Air-powered nailers are super handy tools, but sometimes their recoil can leave marring around the nail holes — an irritating problem when nailing workpieces that already have a finish applied to them. Here are two simple solutions: I cut up an empty plastic milk jug or other container and hold a piece right over where I want to drive the nail. The nail drives and sets as usual, but the plastic material cushions the recoil blow, so the nailer’s tip doesn’t mar the wood in the process. Another good option I’ve found is to use those little round adhesive-backed cork dots. Just stick one in place and nail through it, then peel it off. You can use it many times in a row for this purpose. The cork is especially helpful when you need both hands for holding a workpiece and the nailer.
– Joe Spencer