How to hide nails and screws in a cabinet

When nails and screws are used to join pieces of wood or cabinet, they must be integrated into the furniture in such a way that they are not visible. Added to aesthetic reasons is the fact that a protruding nail head can pose a hazard. A small wood chip or hole-filling putty can be the solution to avoid scratches and snags on clothing.

DIY details are essential to get a professional job and know how to hide nails and screws in a cabinet; it will help you achieve much more polished finish on your wood works. There are different possibilities, depending on the case and need.

hide nails and screws

It is very practical and useful to know how to hide nails and screws in a cabinet, although not always necessary, in many cases yes it is. On other occasions, it is a matter of aesthetics and perfection to hide the nails or screws that we use to join our creations in wood pieces, whether furniture or other decorative items such as clothes racks or frames, for example.

Before choosing one way or another appreciates the possibilities and the type of work and choose the form that is more practical, convenient and useful in your case.

Choose invisible nails

If before doing the work, and you are clear that you are not interested or you would not like to see the nails or screws that you need to use because aesthetically it ruin the final outcome; a good alternative is to use cone head nails, which are not 100% invisible, but in many cases go completely unnoticed, solving you the problem of the seen nails.


Repairing mastics or pastes are perfect to also cover nails, spikes and screws on wooden furniture.

It is a solution that requires little work and treatment, but it works very well if you follow to the letter the recommendations of the mastic manufacturer that you choose and you’re crafty in the use of these pastes.

Drive nails into wood

One of the ways to hide nails is to embed them in the wood, that is, to fit them a few millimeters below the surface so that they do not protrude.

To do this, you can use a punch or, failing that, a star-tipped screwdriver whose diameter is smaller than that of the nail. Place the punch or screwdriver over the nail and tap it with a hammer until it sinks a few millimeters into the wood.

This solution will make sure that the nail heads do not protrude from the surface, but a small hole will be appreciated that can be covered as we will tell you below.

Fill with putty

Putty is a useful and practical alternative in the repair and restoration of all kinds of objects. It is a malleable material that hardens very quickly and whose function is to fill cracks and holes in materials such as wood, stone, steel or plaster.

In our case, we will use specific putty for wood: a preparation based on wood powder and resins with different chemical formulations that affect its properties and make it suitable for use indoors or outdoors, so it is important to acquire the one that fits to our needs. In addition, it exists in different colors, being able to choose the one that best suits the tone of the furniture.

Its application is very simple. After driving in the nail, the first thing to do is clean the hole.

Afterwards, a portion of putty is taken and kneaded until a homogeneous and moldable paste is obtained. It is then applied to the area with the help of a spatula and allowed to dry for an hour, or as long as the manufacturer indicates.

Finally, it is sanded so that the surface is perfect.

Wooden covers for nail or screw

Before putting the nail or screw you want to hide, you can make a kind of cap that will cover it once it is inserted.

wooden covers for nail

You will need to lift with a chisel a wood chip partially and carefully, and then you will proceed to nail and cover with the wooden splinter that you will have to fix with glue.

It is a task that requires some experience and a hardwood and quality, tough enough to withstand the process of lifting the chisel, without that this is completely separated from the wood.

With any of these methods, you will know how to hide nails and screws in a cabinet; however, remember that it is not always necessary and that many styles – such as the rustic – not only allow, but characterized by expose nails and screws.