Can you paint a nail?

Okay experts, is there a paint that would coat this nail and be at least a little durable? Or is there a way to darken the metal with maybe vinegar or something like that? I’d like it black, but just darker would be great and I’m clueless about how to go about it.

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Sharpie. :wink:

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I tried and it wiped off pretty easy. Maybe I should have let it dry longer…

I wonder if I could set the ink with acrylic clear coat? :woman_shrugging:

There’s something called Gun Blue that’s supposed to work, according to Google. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
Or if you like living dangerously, you can use HCl. This guy does both ways in this video:


Yeah, try it and let it dry completely. (Those things are amazing.)

And once it’s dried, give it a coat of clear nail polish.

I can’t tell if that nail is galvanized or not, but if not then bluing (as geek2nurse mentions above) is one technique. I say “one” even though there’s actually a bunch of different products that fall under the category of “bluing” compounds.

For example:

Rustoleum black spray paint? Isn’t that what it’s for?

Black powder coat, kind of overkill for a small piece of metal. You can find DIY tools on line or take it to a commercial powdercoat place.

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Well, that was kinda my question and I was looking for folks with experience with it. I’ve never used metal paint or tried to paint a nail and I wasn’t sure how durable it really was.

The smart alec answer is nail polish, but materials to patina guns would be better, a strong dc current could hasten the reaction. A good dip in copper nitrate would turn the surface to copperas copper replaced the iron and the list of chemical colors for copper is a long one. I don’t have specific experience but that and a bit of google should help.

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Clean it well, rough up the surface a bit with sandpaper, use a metal primer if you want it super durable, and spray rustoleum. It’s designed to sit outside in the weather, it’s fairly durable.

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They do sell black nails. Just sayin…


clean it with vinegar, coat with adhesion promoter, then enamel spray paint.

What is the need / application? Is it the whole nail, or just the head?

This looks galvanized–which means you can’t “patina” it–painting it with metal spray paint (priming first is ideal). It’s a common trick for screws–place them into cardboard they are held & spaced far enough apart to spray easily (and keeps your hands cleaner, too).

And keep in mind, if you get it looking nice, but then try to hammer it in place, that action may mess up the finish, so you may need to put a buffer (tape or bit of cardboard) between the hammer head and nail head)… I’ve bought “white” panel nails, and most the paint flakes off from nailing–the metal nail flexes, but the paint coating doesn’t. So be prepared to do touch-ups after putting them in place, too.

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