How To Fix Brad Nails Sticking Out

Brad nails sticking out can be a common issue in woodworking and DIY projects.

This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to address and fix protruding brad nails effectively.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand the causes of brad nails sticking out.
  • Learn various methods to fix protruding brad nails.
  • Discover tips to prevent this issue in future projects.

Understanding the Problem

Why Do Brad Nails Stick Out?

Brad nails may protrude due to several reasons such as incorrect nail length, improper use of the nail gun, or the hardness of the wood. Identifying the cause is the first step in finding the right solution.

Types of Brad Nailers

There are two main types of brad nailers: pneumatic and electric. The choice of nailer can influence the outcome of your nailing job.

Fixing Protruding Brad Nails

Method 1: Using a Nail Set

A nail set is a simple tool that can drive the protruding nail below the surface of the wood.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Position the Nail Set: Place the tip of the nail set on the head of the protruding nail.
  2. Hammer Gently: Tap the nail set with a hammer until the nail sinks into the wood.

Method 2: Adjusting the Nail Gun

Improper settings on your nail gun can cause nails to stick out.

Adjusting Depth Control

  • Check the Depth Setting: Ensure it’s set correctly for the material and nail size.
  • Test on Scrap Wood: Before starting your project, test the settings on a piece of scrap wood.

Method 3: Choosing the Right Nail Size

Using the correct nail size is crucial for preventing this issue.

Nail Length Guide

  • For Thin Materials: Use shorter nails to avoid overshooting.
  • For Hard Woods: Opt for slightly longer nails for better grip.

Preventing Future Issues

Tips for Proper Nailing

  • Use the Right Pressure: Adjust the air pressure on your pneumatic nailer.
  • Hold the Nailer Firmly: Ensure the nailer is flush against the surface when firing.

Selecting the Appropriate Nailer

  • For Delicate Work: Consider a brad nailer with finer nails.
  • For Harder Materials: A finish nailer might be more suitable.

Practical Demonstrations

To better understand these techniques, here are some helpful YouTube videos:

  1. 9 Brad Nail Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
  2. Stop Brad Nail Blowout – Simple Solution
  3. Brad Nail How To, Blow Out Repair

Advanced Techniques

Using Wood Putty for Larger Gaps

If a nail leaves a significant hole, wood putty can be used to fill and conceal it.

Application Process

  • Fill the Hole: Apply wood putty with a putty knife.
  • Sand Smooth: Once dry, sand the area for a seamless finish.

When to Remove and Redo

In some cases, it might be necessary to remove the protruding nail and redo the nailing.

Safe Removal Techniques

  • Use Pliers: Gently pull out the nail with pliers.
  • Fill the Hole: Use wood filler to repair the hole left behind.

Advanced Solutions for Brad Nails Sticking Out

Advanced Repair Techniques

Using a Nail Punch for Deep-Set Nails

For nails that are slightly protruding, a nail punch can be used to drive them deeper without damaging the surrounding wood.

Steps to Use a Nail Punch

  1. Align the Punch: Place the tip of the nail punch on the nail head.
  2. Hammer Gently: Tap the punch with a hammer until the nail is set to the desired depth.

Correcting Angled Nails

Sometimes, brad nails may be driven at an angle, causing them to stick out. Carefully removing and re-nailing at the correct angle is essential.

Removal and Re-nailing Process

  • Extract the Nail: Use pliers to gently pull out the angled nail.
  • Re-align and Nail: Re-position the nail gun and drive a new nail correctly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I use a regular hammer for brad nails?

A1: While possible, it’s not recommended as hammers can damage the wood surface. A nail gun or nail set is more appropriate.

Q2: How do I prevent brad nails from bending?

A2: Use the correct size of nails for your material and ensure your nail gun’s pressure is appropriately adjusted.

Q3: Is it safe to leave a slightly protruding nail?

A3: It’s best to address it, as protruding nails can be a safety hazard and affect the finish of your project.

Additional Resources

For more insights and practical demonstrations, check out these YouTube videos:

  1. Brad Nail How To, Blow Out Repair
  2. Stop Brad Nail Blowout – Simple Solution
  3. FTF #30 How To Stop Nail Gun Blow Outs

Further Reading

Explore these articles from StringPulp for additional information:

  1. Essential Woodworking Tips for Beginners
  2. Best Practices for Using a Router in Woodworking
  3. Understanding the Different Types of Wood: Hardwood vs. Softwood

External Links for More Information


Dealing with brad nails sticking out requires a combination of the right tools, techniques, and a bit of patience. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced woodworker, understanding these methods can significantly improve the quality and safety of your projects. Remember, the key to success is in the details.

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