After I milled some custom oak molding, then stained and finished it to match the existing woodwork, I wanted to avoid the inevitable blemishes from wood filler used to hide countersunk finish nails.

My solution: Place a small piece of masking tape at each point you want to nail. Drive and countersink nails through the tape, then apply wood filler. When you peel off the tape, you"ll find a perfectly round spot, with no dulling of the surrounding area. This technique works anytime you need to nail prefinished wood.
—James Vasi, Williamsville, N.Y.