Here's the best way to remove finish nails from old woodwork. After carefully removing the woodwork from the wall, pull out the nails using a vise grip. Grasp the nail with the vice grip on the unfinished side of the wood and pull the nail through. Repeat this procedure until all the nails are removed. This method keeps the finished face of your woodwork intact.
To increase accuracy, some woodworkers avoid using the zero end of a rule or tape and use the 1-in. mark instead. You can also use other starting points, such as 2 in. or 3 in. However, when using this technique, you must remember to subtract that number from the actual reading further down the rule.