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Is Rustoleum Spray Paint Waterproof? (The Real Truth)

Is Rustoleum spray paint waterproof logo

Rustoleum is a dependable brand that’s considered one of the pillars of the industry. It’s not surprising then that it’s the go-to product for the pros, homeowners, and handicraft hobbyists.

And for most of these people spray paints are extremely handy.

Some of the surfaces people need to paint are outdoors, and they need to know whether these paints can stand heavy rains.

Thus, I frequently hear the question; is Rustoleum spray paint waterproof?

Yes, rustoleum spray paint is actually waterproof and can be used on outdoor surfaces, boats, metallic structures, wood, and various other surfaces.

What Is Rustoleum Spray Paint Made Of?

Rustoleum paints have been around for more than 100 years. The company started, it was as a result of a brilliant observation.

Sea captain Robert Fergusson observed that when fish oil spilled over the ship deck, the metallic parts of the boat didn’t rust.

This became the base of the protective paints that Rustoleum produced from then on. Oil-based paints have a huge capability of sealing surfaces.

But of course, that’s not enough. To provide optimal properties for outdoor protection, additional chemical substances have to be added.

The following are some of the main components of Rustoleum 250081 Outdoor Clear Gloss Spray:  

  • Dipropylene glycol monomethyl ether
  • N-Methyl 2-Pyrrolidone
  • Dipropylene Glycol Monobutyl Ether
  • bis(1,2,2,6,6-Pentamethyl-4-Piperidinyl) Sebacate
  • Dimethylethanolamine
  • Polymeric Benzotriazole
  • Polymeric Benzotriazole

These are plastics and solvents that help the paint in weathering extreme environmental conditions, staying stable, drying quickly, and offering high protection from UV radiation.

Rustoleum is among very few paints that waterproof surfaces effectively. Whether it’s wood, metal, or concrete, it provides high protection against the elements.

The secret sauce here is all the chemicals that form a rugged protective layer as the paint cures.  

chemicals that are used in Rustoleum spray paint

What Is The Key Component That Makes Rustoleum Waterproof?

The polymer component of Rustoleum contributes significantly to it being a waterproof paint.

It should be noted though, that these polymers need supporting chemical substances to perform well as a sealant.

In simpler terms, if the label on the container mentions high gloss, enamel, polyurethane, or sealant, then the paint should be water-resistant.

This is a bit different from fully waterproof, which largely depends on the topcoat applied.

Another indicator that the paint is waterproof, is the clear indication that it can be used outdoors.

Some manufacturers write that as “UV and weather resistance”, which is also an indicator that this paint is water-resistant/waterproof.

Additionally, if the paint is good for usage on a boat exterior, then it’s definitely waterproof!

This is among the good leads that help with the selection process.

It’s worth mentioning that the process of applying the paint itself bears a lot of weight in the final outcome.

Proper prep work, priming, diligent painting, and a sealant topcoat should make a surface highly durable.

A surface would certainly be more waterproof once it gets that royal treatment.

Where Is Rustoleum Spray Paint Commonly Used?

There are various Rustoleum spray paints, and each one is designed for a specific job. Even if the spray has a general label of “outdoors”, it’s still tailored for more specific duties.

Thus, it’s always wise to know the capabilities and properties of each paint before applying it.

Additionally, paints come with different finishes, which would affect the aesthetics of your project.

A matt finish is definitely very different from a high gloss one. So this is another point that should be taken into consideration.

One of the best is Rustoleum 250081 Outdoor Clear Gloss. This is a shiny paint with a water-based composition that dries fast and provides high coverage.

Unlike similar glossy paints, this one doesn’t yellow over time, it remains crystal clear.

More importantly, it gives great protection to wooden surfaces from the sun, rain, and bad weather. And on top of that, it looks absolutely glam.

This spray paint is best used on these surfaces:

  • Fences and outdoor structures
  • The exteriors of boats
  • Garden furniture
  • Patios and porches
Meatal fence painted with Rustoleum waterproof spray paint

Rustoleum 7215830 Hammered Spray Paint

Another amazing product is the Rustoleum 7215830 Hammered Spray Paint. This textured decorative layer is also quite effective in sealing surfaces. It works like a charm on concrete, metal, wood, and masonry.

