Rust-Oleum is basically a metal paint that works wonders to stop rust and moisture on different 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 garage sitting around, and you do not want to run to the paint store for buying the new stuff.
The second is when you already have some leftover metal paint lying around. And you do not want to spend extra money on the new wood paint for your woodwork.
The third might be when you think of adding an extra brightened vibrant touch to your already stained/painted woodwork with a coat of 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.
Not only wood but Rust-Oleum paints can be used on a wide range of other surfaces, including 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 spray 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.
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 metallic 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 with metal paints, you must follow some basic steps when using them. 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 it 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 where you do not need to apply the paint. Also, consider surrounding areas with some old newspapers to avoid damages due to overspray.
Step 2: Applying the primer base
Next, apply acrylic-based latex primer on the wood surface with a paintbrush and wait for about 2 to 3 hours to get the primer to dry completely.
Rust-Oleum advises the use of a primer on high-tannin woods such as cedar and redwood, as well as on woods with numerous knots. Applying a primer to these woods will effectively prevent tannin bleed-through.
Step 3: Applying metal paint on the wood
Open the can and stir it with a clean wooden stick. 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. Ensure you do not overload your paintbrush, as it will cause the paint to drip and splash.
If you are using an aerosol sprayer, shake the can well before using it. Then, spray evenly on the wood surface, making sure that you do not leave the paint tacky.
Step 4: Applying successive coats for a better finish
After applying the first coat of paint, let the paint dry for several hours. Then apply a second coat of paint to get a good finish.
Lightly sand the surface between successive coats of paint to achieve the finish that shines on the wood.
If you still feel the surface needs a third coat of paint, apply after the second coat is dried thoroughly.
Different Rustoleum Products You Can Use on Wood
Most people love to use Rust-Oleum paint products for their projects simply because these are available in a variety of different options to offer varied results.
If you plan to use them, pick the correct one after analyzing your specific woodworking project requirements.
1- Rustoleum Enamel
On wood surfaces (both indoors and outdoors), these paints are simple to handle even on vertical surfaces. These coatings dry quickly and will level out as they dry while hiding any imperfections on the surface.
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
It can be used as a primer before applying Rust-Oleum’s paint and also as an undercoating to help prevent chipping, peeling, and rusting of the topcoat.
This is designed to offer superior adhesion and durability on both metal and wood surfaces to assist the surface in becoming level, allowing for a more professional paint finish.
3- Rustoleum Universal Metallic Spray Paints
The formulation of this paint has been carefully engineered to ensure adherence to any surface, eliminating the need for a primer. It offers exceptional coverage and rapid drying time, allowing you to swiftly resume your project.
Additionally, these paints are available in a wide range of colors and you have the option to select between a glossy or matte finish, catering to your individual preferences based on your wood project.
Besides the above three, there are also:
- Rustoleum Wax
- Rustoleum Rock Solid
- Rust-Oleum Epoxyshield
- Rustoleum’s acrylic enamel and alkyds
Rust-Oleum Furniture Finishing Clear Wax is a colorless and transparent wax polish designed to safeguard the finish achieved with furniture paint.
RockSolid and Epoxyshield on the other hand offer specialty finishes and clear coatings ideal for spaces like garages, basements, bathrooms, and other interior living spaces. These products can last for very long with minimal care and are particularly beneficial for surfaces that are prone to get in contact with oils, gases, salts, and other chemicals.
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 coatings 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 I 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 for your project
- Metal paints can be toxic if you want to coat products like indoor tables and chairs, 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 highly dangerous.
For painting wooden items such as these, you should instead invest in safer, non-toxic paint alternatives designed explicitly to be used for wood.
While there are paints specifically made for wood, you can apply any type of paint to your wood surface in a pinch.
Not only Rustoleum 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.
Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for over a decade serving customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, and Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.