Are you looking for a reliable and cost-effective form of paint that is easy to use?

If so, Rustoleum spray paint might just be the perfect solution! Whether you are painting walls, furniture, or any other surface in your home, Rustoleum has an extensive selection to choose from.

But before using this type of paint on any project, it’s important to know whether or not it is oil based.

In today’s post, we’ll answer the burning question: Is Rustoleum Spray Paint Oil Based? Let’s find out!

Is Rustoleum Spray Paint Oil Based?

Yes, Rust-oleum spray paint contains oil-based rust-resistant components in its formula, but not all are, as Rustoleum also makes water-based spray paints. The oil-based kind is preferred as it provides more adhesion and durability. Its versatility also makes it suitable for use on different surfaces.

What Type of Paint is Rust-oleum Spray Paint?

Rust-oleum is a paint manufacturing company that produces high-performance protective enamel paint for industrial purposes.

It was mainly designed as a surface spray paint to protect surfaces and materials to stop rust, making it a preferred choice by most people in coating surfaces.

If you want a smooth and even finish, you may consider using Rust-oleum’s spray paint over latex paint, ensuring proper surface preparation for optimal results. Additionally, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations for the best application and drying process.

The Rustoleum paint is used to repaint wood or any furniture that needs a paint coat. Its active ingredients include petroleum distillates and acetone, and just like every other spray paint, it comes in a spray can.

What is the Difference Between Oil-based and Water-based Spray Paint?

Whether spray paint is water-based or oil-based is dependent on what forms the liquid component or solvent of the paint.

This means if it is water-based, its solvent is water, while if it is oil-based, its solvent is turpentine, an organic mineral solvent.

Oil-based paints contain more organic solvents, which is why water-based spray paints release zero to low levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), making them safer to use compared to the more toxic oil-based spray paint.

Regardless, the fumes are not safe for inhalation. Follow this guide on home remedy for inhaling paint if the fumes get into your lungs.

Another distinctive feature between these paints is the time it takes for them to fully cure. Oil-based paints’ drying and curing times are longer than water-based spray paints, which makes more sense since water evaporates faster than oil.

The fact that oil-based paints leave smoother and long-lasting finishes than water-based spray paints makes them preferred.

What is Rust-oleum Oil Paint Used For?

The Rust-oleum paint is quite multipurpose as it can be used on various surfaces depending on the material, whether metal or wood.

It is known for providing excellent coverage, long-lasting protection, and smooth finishes on most surfaces it is used on. Some of its uses are:

  • To protect indoor and outdoor furniture (especially outdoor) from environmental changes like heat.
  • To provide durable color change for wooden items.
  • To recoat window

Check our article on “is rustoleum spray paint waterproof” or alternatively, what type of paint is best for exterior wood if you’re working on any outdoor project.

How Should I Apply Rust-oleum Paint?

The tools and materials needed to apply Rust-oleum paint include:

  • Cloth to clean the surface before application is done
  • A piece of cloth or paper to protect areas you do not want paint on
  • Oil-based primer
  • Hand gloves
  • A can of Rust-oleum spray paint

Application is done in the following steps:

Step 1: Begin with applying an oil-based primer

A primer specially formulated for oil-based paints should be applied to the surface before painting is done. This helps with giving a durable finish and should be used especially if you are using it on surfaces other than the ones listed on the can.

Step 2: Ensure the area is well-ventilated

Using this spray paint in areas with good airflow, relative humidity, and cooler temperatures is vital. This is because of its toxic fumes and the fact that it can be inflammable if close to any heat source or flame.

Step 3: Shake the can of the spray paint well

Continuously shake the can for a few minutes so the paint mixes evenly. This helps give you that smooth finish.

Step 4: Test the paint on a small piece of wood

You should do this to know how many coats you would need and the kind of color it will leave before using it on the main project.

Step 5: Start spraying from the edge in a thin coat

After cleaning the surface and wearing gloves, then from a distance of about 6-8 inches from the surface, spray the edges first and move into the area of the object. But can spray paint come off hands? Absolutely! By following a few simple procedures, you can remove the paint.

