Should you paint stainless steel nuts and screws?

If you have used stainless steel nuts and screws on your yacht or other watercraft, you are probably wondering if it is advised to paint this kind of hardware or not. Can it be done? And if so, what precautions should you take? Read on to find out more about painting stainless steel screws and nuts.

Is it possible to paint stainless steel?

The short answer, according to Marsh Fasteners, is yes you can paint stainless steel. However, it is best to avoid it. If you do decide to paint, ensure that you do it properly to maintain the lifespan of your stainless steel hardware. Stainless steel has a chromium oxide passive film which guards against corrosion. This film requires oxygen in order to repair itself. Therefore it is imperative that when you paint it, you still allow the steel to “breathe”.

How to properly paint stainless steel

You will need to prepare the surface of the stainless steel by using either abrasive blasting or light hand abrasion, followed by a thorough cleaning to remove any dust, oil or grease. You will then need to use an epoxy and a primer coating specifically for stainless steel. Be sure to apply the correct combination according to what the stainless steel will be exposed to.

It is an extremely involved process which if not done correctly will reduce the life of your stainless steel. In the case of marine stainless steel nuts and screws, it can be a matter of basic safety to ensure your hardware does not get damaged. If you are not prepared to ensure that the painting is done exactly right, it is best advised that you avoid painting altogether.

At Marsh Fasteners, we have more than two decades of experience stocking a range of marine grade hardware, from stainless steel threaded rod to stainless steel bolts and marine fasteners. Contact us today and see how we can assist you!

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