The oil-based formula is quite effective in preventing rust and corrosion, so it’s particularly useful if you’re covering a metallic surface, or a surface with mixed wooden and metallic materials.

It offers wide coverage, so you can get a lot done with a single container. And once your surface is finished, it shouldn’t take too long to cure.

The hardened paint is sturdy and would stand strong in the face of tough weather, chipping, and abrasion. It also retains its appearance and barely fades, even after a few years of exposure.

This paint is quite versatile, and not just in the range of materials it can cover. It’s also perfectly suitable for use outdoors and indoors.

Here’s where this spray would be most handy:

  • Covering wrought iron and wood furniture
  • Painting any outdoor structures
  • Giving lighting fixtures extra protection
  • Covering exterior walls
  • Painting garage doors
  • Covering fences with stone, wood, and metal parts 

How Long Does Rustoleum Spray Paint Need To Dry Before Rain?

Rain falling on a paint that hasn’t fully dried is among the worst things that could happen to a surface. It compromises the properties of the paint as well as its appearance.

Thus, many manufacturers design outdoor paints with short drying and curing times.

Rustoleum offers some of the most practical drying times compared to other products. There’s no specific figure, as it’s highly dependent on the type of spray used.

On average, Rustoleum spray paints take around 15-30 minutes to dry.

Some specialized spray paints could take 2-4 hours to dry, and others need a second coat. To fully cure, paints need a minimum of three days.

Generally, the pros leave it for a week.

Thus, if you’re applying Rustoleum spray paint outdoors, you’d better get things done seven days before the rains start coming down. 

How Long Will The Spray Paint Remain Waterproof For?

Water droplets falling on paint

From practical experience, most users know that protective spray paints remain waterproof for around ten years.

Most manufacturers only suggest that longevity, but they might not give a figure for exactly how long the paint should last.

That’s because there are tons of other factors that affect the effectiveness of the process. 

Here are some of them:

  1. The preparation of the surface and subsequent priming.
  2. The materials used in priming and base coats.
  3. How the paint is applied. Coverage and thickness matter.
  4. The suitability of the paint selected for a specific application.
  5. The topcoat that’s applied.
  6. The drying process.
  7. The weather conditions after the paint is applied.
  8. Whether or not any touch-ups are added later on. 

Clearly, each one of these points presents a variable that could make or break the waterproofing of a surface. If all the burden was on the spray paint, then it would be fair to expect a guarantee.

However, this is not the case, and I’m not terribly surprised that these paints don’t come with one.

Contrary to that, paints made specifically for waterproofing, like Rustoleum WATERTITE-LX Mold & Mildew-Proof have a 20-year waterproof warranty, plus a 10-year guarantee against mold and mildew growth.

Are There Any other Waterproof Spray Paints On The Market?

Besides Rustoleum, there are a few other spray paints that are worth mentioning. The Krylon brand is incredible, and it has been in the market for ages.

From the day it hit the markets in 1947 till today, this is one of the most reliable and innovative paints you can work with.

The Krylon K02705007 Fusion All-In-One Spray Paint is as versatile as they get. It works equally well indoors and outdoors, it comes in various finishes, and it’s a budget-friendly product.

The clear gloss variety is no-yellowing, provides wide coverage, and dries quickly. Thus, you can use it on any project from tiny wooden shapes, and DIYs, to more sophisticated coverings of large metallic surfaces.

Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Spray

Another interesting product is the Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Spray. It’s a general-purpose spray paint that you can apply to almost any surface.

It’s a rubbery film that locks out humidity, air, and any internal leakage.

This takes waterproofing to the next level

This rugged spray paint would stay viable in extreme conditions, around tough weather, and a scorching sun. It has a temperature rating that goes from -40°F to 160°F, which is awesome.

It also makes it a good option for industrial and commercial spaces. 

In domestic settings, it’s often used on gutters, roofing, windows, large recreational vehicles, DIYs, and PVC pipes. As I said, it’s versatile!

About Lisa Bohrer

Lisa is a native Texan who says she wears many hats. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, farmer, animal lover, fisherwoman, gardener, and college student. Lisa is a sophomore at Liberty University where she is taking classes to earn her Associates Degree in Creative Writing. She and her husband of 35 years fill their days with life on the farm raising goats and chickens, and then most evenings she can be found at the computer writing, or researching a topic that has piqued her interest.

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