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Can You Use Rustoleum On Wood? Step-By-Step Guide [Updated 2023]

Can You Use Rustoleum On Wood?

DIY painters and those who are involved in home improvement projects would have known the importance of painting over bare wood. Painting on wood is a complex task, as bare wood is not an appropriate material that adheres to paint. It is mandatory to apply a coat of primer so that it conditions the wood appropriately to adhere to the paint. 

If you are choosing to use an oil-based paint for the wood, you must make use of a specific type of primer, so that the wood binds appropriately with the oil-based primer. If you are not using an appropriate primer, then there are all chances that the painting finish will flake off and peel off over time. 

Now, let’s start with the answer.

Can You Use Rustoleum On Wood? [Using Rustoleum On Bare Wood]

can you use rustoleum on wood
  • If you want to paint over wood or over any surface that has a rust coating, then it is optimal to paint it with Rustoleum. Rustoleum is an important component that is beneficial to coating many different surfaces of the home. But before painting the surface with Rustoleum, it is mandatory to choose the right type of wood. 
  • Also, consider the condition of the wood. For instance, if you have bare wood, you will have to paint it with a coat of primer, before painting it with Rustoleum. This helps the primer and the paint to bind with the wood better. 
  • Rustoleum works best on floors made of hardwood. It also works best on all horizontal surfaces. Some types of wood have a more grain pattern than other types of wood. So, while coating such type of wood, more coats of Rustoleum will be required to cover the wood. 

Preparing The Wood Before Applying Rustoleum

  • Before applying a coating of Rustoleum on wood, it is required to prepare the wood. The best way to prepare the wood is to sand the wood. This makes the application of Rustoleum easier. While sanding the wood, you should first consider the grain of the wood and sand it on the flow of the grain and not against it. 
  • You should use the same pressure to sand the entire piece of wood. After sanding the wood, you should remove the wood shavings and the dust with the help of a tack cloth.
  • Before applying Rustoleum on the wood surface, make sure that the surface is made completely smooth. There should not be any dust left on the wood before applying Rustoleum to it. If any dust particles are left on the wood, then priming it and applying a cost of Rustoleum over it, becomes difficult.

Step-By-Step Instructions On Applying The Primer On Bare Wood

Before applying the primer, the most important step is to collect all the required equipment and set up the place to start painting. The things that you would require for painting wood are, 

  1. Tack cloth
  2. Tarp
  3. Metal Paint – Rustoleum
  4. Painter’s Tape
  5. Spirits
  6. Protective Clothing
  7. Hand Gloves

To prepare the workspace lay a drop cloth or a plastic sheet to cover the floor around the place where you are going to paint. This will prevent the spills of the paint from creating a mess on the floor. Also use painter’s tape while painting the wood, so that you don’t apply the paint on the edges and unwanted surfaces.

  1. The first step is applying the primer to wipe away the dirt and the sawdust from the raw wood, with the help of a tack cloth. 
  2. The next step is to apply a coat of Rustoleum, which is an oil-based primer. The best way to apply the primer is to make use of a paintbrush, that is specific for use with oil-based paint. 
  3. The next step is to allow the paint to dry for a minimum of three hours.
  4. Finally, apply the coating of oil-based paint on the wood that has accepted a layer of primer, with the help of a clear and clear paintbrush. 
  5. Now, allow the wood to dry for a minimum of two hours. 
  6. Apply an additional coat of primer if required.
  7. If you are using the Rustoleum on vertical surfaces, then you will have to adjust the position of the wood, when the paint dries up. 

Types Of Rustoleum Available For Treating Wood

  • There are two types of Rustoleum available, it is either available as spray paint, or in a paint can. Rustoleum spray paint on wood can be of immense use for beginners, who have not performed any painting work before. They don’t have to worry about the type of brush and spray them directly on the surface to be painted. However, it could be difficult to use spray paint in small areas.
  • While using the traditional can, you may have to dip a paintbrush into the paint to coat the surface. Make sure that the paintbrush is not very harsh, as it could leave strokes of the brush, on the wood, after the layer of Rustoleum dries up. One important advantage of Rustoleum can paint is that they are available in different colors, and we can choose the color that best matches our taste. 

Precautions To Take Before Using Rustoleum On Wood

You should take the right steps, before using the Rustoleum on the wood. This helps to protect yourself and the surface, you are painting. These steps are as follows:

  1. Before using Rustoleum on the wood, it is important to test it on a sample piece of wood. 
  2. You can also get to test the Rustoleum on the base or corner of furniture. 
  3. Testing the solution will also offer a rough idea of what the paint will look, like later on. 
  4. Wear a protective glove and clothing for the same reason. 
  5. Also, before starting to paint the wood, paint it with a coat of primer or a base coat. 
  6. A good coating of the primer will cover the wood and act as a nice glue between the Rustoleum and the wood.
  7. Before starting the painting business, assemble all the things and make sure you have everything ready to treat the wood. 
  8. Make sure you have no pets nearby, and also do not initiate the painting process with kids around. 
  9. After painting a coat of Rustoleum, make sure the surface dries for a couple of hours. 
  10. Apply the next coat, only after the surface is completely dry. 
  11. You can learn if the surface is dry or not, by feeling it with the palm. 

7 Advantages Of Using Rustoleum Paint For Wood

There are many advantages of adding Rustoleum paint to the wood.

  1. The paint helps in protecting the wood
  2. The Rustoleum paint applied on the wood will render it an instant facelift
  3. After the paint dries, it renders an exceptional look.
  4. It renders a metallic tone to the wood and gives it a gold, bronze, or copper-like appearance.
  5. It is extremely beneficial in hiding defects on the surface of the wood. 
  6. It also conceals inconsistencies on the wooden surface.
  7. Above all, it is one of the best ways to breathe life back into a boring piece of wood.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Q1. How to protect yourself while painting Rustoleum on wood?

A1. The best way to protect oneself while applying Rustoleum on wood is to make use of protective clothing that also stays comfortable. It is also a good idea to protect the hands from the paint, with the help of hand gloves.

Q2. How should I prepare the Rustoleum paint?

A2. Before painting the wood with Rustoleum, you should open the paint can, and stir it properly to mix it thoroughly. You are helping yourself by stirring. You are re-distributing the colorant evenly, thus making the material homogeneous before starting the painting business. 

Q3. Is Rustoleum paint good for wood? Can Rustoleum be used on wood?

A3. Yes, the Rustoleum paint is good for wood and it is one of the best alternatives for metal and latex paints. It helps in creating a flawless finish on any wooden surface. If you get to use the spray paint, you will be able to achieve a better finish and a better outcome.

Q4. What are the other surfaces on which we can apply Rustoleum?

A4. We can use the Rustoleum on other stained, or sealed surfaces. It also goes great on surfaces that are bare and or coated previously. Some examples of such surfaces include concrete, hardwood, linoleum, tile, ceramic, etc.

Q5. Does Rustoleum paint render waterproof qualities for wood?

A5. Yes, the Rustoleum paint renders a very hard surface on the wood. It makes it impossible for water to penetrate through it. Thus it elongates the life of the wood.


Rustoleum is one of the best paint types to be used on the wood directly. It renders impeccable results when used on wood appropriately. It is one of the best primers for bare wood that enhances the life of lifeless wood. 

Rustoleum is indeed a universal paint. Thus you can use rustoleum on wood on almost any surface, leave alone wood. You have to be specific on what Rustoleum, the product you are choosing so that you are feeding in life and making the wooden piece more attractive and appealing.

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