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Does Rustoleum Need Primer? (Answered)

Primer is an excellent way to prepare the surface and make it smooth. Sometimes, you cannot paint or decorate the surface without a primer. Mainly, primer is a must if you deal with glass, plastic, or metal. It’s a great way to make the surface even and covers the holes.

But the good thing is that you don’t need to apply the primer for all the paint. Some paints come with self-priming options. So, you must know your surface and the paint type.

Does Rustoleum need primer?

Rustoleum doesn’t need any primer. You can apply the paint directly. However, using an extra coat of primer would be much appreciated, and you can do it accordingly without facing any issues. The Rustoleum paint will work better on the primer than on the uneven surface.

Let’s see if the below Rustoleum paints need any primer before applying them to the surface.

Rustoleum high heat spray paint:

The Rustoleum high heat spray paint doesn’t need any primer.

It works as paint and primer, so you don’t need to apply it with a primer. It has a high priming ingredient that smoothens the surface, makes it durable, and firmly sticks to the surface.

Rustoleum spray paint:

The Rustoleum spray paint doesn’t need the primer. But you can use the primer to get the best result.

It will give you a secure painting experience on every surface. However, you can directly spray over the glass and plastic or metal surface.

Rustoleum chalk paint:

Since you can directly use the Rustoleum chalk paint on the metal surface, you don’t need to apply a primer over the metal.

Because the Rustoleum chalk paint doesn’t need any primer, it can be used directly and will strongly stick to the surface.

Rustoleum bed liner paint:

You can use the Rustoleum bed liner paint without the primer. It will stick to the surface and give you a long-lasting coat on the surface. Since it contains high-quality ingredients, the Rustoleum bed liner paint doesn’t need primer.

Rustoleum 2x paint:

The Rustoleum 2x paint doesn’t need any primer. It has enough quality paint to use over the metal and other surfaces.

However, you should apply a primer over it to get the best service. It may give you years of painting finish with a perfect primer.

Rustoleum topside paint:

The topside paint needs a primer to stick to the surface firmly. You must apply the primer before using the topside paint on wood and metal. Otherwise, it will come off and won’t have a long-lasting effect.

Rustoleum implement paint:

The Rustoleum implement paint doesn’t need any primer; it will work directly on the metal.

But if you want to apply it on the wood surface, you should use the primer first and then apply the implement paint to make it durable. Otherwise, it might give you a short time solution.

Rustoleum stop rust paint:

The Rustoleum stop rust paint is a self-priming paint. Therefore, it doesn’t need any primer on the surface. If you work with painted wood or walls, you don’t need to have any primer on the surface. It will work pretty nicely.

Rustoleum painters’ touch paint:

The Rustoleum painter’s touch paint needs a primer if you use it on unfinished wood or rough surfaces. However, you don’t need to use it over the finished and painted surface. It will stick to them firmly for a long time.

3 reasons why Rustoleum doesn’t need a primer

You will find three reasons why Rustoleum doesn’t need a primer. They are:

Self Primer:

The Rustoleum is a self-primer which means it will work both as the paint and primer. Therefore, you don’t need to apply the primer before using it, although some surfaces and paint will ask for extra coating over the surface.

Covering Ability:

You can cover the area with the Rustoleum and even all the holes and uneven areas.

You don’t need to apply another primer because the Rustoleum will efficiently cover the surface evenly. That’s another reason why it doesn’t need any primer.


You need to apply the primer only if the paint is not adhesive and comes off the surface.

But the Rustoleum is a strong and adhesive paint that doesn’t need any primer’s help to stick to the surface. Therefore, you don’t need any primer to use the Rustoleum paint.

Does Rustoleum paint need primer on these surfaces?

Although Rustoleum doesn’t need a primer for most surfaces, some may require a primer over other surfaces.

On metal:

The Rustoleum paint needs a primer on the metal surface. You cannot use the regular paint over the metal surface since it will come off.

So, there’s a great drawback of using any paint on the metal since you must use the primer to let the paint stick to the surface firmly.

On wood:

The Rustoleum paint doesn’t need any primer on wood. It will firmly stick to the wood without the help of the primer, and you will love the finishing too.

However, if the surface is rough and has holes, you need to sand it properly and apply the Rustoleum paint.

On aluminum:

The Rustoleum paint needs a primer on aluminum and galvanized surfaces.

You cannot use the paint without it since it will automatically come off the surface. You need to use the primer coat. Then the surface will be ready to absorb the paint.

What happens if you paint Rustoleum on metal without primer?

If you paint Rustoleum on metal without a primer, in many cases, the metal will start to oxidize, which will lead to rust, and eventually, the metal will begin to break down.

Painting a metal surface without priming can rust and peel because the paint will not adhere to the metal. In the absence of adhesion between the paint and the surface, it will be tough for you to clean after it has dried.

Primer makes a line of products for covering and protecting metal surfaces. There are ways to use them on rusty metal, but they can only work if you first clean and prepare the surface. Metal can’t rust again because the primer and paint also protect it.

Which Rustoleum primer to use?

You should use Rust-Oleum Rust Rusty Metal Primer. Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer is good for metal that has been rusted a lot but hasn’t yet broken into pieces.

The Rust Reformer product is better when the object that has been rusted is almost unsalvageable, but it can still be cleaned.

They both make the surface more solid, making it easier for the paint to go on. Rust-Oleum Rust Rusty Metal Primer stops rust, which stops corrosion, to keep things from getting dirty.

Rust-Oleum stops rust from growing in your home. Clean Metal Primer should be used on metal that has been heavily rusted (clean or lightly rusted metal).

How do you use Rustoleum paint primer?

You can use Rustoleum paint primer by following some steps. They will give a thorough guideline to apply the primer without any skills or practical knowledge.

Clean & Sand:

You should first sand the surface with sandpaper. Then, you will get some dirt and dust on the surface that needs to be cleaned with a soft cleaner.

You can also use a regular cleaner to vacuum or clean the entire surface. You cannot use strong detergent or any abrasive material unless the surface demands it.

In a word, you must prepare the surface by cleaning and sanding. It will make the surface ready to absorb the paint perfectly; you will not regret using other paints on your prepared surface.

Apply the Primer:

Once the surface is ready and cleaned, you can start applying the primer soon.

You can use the Rustoleum spray paint primer to spray on the surface quickly and efficiently. Besides, the paintbrush will help you to cover the entire surface perfectly.

You can reach the corner and evenly distribute the paint primer on the surface to cover the holes and smoothen the surface. Especially when you intend to apply the primer on a metal surface, you must use a soft paintbrush to distribute the primer properly.

Dry & Use:

Once the primer is applied, it will dry in 24 hours. But the spray paint primer will take several hours to dry from the inside and be ready to touch and use within a few hours.

If you want to get the best protective layer on the surface, you should wait a minimum of 24 hours before using any paint on it.

Final Thoughts

Although Rustoleum doesn’t need primer, you can apply a single coat of primer to get the best surface to use the paint on. It will smoothen the surface and cover the holes and small damaged areas. Therefore, it is crucial to check the primer compatibility and then use it on the surface.