Info: covering nail heads in new skirting boards

Hi Folks, I always maintain that "Experience is the Greatest Teacher" and here's my present tale of woe to confirm that hypothesis:
I'm refurbishing the 15-year-old's room and in the process adding the dreaded laminate flooring. First mistake: the missus buys the laminate "nice and cheap". For "cheap" read "easily cracked or punctured" - very thin laminate, so you learn that perhaps buying cheaper isn't always wise.
Second mistake (this time of my doing): the laminate came with a 12mm cork border so I (stoopidly) bought 12mm thick skirting boards since they were "economical" (i.e. cheaper than the thicker stuff). Result: some visible gaps round the perimeter of the flooring.
Third mistake: since the old skirting was nailed on I decided to repeat this attachment method. I punched the oval nails under the surface of the boards, then wondered how to cover the heads (the plan was to varnish the boards, not paint them). My old man was a joiner (carpenter) to trade, so he suggested getting the sawdust off the cut boards and mixing this with PVA glue to make a colour- matching filler. This doesn't do the job, and with a standard one-inch spatula as the applicator the result is still a circular "stain" of varying diameter even after a nights drying and vigorous sanding the next day.
Of course, you all know what I should have done, so beyond buying better laminate, thicker skirting and either not using nails or polyfilla the holes then gloss the boards do tell please.
Just give it a handful of months until I forget and then I can ignorantly repeat the gaffe...
Mungo ;-)
P.S. Its for a 15 year old so the chance of even seeing the floor for the piles of clothes and damp towels will be unlikely... grrr.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Let the boards dry more before you rub them down. Consider using a coloured varnish to mask the haloes. Coloured varnish has it's own issues, though.
PVA and sawdust is a rubbish filler. Coat the nail heads with shellac (knotting) before filling with polly fillah or almost anything else. You can even mix knotting and sawdust. I find the coloured "Cuprinol" fillers OK.
You could always "grain" it....
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Chris Bacon wrote:

But you can understand why people use it. Sawdust should be the same colour as the wood but, because the density is different, it stands out like a sore thumb.
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Stuart Noble wrote:

Also the timber won't take stain, etc. It's been suggested quite often here as being good for things like filling gaps between floorboards. Pah.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says... <snip>

<snip>
Glue the skirting with Gripfill. MDF is for painting. :-)
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