How to Remove Deck Screws Filled With Paint

Removing deck screws filled with paint is important for maintaining the structural integrity of your deck. Paint can often become stuck to the head of screws, making it difficult to remove them with a standard screwdriver or even a power drill. If you don’t have the tools or knowledge necessary to remove these screws properly, then it can be very difficult to repair or replace them.

How to Remove Deck Screws Filled With Paint

One of the main advantages of removing deck screws filled with paint is that it can help extend your deck’s life. The paint acts as a sealant, protecting the wood from moisture, dirt, and other elements that could damage it over time.

Removing the screws and paint ensures that your deck will remain in great condition for longer. In this blog article, you can find step-by-step instructions on How to Remove Deck Screws Filled With Paint. 

Tools You Will Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Pry bar or crowbar
  • Tin snips or aviation snips
  • Hacksaw blade
  • Utility knife
  • Pliers
  • Drill/Driver and Bits
  • Heat gun/blow torch (optional)
  • Wire brush (optional)

Step-by-step Instructions for How to Remove Deck Screws Filled With Paint

Step 1: Inspect the Screw

Start by taking a close look at the screw and its head. If the paint is still soft or not completely hardened, you can try to simply break away from it without using any tools. If the paint has hardened, use a hair dryer to heat up the area around the screw head. This will cause the paint to soften, making it easier to remove.

Step 2: Use a Screwdriver

If the paint has hardened and you are unable to break it away from the screw, use a Phillips head screwdriver to attempt to loosen the head of the screw. You may have to move around the edges of the head to release its grip on the paint.

Use a Phillips Head Screwdriver

Step 3: Switch to a Power Drill

For screws that are really stubborn and won’t come out with a screwdriver, you may have to resort to using a power drill. Remove the screwdriver bit and replace it with a drill bit. Then apply light pressure as you attempt to loosen the head of the screw. Be careful not to apply too much pressure, which could cause the drill bit to slip and damage the surrounding paint.

Step 4: Use a Hammer

If all else fails, you may have to use a hammer. Place the flat end of the hammer head against the screw head and gently tap it until you’ve managed to loosen it from the paint. This method might be messy, so cover the surrounding area with a drop cloth or other protective material.

Step 5: Use Penetrating Oil

Try applying some penetrating oil if you’re still having trouble removing deck screws filled with paint. This will help lubricate the screws and make them easier to remove. Apply a few drops of the oil directly onto the screw head and let it sit for a few minutes.

If the screw is particularly old and rusty, you may need to use a rust remover. Choose one that is formulated specifically for metal surfaces and follow the instructions on the package closely. It may help to lightly sand the area around the screw first, making it easier for the remover to penetrate and break down any rust buildup.

Try Applying Some Penetrating Oil

Step 6: Use a Pliers or Vice Grip

If none of the above methods work, you may need to use a pair of pliers or a vice grip. Clamp the pliers or vice grip onto the head of the screw and then twist it counterclockwise. This should help loosen the screw from its hold in the paint.

Step 7: Use a Paint Removal Tool

If you still have difficulty removing deck screws filled with paint, consider using a paint removal tool. This tool is designed to remove paint from a variety of surfaces easily. It works by heating up the area around the screw, which causes the paint to soften and easily scrape away with minimal effort.

If you still have trouble removing deck screws filled with paint, try using some heat. You can use a heat gun or torch, or you could try using a soldering iron. Heat up the area around the screw head until it is just hot enough to soften the paint. Then gently chip away at it with a putty knife or other tool until you’ve released its hold on the screw.

Step 8: Use a Rust Converter

If the screw is particularly rusty and hard to remove, you may need to use a rust converter. This will help break down any corrosion around the head of the screw and make it easier to remove. Apply a few drops of the rust converter directly onto the screw head and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Afterward, use a putty knife or other tool to chip away at the softened paint until you can release its hold on the screw.

Once all of these steps have been taken, you should be able to remove deck screws filled with paint with relative ease. Just remember to take your time and patience as you work through each step.

