The problem: You can save some dough by using salvaged materials like trim and oak flooring. But before you can install or even safely store them, you have to pull out any old nails — without damaging the wood.
The fix: Although you might be tempted to whack the nail from the back with a hammer and then yank it, don’t. That can mar the surface. Instead, pull the nails out from the back, says Peter Fazio from the site Dadand.
If the old filler used to conceal the nail on the front side pops out, it’s easy to fix. Refill the hole with color-matched wood filler (it’ll work for composite trim, too). Scrape the top of the repair gently with a putty knife to remove excess filler — otherwise you’ll leave a noticeable bump.
If you can’t find color-matched filler, repair the hole and gently sand the area smooth. Spot paint to match.