I have built some shelves that I specifically want to use black screws and washers for. Finding black metal washers was nearly impossible so I used some metal spray paint to make black ones. That works fine, but I cant really imagine doing the same with screws since a screw driver is going to be twisting them and probably stripping a lot of the paint off. I know roughly what kind of screws I need (3" length #8 screws with tight threading for drywall toggle bolts) but I cant seem to find any variation that are black. I was told mcmaster.com has a lot of options, but I couldnt use their filters to find anything specifically matching my needs.


3 Answers 3


There are black or dark-bronze screws available. If you can't find them locally check woodworking suppliers, or fastener specialists like McFeely.

There are also compounds sold for darkening/blackening metal. Again the woodworking shops are a good source; "gun blueing" might also work.

Better place to ask this sort of question would be on Woodworking.stackexchange.com.

  • 1
    +1 for "cold bluing" - just google that, and you should find plenty tutorials. Then black nuts, bolts, washers should be no problem
    – jakuboz
    Nov 9, 2023 at 15:56
  • 1
    this looks like a really easy process that does exactly what I need. Thank you! Ill give this a shot. (Ill come back to mark this as the answer if things work out)
    – andykais
    Nov 9, 2023 at 16:19
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    @andykais Remember cold bluing only works on plain (unplated) steel that's free of oil or wax coatings. Zinc plated fasteners and stainless steel can't be blued. You can remove zinc plating from steel with muriatic acid. Outdoors.
    – MTA
    Nov 9, 2023 at 16:43
  • One of the woodworking magazines recently had an article on all the various ways of (re)coloring hardware. And yes, some need to start by stripping of a finish already there.
    – keshlam
    Nov 9, 2023 at 19:02

I've done it with wood screws, multiple times, and it has held up fine. I screwed them into an old piece of wood to hold them and then sprayed them with 2-3 thin coats. No paint came off when using them. I used a manual screwdriver and proper pilot holes, not a drill or impact driver of course.

The screws were robertson head. I wouldn't advise it with philips head screws but it might just work anyway. Torx or flathead (with great care not to slip) would probably be ok.


I have had reasonable success painting screw heads for projects. I use a high quality spray paint/primer, give them plenty of time to dry, and screw them in by hand.

  • can you share a brand of paint you use? Did you sand the screwheads at all? I bought "rustoleum premium black matte" spray paint for the washers, I tried both with and without scuffing the washers and with and without a primer. The paint still came off pretty easily, though to be fair a washer is a pretty sheer surface.
    – andykais
    Nov 9, 2023 at 16:05

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