Step 6: Make sure to apply evenly

To prevent drips or uneven finish, apply even pressure while spraying.

Step 7: Allow the first coat to dry before applying another

You might need to apply a second coat, especially when you paint wood compared to other surfaces, to get twice the coverage.

So wait an entire day after the first coat so it adheres well. If there is a need for touching up, use an oil-based paint brush but be careful of brush strokes.

Wearing a mask is not optional when using this spray paint because of its strong odor and the fact that you might need a paint thinner.

What are the Pros and Cons of Using Oil-based Spray Paint?


  • The oil-based kind is durable and long-lasting, up to a hundred times more than the water-based. It doesn’t chip or peel and is resistant to harsh weather.
  • OIl-based spray paint gives full coverage, so you do not necessarily need a brush to go over it again.
  • It is easy to use outdoors.
  • It is also easy to clean up and does not take time.


  • The Rustoleum spray paint is not particularly cheap when it comes to being affordable.
  • It is quite flammable and more toxic than the water-based formula.
  • It comes in limited colors; hence the options are quite stream-lined.

What Other Kinds of Oil-based Spray Paint are there?

Enamel spray paint

This oil-based spray paint for wooden furniture, plastic, metal, and glass surfaces. It is quite resistant to moisture and leaves a hard paint layer.

It can be used without a primer and is mainly preferred for its vibrant colors and durability. The acrylic enamel paints are used for painting popular automotive as they give a premium acrylic finish designed for cars.

Oil-based spray primers

These spray primers work on surfaces compatible with oil-based or latex paints for interior and exterior surfaces. They help provide excellent coverage and help prevent peeling or blistering.

You can check here for more details on these oil-based spray primers or if you looking for the best clear coat for painted surfaces with latex.


Are all spray paints oil-based?

Spray paints are predominately oil-based paints, but not all of them are as there are water-based spray paints too. It is most times noted on the back of the spray paint can or in its name if a particular brand of spray paint has an oil-based formula or water-based.

How can I tell if spray paint is oil-based?

You can tell if spray paint is oil-based by reading the ‘cleanup’ instructions on the back of the can. If it mentions specifically cleaning with paint thinner or mineral spirits, it is oil-based as only paint thinners can erase oil-based spray paints.

Is Rustoleum a water-based paint?

Yes, Rust-oleum is also water-based spray paint. It also has spray paint with a water-based formula, even though most spray paints produced by this brand are oil-based. So depending on what you want to use it on determines what kind you should purchase.

How is Rustoleum different from other kinds of spray paint?

Rustoleum is different from other kinds of spray paint due to its rust-resistant components and its versatility to be used on almost any surface.

This characteristic makes it a preferred option as it also prevents and protects surfaces from harsh weather changes aside from serving as a paint coat. Since it can sometimes be thick, thinning Rustoleum paint is recommended to achieve a smoother application.

Is Rustoleum 2X oil-based?

No, it is a water-based variant of the Rust-Oleum spray paint. Rustoleum 2X spray paint is an acrylic enamel paint with no oil-based formula, which makes it different as it does not serve the same function other Rustoleum spray paints do.

Read: Can I Use Base Paint Without Tint?

Should I use oil-based or water-based spray paint?

Using oil-based or water-based spray paint depends on what project you want to work on. Generally, oil-based paints are better for outdoor projects or projects requiring high durability. In comparison, water-based paints are better for indoor painting jobs that do not require as much durability.

Can I use Rustoleum paint on my furniture?

Yes, Rustoleum paint can be used to paint furniture. However, testing the spray on a small surface area or a smaller piece of the same furniture is advised first to see if the paint will adhere to the furniture and how it comes out.

Is Rustoleum Spray Paint Oil Based? – Summary!

So now you know a thing or two about the Rust-oleum spray paint, and the difference between water-based and oil-based paints.

Remember always to read what the manufacturers write on the body of the cans, as it will help determine if it is suitable for the surface you want to use it on.

You would find purchasing your next spray paint and completing your next painting job a lot easier using Rustoleum spray paint.

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