Can Rustoleum Be Used on Wood (What You Need to Know)

Using Rustoleum on Wood

Rust-Oleum is basically a metal paint that works wonders to stop rust and moisture on metal surfaces.

Since these paints are so versatile and effective you may wonder if they can adhere to wood equally well or not.

Well, the short answer is yes. There is absolutely no problem in using metal spray paints (like Rustoleum, Hammerite, and Krylon) on your woodwork.

Just remember that, since these are all oil-based metallic sprays you will need to prepare the wood surface well by cleaning, sanding, and then applying a coat of oil-based primer first. This is important for the paint to adhere properly.

Why Use Rust-Oleum on Wood?

There may be several reasons why you need to use metal paint like Rust-Oleum on your woodwork.

One of which is that you only have this kind of paint available in your store sitting around, and you do not want to run to the paint store for buying the new stuff.

Secondly when you do not want to spend extra money on the new wood paint for your woodwork, when you already have some leftover metal paint lying around.

The third is when you think of adding much brightened and vibrant touch to your already stained/painted woodwork with metal paint.

Due to the glossy finish left, Rustoleum metal paints can also work successfully to hide any defects or inconsistencies that may be present on your wood surface.

How to Use Metal Paints on Wood?

For DIYers on a limited budget, applying metal paints such as Rust-Oleum on wood surfaces (like window trims, doors, moldings, siding, etc) can be a cost-effective solution.

It’s also a much easier option than applying natural wood finishes such as polyurethane, or other clear varnishes.

The big news is you can even apply various shades of metal spray paints like silver, gold, chrome, copper, bronze, etc. to your wooden furniture items that can add a sparkling beauty to them.

However, to get the optimum results, you will need to follow some basic steps when using metal paints.

These include:

Step 1: Prepping

You may face durability issues with oil-based metal paint (when used on the wood surface) if you do not prepare the surface nicely.

So always start with preparing the surface well.

Use medium-grade sandpaper to smoothen the surface. Then wipe the surface with a wet cloth followed by a dry cloth to remove all the sanded dust.

After making sure the wood is dry and clean use painter’s tape on the wood sections so that you do not need to apply the paint.

Also, consider surrounding areas with some old newspapers.

Step 2: Applying the Primer Base

Next, you will need to use acrylic-based latex primer on the wood surface with a paintbrush.

Wait for about 2 to 3 hours for getting the primer dry completely.

Once the coat of primer is completely dry it’s time to apply the Rust-Oleum metal paint.

Step 3: Applying the Metal Paint to Wood

For applying the metal paint to the wood surface start by opening the can.

Stir the paint with a clean wooden stick.

If you are using an aerosol sprayer can shake it well before using it.

This will ensure that all the paint ingredients and pigments are mixed well into the liquid.

Now dip your paintbrush into the can and start applying the paint evenly on the wood.

Make sure that you do not overload your paintbrush as it will cause the paint to drip and splash.

But you will need to make sure that there is enough paint so that you do not get any brush strokes while painting the wood.

If using the aerosol sprayer spray the paint evenly on the wood surface making sure that you do not leave the paint tacky.

Step 4: Applying Successive Coats for Better Finish

After applying the first coat of paint let the paint dry for several hours.

After ensuring that the paint has dried completely you can apply a second coat of paint for getting a good finish.

You may need to lightly sand the surface between the successive coats of paint for achieving the desired finish that shines.

If you still feel the surface needs a third coat of paint, apply after the second coat is dried completely.

What Surfaces Can You Use Rustoleum On?

Rust-Oleum paints can be used on a wide range of surfaces, like wood, linoleum, ceramic and porcelain tiles.

No matter they are bare, sealed, painted, or stained you can cover them with Rust-Oleum after preparing the surface well.

With that said, if its pressure treated wood, Rust-Oleum recommend to wait at least 6 months before painting so that the wood gets completely dried and cured.

Generally, there shouldn’t be any wet chemicals and coatings left behind, before you use Rust-Oleum paint on wood.

Different Rustoleum Products You Can Use on Wood

Most people love to use Rust-Oleum paints for their project simply because these are available in a variety of different options to choose from.

Since each of these Rust-Oleum’s products are designed to offer a different purpose, it’s important that you know which one to use on your woodworking project.

Also, if you plan to use them, make sure you pick the correct one after analyzing your specific requirements.

1- Rustoleum Enamel

On wood surfaces, these paints are simple to handle and dry quickly.

Some individuals like to apply it evenly over the water-based enamels because it gives the wood a bright gorgeous finish that’s relatively more durable and can last much longer.

2- Rustoleum Primer and Undercoating

This is designed to offer superior adhesion and durability on both metal and wood surfaces.

It can be used as a primer prior to applying Rust-Oleum’s paint or topcoat. It can also be used as an undercoating to help prevent chipping, peeling, and rusting.

Rustoleum undercoating, much like Rustoleum primer, may be used over wood surfaces to assist the surface to become level, allowing for a more professional paint finish.

3- Rustoleum Universal Metallic Spray Paints

These paints are available in a variety of colors, making it easy for you to find the perfect shade for your wood project.

The formula of this paint has been created such that it can adhere to any surface without the need for a primer.

The best thing is that you may opt for a glossy or matte finish, according to your personal taste.

Moreover, it provides excellent coverage and dries quickly so that you can get back to your project in no time.

Besides these, there are also:

  • Rustoleum Wax
  • Rustoleum Rock Solid
  • Rust-Oleum Epoxyshield

While the wax can help to add texture to the wood surface with a bit of distressed appearance, the epoxy shield is great to use on hardwood floors (including the ones in your basement and garage) that need some extra protection.

The Rustoleum Rock Solid is a product that is particularly beneficial for surfaces that are prone to get in contact with oils, gases, salts, and other chemicals.

All these Rustoleum products can last for very long with very minimal care required.

When NOT to Use Rustoleum Metal Paint for Wood Surfaces?

Metal paints (such as those manufactured by the Rust-Oleum brand) are designed to prevent the surface from getting rust.

Most of these types of paints are also optimized for metals that are exposed to extremely high and low temperatures.

While you can use the leftover metallic spray paints like Rustoleum and Krylon on a wood surface without any adhesion problem, it’s generally not a good idea to buy these paints when you specifically need the paint for a larger wood project.

While this may seem to be counterintuitive to what we said earlier, a few reasons why I think that way is:

  • Metal paint is not designed for wood
  • These are comparatively expensive than wood paint
  • They come with additional properties that you don’t need
  • Can be toxic if used indoors like on Northfield cocktail tables, Cracker Barrel rockers, etc.
  • Metal paints can be toxic if you want to paint products like wooden kids’ toys, nursery rocking chairs, or birdhouses

For wooden stuff that is exposed to children, pets, or other animals it’s not a good idea to apply metal paints that may contain a high level of VOCs.

If they accidentally ingest the bits or chips of paint it can prove to be dangerous.

For painting wood products such as these, you should instead invest in safer non-toxic paint alternatives that can be used on wood.

Final Thoughts

While there are paints that are specifically made for wood, you can apply any type of paint to your wood surface in a pinch.

Not only aerosol spray cans but there are application options like paintbrushes as well as rollers available that can make your task easier.

In the process, it’s important that you follow the basic steps to get the results that last.

Hopefully, the steps I have outlined here will help you in completing your paint job the way you want it to look.

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