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Do I Stain the Screws on Furniture? Answered

I'm about to build a small potting bench with timber. I'm planning to use screws to hold bits together. But then I saw a potential problem, do I stain the timber first then screw, or do I just stain over the screws? I'm worried about the stain filling up the screw heads and then making my project look amatuer.

Thanks for your help :-)



7 years ago

In my book, its just a matter of personal taste and usage. If you want a piece to look furniture quality, then you will want to hide the screws with plugs, caps or wood filler and stain over top.
On a workpiece, like a potting bench, usually function is more important than form and leaving the screws accessible is a desirable quality to aid in repairs and modifications. I always countersink them but paint right over the screw head to aid in rustproofing.
My suggestion is you determine what kind of effect you are wanting to show and do it that way. Please yourself and don't be overly concerned about what someone else's opinion of what looks best may be.

Stain is slow drying. Usually part of the process is to wipe off the excess. You can pay particular attention to the screw heads and make sure you get them cleaned out.

But if you wanted a really "pro" look you could countersink the screw heads and then plug the holes with a plug of the same type wood or a different kind that would accent the stain.  Google "counter sink screws".

If your screws are brass, stain the wood first.

If your screws are steel, stain the wood screwed together to disguise the shine of the screws.

Stain soaks-in, it shouldn't make your screws look bad. Are they brass / steel / plated-steel?