DIY Tools & Techniques host David Thiel reveals different techniques for disguising fasteners. Use these tips to give any project a finished look.
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Plugs are small bits of wood that fit into holes over a countersunk screw. When placing a plug into a hole, be sure to orient the grain of the plug to the grain of the wood. When the head of the plug is cut off and sanded down, the plug will almost disappear into the wood. Use a flush cutting saw to cut off the head of the plug before sanding down to the surface of the wood. Make sure that the flush cutting saw has no set to the teeth; if the teeth stick out, the saw will scratch the wood. Use a piece of cardboard to protect the wood if the proper saw isn't available.
Buttons are small bits of wood shaped to fit in holes. Some are tapered at the bottom; others have shoulders cut into them for hiding imperfectly cut holes. Use a small amount of glue with the button. Place it on the hole and tap it into place. Use a scrap block of wood between the hammer and the button to prevent the hammer from marring the wood.
Wood grain contact paper can be used to hide fasteners. Use a scrapbook cutter to cut a circle out of the contact paper. Cut from the back so the grain of the paper being cut is visible. This makes it easy to choose the correct grain to match the wood around the screw. Then, peel the back off the circle and put into place.
Rather than hiding screws, make them decorative details using rosettes. Match the color of the rosette to the color of the screw, then drill the screw through the hole in the center of the rosette. The fastener instantly becomes a decoration.
Tip: There are many other ways to hide or disguise fasteners. Use a bolt cover to hide large bolts. Use caps to turn the fastener into a design detail. Take a look at the local hardware store to find items to create a finished look for projects.