outlet cover with painted-over screws
Photo: [COPYRIGHT] Ted Pink/Alamy
Q: Removing screws covered with layers of paint

A: Q: Do you know of an easy way to remove screws—especially small ones—whose heads are covered with many layers of paint?

— Kathy, New Brunswick, Canada

Steve says: Getting at screw heads covered by many layers of paint is always a pain in the neck. With a small screwdriver or narrow putty knife, scrape enough of the paint from the hinge to reveal the slots in the screw heads. Then rake the built-up paint from the slot enough to let you get a firm purchase with your screwdriver. If you're planning to re-install the doors it also might be worth it to replace the hinges altogether.
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