Can You Paint Your RV With Rustoleum?

Can You Paint Your RV With Rustoleum?

Are you thinking about doing a DIY RV paint job using Rustoleum? We have all the correct answers for you. A DIY paint job takes a lot of time and effort but can take your RV from a rusty old van to a fabulous ride.

Paint can drastically improve your ride and completely alter its look. It makes even the oldest rigs look new and shiny. An exterior job might even help increase the resale value and get you into RV parks with the 10-year rule.

Let’s look at everything about Rustoleum and how you can completely change your RV to look like a new model using DIY methods.

What is Rustoleum?

Rustoleum manufactures protective paints and coatings for industrial and home use. It has been around for over one hundred years and provides a wide variety of protective coating paints for all services. Their top brands include:

  • American Accents
  • Automotive
  • Peel Coat
  • Rocksolid
  • Stops Rust
  • Modern Masters
  • Painter’s Touch
  • Parks
  • Watco
  • Varathane
  • Wipe New
  • Wolman
  • Zinsser
  • Mathys
  • