Have you ever wondered what category of paint type Rustoleum spray paint is? Could it be water-based or oil-based? Let’s find out!

Yes, Rustoleum spray paint is oil-based. Rustoleum spray paint should always come to your mind whenever you think of enamel spray paint with high performance.

Most people are concerned about what category Rustoleum spray paint falls into; they probably need it for a project but prefer oil-based paint. If you are one of those people, this article has solved your puzzle. After reading through it, I’m sure you will learn a lot about Rustoleum spray paint.

Is Rustoleum Spray Paint Water-Based or Oil-Based?

Rustoleum spray paint contains oil-based material, which is entirely rust-resistant; thus, it is oil-based. If you are still confused, I will show you a way to determine if the paint is water-based or oil-based. You can check the clean-up instructions for the paint on the can.

The clean-up instruction will instruct you to use a paint thinner or mineral spirits for oil-based paint. However, if the paint is water-based, water and soap are enough to clean it; thus, they are the clean-up ingredients.

If you have ever used Rustoleum spray paint, you will discover it is corrosion-resistant, durable, and high-quality. You can use it at any angle. This spray paint covers up to 14 square feet and gives fast coverage.

Rustoleum spray paint is specially formulated to prevent rust for long-lasting protection. In addition, you can use it on almost every surface type. However, this paint is quite expensive and takes a short time to dry the paint thoroughly. Now, we will discuss more the advantages and disadvantages of this paint.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Rustoleum Spray Paint

There are several advantages of Rustoleum spray paint which have been listed in the table below.

It provides even coverage with no need for brush strokesThere is a limit to the color choices
It is an oil-based paint; therefore, it is far more durable than water-based paintsIt requires a mask to use, especially while cleaning it.  
You can easily use it outsideIt is expensive
It dries so fast, perhaps dries within 24 hoursIt could be harmful if inhaled; thus, you must be careful while using it
You can easily clean up this paintIts cleaning requires to paint thinner use which is toxic.  

Examples & Uses of Rustoleum Spray Paint

Rustoleum spray paint varies in color. Examples of colors you can find are black, white, gold, green, red, blue, brown, yellow, gray, purple, and silver. Rustoleum Spray paint is highly versatile, and you can use it on many different surfaces, such as:

  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Ceramic
  • Tin
  • Fiberglass
  • Metal
  • Terra Cotta
  • Glass

Other surfaces you can use this spray paint on are a mirror, canvas, laminate, particleboard, MDF, and plaster.

I hope you see that you can use Rustoleum spray paint on almost everything. However, never use it on surfaces close to food and beverages.

If you are wondering whether it is terrible to use Rustoleum spray paint or if you can use it on automotive surfaces, I will explain it to you to clear your doubts. Kindly check the following paragraph.

Rustoleum spray paints are okay for use. However, I recommend not using it on your car, including other automobiles. This is because Rustoleum isn’t automotive grade. If you use it on your automobile, you will discover that the paint job will not last long. It may stay for months but not up to your expectations.

How to Use Rustoleum Spray Paint & How Long Does it Last?

Below are the steps involved in using Rustoleum spray paint.

  • First, ensure that the area you are in is well-ventilated. You can wear a proper respirator for safety.
  • It would help if you remove the rust and clean the surface, using a solvent such as mineral spirits before painting.
  • If the surface has been previously painted, degloss it
  • Ensure that the temperature is between ten and thirty-two degrees Celsius.
  • Check the humidity. It needs to be below 70% for proper drying
  • Never paint in dusty and windy conditions
  • Shake the spray paint can vigorously. Once you hear the rattling sound, it is ready for spraying. It would be best to shake the can every minute while painting.
  • Try spraying slowly, as it will help you to have a better adjustment to the painting.
  • It would be better to use three light coats than using two
  • Once you are done painting, invert the can and clear the nozzle

To learn more about using Rustoleum spray paint, kindly watch the video below.

Rustoleum spray paint is easy to use and will give your item a nice and beautiful look, but now, “how long will it last?”

Rustoleum spray paint’s last depends on the primer you are using. You can use it on various surfaces, but a primer secures the finishing while giving you the best coverage.

Does Rustoleum Spray Paint Need Primer?

Although priming is not always obligatory, you can still use primer, which provides excellent protection on any metal surface. If you paint a rusty metal surface, the primer will help the paint perfectly adhere to its surface.

