Rustoleum Automotive Primer Review

Rust-Oleum or Rustoleum primer spray is a type of automotive primer that is applied to the surface or material before paint is applied to it to prevent rust, crack or peeling of the topcoat.

As we’ve seen in our previous post about primers and their functions, a primer refers to a paint-like substance that’s usually applied to the freshly sanded metal before the topcoat.

But in the case of Rustoleum, it doesn’t work for metals only, you can use it on metals, woods and even fibreglass surfaces.

It works perfectly and it does 2 in 1 job which involves sticking the paint to the surface and also helps prevent rust and moisture damage to your vehicle or automotive.

Is Rust-Oleum automotive primer lacquer or enamel?

If you read the article about automotive Primer, we discussed 8 kinds of automotive primers that we have and Rustoleum falls under one or two of them due to its bonding and rust prevention ability.

From our review, Rustoleum is a mixture of lacquer and enamel Primer products. You can also check this out when buying any of their primers.

Is Rust-oleum a Good Automotive Primer?

Yes, The Rust-Oleum® is mostly a 2-in-1 or more Primer that provides a tough, rust-inhibitive base for most brands of Automotive lacquers and enamels. For use on metal, wood and fibreglass surfaces.

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Other features include:

  1. Fills small scratches
  2. Acts as decoration for windows
  3. Can be wet coated, top coated and recoated when dry
  4. Stops rust
  5. Dry faster
  6. Creates Etching Effects on Glass
  7. Perfect for indoor and outdoor use on old wheelbarrows, wheel rims, patio furniture, railings and more
  8. Prevents abrasion, fading, chipping and dulling
  9. 5X stronger adhesion and durability

And lots more…

So, it depends on the surface you’re buying a Rust-oleum primer to work on that determines the feature that it’ll contain.

Do well to make enquires from the paint dealers before making a purchase to avoid getting a product that works for metals on a wooden object.

Although, the recommended surfaces to use a product are usually written under the Specification menu, while some are multi-purpose.

How Long do You Have to Wait to Paint over Rustoleum Primer?

There’s no specific time to wait before applying paint over Rustoleum primer as different products dry faster than the others.

Also, the environment in which the project is been conducted also plays affects the drying time.

But it’s necessary to give at least 20 mins – 1 hour for the Rust-oleum primer to be completely dried before applying paint.

How do you use Rust-Oleum automotive primer?

Before you apply rust oleum primer to any surfaces their some preparation you’ve to follow to get the best result for your vehicle, wood or glass.

Aside from the fact that it’s recommended to use an outdoor or a ventilated environment during the painting process, it’s also expedient to apply when the temperature is between 50-90°F (10- 32°C) and humidity is below 85% to ensure proper drying.

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Here are the steps to use a Rustoleum primer:

1. Surface Preparation:

This requires you to scrape, sand, clean and wipe the entire material surface with water or hard metals. Also, make sure your job is neat and free from any particles that might disturb the priming process.

2. Application:

Rustoleum primer can be applied either using a brush or spray gun, however, it’s required that you shake the content before usage. It usually doesn’t require you to mix or reduce it but you can decide to thin it using the Rust-Oleum Acetone at wish.

3. Allow to Dry:

once applied, you can give it 15 – 1 hour or more depending on the environment to dey properly before sanding or coating.

Clean up tools used in the process and avoid bringing fire close during this process to prevent fire outbreaks.

That’s all.

Do you Have to Sand Rustoleum Primer?

No, sanding isn’t required for most surfaces except on rare occasions where you have removed the uncovering bare metal. If you’re just lightly removing the top layer of paint then you can skip the primer stage.

This goes applies to any plastic or wooden surfaces as well. If you’re not removing paint down to the bare surface, then the primer is not relevant.

Can you use Rustoleum primer on Plastics?

Yes, they have products that work perfectly for plastic surfaces. All you have to do is check under the Specification menu of a Rustoleum primer product to see if it suits your project.

Where can I buy Rustoleum Primer Spray Paints?

Although Rust-oleum has an e-commerce site where they sell their spray system (Primer, Basecoat, and Clear) products, there are many resellers such as AutoZone, Advanced Auto Parts, Home Depot, life and home etc.

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But I won’t be going into that right now, I’ll be showing you the quickest way to purchase a Rustoleum primer spray from their official website and then how to also check if there’s an auto shop close to you that you can buy the product from.

  1. Navigate to (Automotive Primers) or{8342BD69-92B4-4AE3-B81E-59D6C9D115E0}&t=Primer&a=cbg&category=Product%20Types&value=Primer (Search All Primer Types)
  2. You’ll see a list of categories (Universal Bonding Primer, Universal Roof Primer, 2 in 1 sandable and fillable primer, Adhesion Promoter, Auto Body Primer, Engine Primer, Primer Sealer, Rusty Metal Primer, Self Etching Primer etc.) to choose from depending on the project you’re working on.
  3. Locate a preferred Rustoleum primer spray > Add to cart and checkout.

Rustoleum automotive primer


  • You can navigate to Google and type “ Rustoleum Automotive Primer “, “Rust-Oleum Automotive Primer” or “Shop Rustoleum primer near me
  • You’ll be shown filtered results based on your location

Rustoleum auto primer spray

You can then click on a website product that suits what you need and then proceed to checkout.

That’s it.

Is Rustoleum Primer Oil-Based or Water-Based?

Rustoleum Primer is mostly oil-based but you can apply both oil-based and water-based paints over it and it’ll still be perfect.


Now, you’ve seen quite a bunch concerning Rustoleum Automotive Primer sprays and how you can use their primers to get rid of rust and also create a stronger bond when painting your vehicles.

Also, it’s important to relay your project to the paint dealer so as to give you a primer that’ll be compatible with either metal, wood or glass surfaces.

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