For as thin and tiny as finishing nails can be, they are sometimes tricky to remove. If not done carefully, they can even cause unnecessary damage to that expensive piece of molding you are trying to preserve. Here is some help for getting the nails out with the least amount of problems.
Once you have carefully pried the molding off of the wall, you may want to reuse it somewhere.
Unfortunately, it won’t do you much good if the molding is splintered because you were too rough getting the nails out. One thing NOT to do, is try to drive the nails back through the front of the molding. This, in all likelihood, will damage the wood, causing fragments to push outward.
Actually, the best option is to pull the nail out through the back. This will prevent tools from making any marks of the face of the piece. To do this, get a pair of linesman pliers. They will keep a good grip on the nail. Grab the nail where it is sticking out in the back about halfway down. While pulling the nail, roll it to one side, turning the pliers rather than pulling straight up. If the head of the nail is a little too large and making this difficult, try pushing the nail towards the front of the piece until the nail head is slightly protruding. Snip the head off with a pair of wire cutters and pull it through the back as before. If you check the front side of your molding after pulling the nail, you will see that the only damage is from when the nail first went in.