In addition, primer helps prevent the metal from further rusting. You will need about 1-2 coats of primer for your project.

However, some individuals prefer not to prime if it isn’t a piece of furniture or something glossy. Some know that primer helps with adhesion and durability but believe using it is unnecessary most time. These people believe that since Rustoleum spray paint is oil-based, it can adhere well without using a primer.

In conclusion, you can use a primer if you wish to. However, since it’s not mandatory to use it, you can also skip it. If you use it, one to three coats are enough for painting large walls. However, it depends on the primer’s type, the canvas, and the paint colors.

Do I Need to Paint Over Rustoleum Primer & How Long Should Rustoleum Primer Dry Before Painting?

You don’t need to paint over Rustoleum primer. The built-in primer helps in preparing surfaces for a finished paint coat. Rustoleum shows a high-performance primer with professional spray paint enamel. In addition, Rustoleum professional primer spray secures double protection while single enamels cannot.

The time expected for Rustoleum primer to dry before painting varies with different application methods under humidity and temperature. If you use light spray paint on a plain surface while the temperature is warm, it can dry within an hour.

However, if you use a heavier brush, it can give a different result. It may require up to four hours under the same temperature. Whatever you do with primer will dry before the finish paint; otherwise, you obtain the worst repercussions.

Essential Rustoleum Spray-Painting Techniques & Rules of Rustoleum Spray Paints Usage

This section will explain six basic Rustoleum spray-painting techniques and the rules to follow while using Rustoleum paints.

The basic spray-painting techniques are,

  • First, ensure the area you are spray-painting is well-ventilated
  • Afterward, shake the spray paint can and shake for a few minutes
  • Make two thin coats. It’s better than making one thick coat
  • Ensure to spray at least 6 – 8 inches away from your piece
  • It would help if you used your garage for spray painting during winter, as spray paint doesn’t work excellently well in cold weather.
  • Ensure you wear a mask while using this paint

Rules to follow while using Rustoleum spray paint are,

  • Use Rustoleum spray paint only when the temperature is between 50 – 90 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Before using it, ensure that the relative humidity is below 85%
  • If it is about to rain or will probably rain within 48 hours of the time you want to spray paint, do not paint outdoors
  • If you wish to make the second coat, wait 24 hours before going for the second coat

If you read through the basic spray painting techniques I highlighted above, you will see that I recommended making two thin coats. Now, the question is, “What can you use to thin Rustoleum paint?” Kindly check the next paragraph for an explanation of this.

You can use acetone for thinning Rustoleum spray paint. However, if you are painting large items like tractors, vehicles, etc., it’s better to thin this paint can using mineral spirit.


Those with artistic minds love painting. This explains why you see many spray paints with their respective uses. In addition, you can have different ideas when mixing up other paints. We learn daily, and when we share ideas, we gather more knowledge.

By now, you already know that Rustoleum spray paint is oil-based. Rustoleum is one of the most quality paints and will provide you with a decent result, provided you do the job right.

To make the most of this paint, kindly follow the rules and steps in this article. Good luck with your next paintwork project!


How much heat can Rustoleum painting take, and can I put a hardener in it?

The heat required for Rustoleum spray painting varies. It confronts 200°F after curing for almost seven to ten days. Although it takes time, it works great.

You can put a hardener in Rustoleum paint, but the hardener will be an acrylic enamel hardener. When purchasing hardeners, also ensure to buy enamel reducers. Enamel reducers help the paint flow better and make it thinner.

Do I need to seal Rustoleum spray paint?

Once the item you spray paint is dehydrated, depending on the paint’s sheen used, apply a clear coat over the spray paint. However, sealing it is unnecessary if you use high gloss or semi-gloss and want a shiny finish. For a lower sheen, you can seal it using a water-based sealer such as Minwax Polycrylic.

What makes Rustoleum paint sticky, and should I sand between its coats?

Your Rustoleum spray paint can become tacky and sticky when it cannot dry thoroughly. If the air is overly humid, or the weather is extremely hot or cold, it makes the paint have trouble drying. In addition, your paint might have trouble drying if you apply it in thick coats.

If you are unsure whether to sand between Rustoleum spray paint coats, I will encourage you to sand between each coat as this is recommended.

Spray paint has a sheen that, when dry, reflects light an