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Surface preparation guide

Surface Preparation Guide

The most important step to surface preparation is to ensure that the surface is clean, dry and free from loose paint, rust, wax, oil or grease. Wash surface with an ordinary household detergent and dry. Remove any loose paint or rust with a wire brush, sandpaper or steel wool. Lightly sand glossy/ previously painted surfaces and wipe clean.

Remember, Rust-Oleum Universal Spray Paint can be painted directly onto any surface.

When using Rust-Oleum’s other spray paint products, a primer may be required depending on the surface being painted.

A primer, such as Rust-Oleum Surface Primer or Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer will provide a tight bond/ seal on a surface. It will also block stains/ discolouration and cover minor irregularities in the substrate to give a smoother and more uniform finish.


When painting wood
Smooth bare wood with sandpaper. Wipe clean with duster. Use Rust-Oleum Surface Primer to seal the surface. If wood has been painted previously, lightly sand the surface for better adherence.

When painting metal
Remove loose rust with a wire brush or sandpaper. Remove any oil with a degreaser. Rust-Oleum Rust Reformer can be used on rusted surfaces to instantly transform them into a smooth, paintable surface without the need for sanding and to prevent further rusting. Use Rust-Oleum Surface Primer to protect against rust and corrosion. Lightly sand previously painted surfaces.

Spray paint cans

When painting plastic
Ensure the surface to be painted is clean, then apply Rust-Oleum Plastic Primer, alternatively use Rust-Oleum Direct to Plastic spray paint. Lightly sand previously painted surfaces for better adherence.

When painting wicker
Ensure wicker is clean and dry prior to painting. Lightly sand previously painted surfaces for better adherence. For a better finish use Rust-Oleum Surface Primer before painting.

When painting glass or ceramic
Lightly sand surface with sandpaper – this allows paint to adhere better. Apply Rust-Oleum Surface Primer to further improve adhesion (glass will no longer be transparent if a primer is used).