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 correctly.

Using Rust-Oleum on Wood

There may be several reasons why you may need to use metal paints 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 a brightened and vibrant touch to your 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, which can add sparkling beauty to them.

However, to get the optimum results, you must 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 a 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 to get the primer to dry completely.

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

Step 3: Applying Metal Paint to the Wood

To apply 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, shake the can 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.

Get enough paint so that you do not get any brush strokes while painting the wood and ensure you do not overload your paintbrush, as it will cause the paint to drip and splash.

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 to get a good finish.

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

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

will rustoleum work on wood

What Surfaces Can You Use Rustoleum On?

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

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

With that said, if it’s pressure-treated timber, Rust-Oleum recommends waiting at least 6 months before painting so that the wood gets wholly 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 projects simply because these are available in a variety of different options to choose from.

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

Also, if you plan to use them, 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 before applying Rust-Oleum’s paint or topcoat. It can also be used as an undercoating to help prevent chipping, peeling, and rusting.

Much like Rustoleum primer, Rustoleum undercoating may be used over wood surfaces to assist the surface in becoming 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 a distressed appearance, the epoxy shield is excellent to use on hardwood floors (including the ones in your basement and garage) that need 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 minimal care.

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 paints are also optimized for metals 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 more expensive than wood paint
  • They come with additional properties that you don’t need
  • It can be toxic 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 exposed to children, pets, or other animals, it’s not a good idea to apply metal paints that may contain a high VOC level.

If they accidentally ingest the bits or chips of paint, it can 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 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, you must follow the basic steps to get the results that last.

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

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