countersunk, what's the best thing to fill the holes with? This will be in a wet location.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Countersink with a nailset, struck with a hammer.


Fill with painters caulk.

painters caulk

share|improve this answer
Painters caulk can be messy and cumbersome. For small jobs they make wax filler pens that are cheap and easier to use IMHO. – maple_shaft Feb 6 '13 at 1:10
If it's MDF, they are going to paint it. If they are going to paint it, you can't use wax. If you don't like painters caulk, I would use latex wood filler, but that shrinks and generally takes two coats. – bib Feb 6 '13 at 1:13
I like to use lightweight spakle to fill nail holes. Apply it with your fingertip, let it dry for 10 mins then smooth it off with a damp cloth. Sanding is not usually needed if you use the damp cloth before it hardens too much. You can paint it in one hour. Only use this product on surfaces to be painted, not stained. Use a pre-colored filler paste or crayon on stained trim. – shirlock homes Feb 6 '13 at 10:48

As for the second question regarding filling the holes after countersinking:

Use DAP Painter's Putty '53' - pull out a portion the size of a large marble, shape it into a sphere or ball, and then use it like an eraser on your countersunk nail holes. If you rub the putty ball back and forth along your trim over the countersunk nail hole, you'll slowly fill the hole with the putty and leave a smooth surface appropriate for painting.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.