Can You Use Rust-Oleum Paint on Wood?

The question many DIYers have asked, and while Rust-Oleum’s answer isn’t always a resounding “yes,” the short answer is

Rust-oleum enamel paint produces a durable, glossy finish on metal surfaces, and it is excellent for rust prevention.

It can work—but with some caveats. Rust-oleum paints are ideal for surfaces like metal or concrete but not necessarily ideal for wood.

That’s because rust-oleum paints adhere best to a hard, smooth surface—which wood often isn’t.

Rust-Oleum Paint on Wood

Rust-oleum paint may adhere properly if the wood is prepared correctly and sealed with a primer, but it won’t be as effective on wood as it would on something.

Rust-Oleum paint can be used not only on wood but on other surfaces as well, including concrete, ceramic, vinyl, porcelain tiles, and laminate.

Can You Use Rust-Oleum Paint on Wood?

Although rust-oleum is manufactured primarily for metals, you can still paint the wood if you correctly prepare the wood’s surface.

For the best results, use oil-based rust-oleum paint.

To prepare the wood, use sandpaper and then wipe away any sand dust with a damp, lint-free rag or tack cloth. Once the surface is dry, apply an oil-based primer like Rust-oleum.

Priming is essential when painting wood, but you don’t need to prime metal surfaces before weatherproofing or painting them. The primer allows the paint to adhere better to the wood surface.

In other words, the primer and paint work together to create a long-lasting protective coat.

Painting Rust-Oleum on Wood: What Do You Need?

When you’re rust-oleum painting wood, you’ll have to decide whether a brush-on or spray-can paint option is better for your project.

Therefore, learn about the characteristics of each Rust-oleum product to find which one you like best.

Following the proper steps, Rust-oleum products work exceptionally well.

What You Need

  • Tarp     
  • Tack cloth 
  • Rust-oleum metal paint 
  • Roller or paintbrush 
  • Protective clothes 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Mineral spirits
  • Hand gloves

How Do You Apply Rust-Oleum to Wood?

For rust oleum to be effective, you must follow these steps: sanding down the wood’s surface and applying an oil-based primer before painting.

Prepare the Workspace

Before you start rust-oleum painting wood, it’s important to set up a designated workspace. This will help keep the paint from spreading to other surfaces and make the job a lot easier overall.

To do this, cover the surrounding areas with a tarp and use painter’s tape to section off the work area. This will help prevent any accidental paint spills.

It’s also important to wear protective clothing, such as gloves and a mask, to avoid getting paint on your skin or breathing in fumes.

To avoid making a mess of your floor, lay a plastic sheet or drop cloth around your workspace.

How do you protect yourself?

Protecting yourself when painting, whether with rust oleum or any other type of paint is essential.

Wear gloves to avoid getting paint on your skin, a mask to avoid breathing in fumes, and clothes that you don’t mind getting paint on.

It’s also important to cover the surrounding areas with a tarp or painter’s tape so that you don’t accidentally get paint on them.

For your protection, wear long-sleeved clothing that you won’t mind ruining with paint. Also, to keep your hands clean, use gloves while painting.

If you’re worried about the fumes from the paint, wear a respirator.

Sand Down the Wood

For best results, use medium-grit sandpaper (180-220 grit) to sand the wood surface down to a smooth finish.

Scuff the wood in the direction of its grain.

Get rid of excess water by thoroughly wringing your damp rug. Wood will swell when wet, raising the grain and ruining your project.

Apply the Primer

Apply the oil-based primer for a durable and protective coat, which will then allow the rust-oleum paint to adhere better.

The acrylic latex bonding primer does an extraordinary job and is our top pick.

Once you finish priming the wood, let it dry for a few hours. Depending on the climate, it might take up to three hours for the wood to dry completely.

Prepare the Rust-oleum Paint

If you’re using a brush-on rust-oleum paint, you’ll need to stir it well before using it. If you’re using a spray that can rust-oleum paint, shake it well before using it.

Stirring the paint redistributes the colorant throughout, creating a more consistent product. If you don’t do this, your project will likely have patches that are different colors.

Apply the Rust-oleum on the Wood

After you mix the paint, apply it to the prepared wood using a roller or brush.If you choose to go the spray painting route, make sure each coat is even. Also, before spraying, don’t forget to shake the can! Now leave the wood for at least two hours.

Re-apply Multiple Coats of Rust-oleum Paint

The first coat will take some time to dry. It might take the full day.

Let the wood dry completely, then see if additional coats are necessary for full coverage.

Make sure each coat is fully dry before adding another one on top. However, apply as many coats as possible until you reach the look you want.

You should also lightly sand the surface between coats with fine-grit sandpaper to make the paint more adhesive. Be sure that each coat is dry before scuffing it.

Is the Rust-oleum Spray Paint Good for Wood?

The rust-oleum spray paint is a great alternative to rust-oleum latex or metal paint. This product gives you a perfect finish on any wood or wooden object.

Also, it’s more likely to get a better coat when using spray paint instead of rollers or brushes.

Rust-Oleum on Stained Wood?

If you want to achieve the best results, sand, and prime the wood before painting it.

Choose an oil-based primer or shellac for the best results.

Benefits of Rust-oleum Paint on Wood

  • Rust oleum can quickly and easily change the appearance of wood with a fresh coat of paint. The dried paint creates a bright look that reflects metallic shades such as silver, gold, copper, and bronze.
  • This paint does wonders for hiding surface imperfections, making it a perfect way to liven up an otherwise unappealing piece of wood.

Final Thoughts

With the right product, using rust oleum is a cinch! Follow these steps to get started. Choose an oil-based primer before painting to prep your projects for success and create beautiful results in any room of your home or office building.

Can You Use Rust-Oleum Paint for Wood?

Rust-oleum paint best suits wood, unglazed ceramic surfaces, plastic, plaster, metal, and wicker.

Does Rust-Oleum Waterproof Wood?

Yes, rust-oleum paint creates a durable surface on the wood that won’t allow water to damage it. This way, the wood lasts longer.