Safety Tips for How to Remove Deck Screws Filled With Paint

  1. Wear protective eye and ear gear when working with power tools.
  2. Unplug the power tool before changing or adjusting any parts or accessories.
  3. Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands from sharp edges.
  4. Use a dust mask to avoid inhaling paint chips or debris from drilling into the filled screw.
  5. Always wear long sleeves and pants to protect your skin from flying particles.
  6. Position the drill perpendicular to the screw, so you don’t damage surrounding wood or materials.
  7. Use a flat-head screwdriver in conjunction with a drill bit for further leverage and control when removing screws filled with paint.
  8. If the screw is really stuck, use a lubricant to help loosen it. Be sure to remove any excess lubricant once the screw has been removed.
Use a Dust Mask

By following these safety tips, you can safely and effectively remove screws filled with paint from your deck. With the right tools and knowledge, you can ensure that all of your deck screws are properly removed and that no unnecessary damage is done to the surrounding materials in the process. 

How Do You Prevent Damage to the Deck While Removing Screws? 

It is important to protect your deck while removing screws filled with paint. To do this, use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the screw head and stop drilling as soon as you feel resistance. This will prevent the wood from splitting and damaging your deck.

It is also helpful to soften the paint around the screw by heating it using a heat gun or blow dryer. This will make removing the screw easier and less damaging to the surrounding wood. Finally, avoid using too much force when removing screws as this can cause further damage to your deck.

Once the screws are removed, cleaning up any paint chips or debris left behind on the deck is important. This can be done by scraping away the paint with a putty knife or scraper and then cleaning the deck to remove any residue. Finally, you can fill any holes left behind from the screws with an appropriate wood filler.

How Can You Ensure That All of the Paint Residue is Removed When the Screws Are Out? 

Once the deck screws are out, it is important to remove any remaining paint residue from them. If left on, this can make the screws difficult to re-use in the future. To clean off the paint residue:

  • Start by using a wire brush or steel wool to scrape off as much of the surface paint as possible.
  • Use a cleaning solvent such as acetone, mineral spirits or paint thinner to loosen the remaining paint residue.
  • Follow this up with a degreaser to remove any oils and grease that might have built up around the screw’s head.
  • Finally, rinse off the screws with a hose or in a bucket of warm soapy water to remove all traces of solvent and degreaser.
  • Let the screws dry completely before re-inserting them into the deck.
Start by Using a Wire Brush

Cleaning off the paint residue from the screws will help ensure that they can be reused effectively and with minimal resistance when reinstalling them in the deck.

How Often Should You Check Your Deck Boards for Paint-filled Screws and Other Damage? 

It’s important to regularly inspect your deck boards and hardware for signs of wear and tear. Regularly inspecting the screws that hold down your deck boards can help you spot signs of paint filling or other damage before it becomes a more serious problem.

Be sure to check for rusted, corroded, or otherwise damaged screws at least once every season. If you notice any signs of wear and tear, take action to replace the screws as soon as possible.

Inspecting your deck boards for screws that are filled with paint can be especially important because paint-filled screws can prevent proper placement and installation. This can lead to improper installation, which may cause issues such as gaps between boards or warped boards.

Inspecting Your Deck Boards for Screws

If you notice paint-filled screws, remove them immediately with a screw extractor and replace them with new screws. Be sure to use the correct size of screw for your deck board, as using too large or small of a screw can lead to more problems down the road. When driving in the replacement screws, don’t overtighten them, as this can cause the boards to warp.


In conclusion,  removing deck screws filled with paint can be a tedious task. However, following the correct steps and using the proper tools can make this process much easier. Start by using a screwdriver to loosen the screw, if possible. Then move on to using a heated tool such as a soldering iron or heat gun carefully to melt some of the paint.

Finally, try using penetrating oil to loosen the stuck screw further. With these steps, you should be able to remove even stubborn deck screws filled with paint. I hope reading this post has helped you learn how to remove deck screws filled with paint. Make sure the safety precautions are carried out in the order listed.

Photo of author

Enrique Howard

Hi, I am Enrique. I started my professional life as a handyman and did a lot of external and internal repair of home and office with a little bit of electric and plumbing support. I have extensive experience in tools testing such as drilling, turning, milling, and non-conventional machining like EDM. So let me help you on your journey towards becoming an enlightened DIYer with amazing tools that you can use on your project.

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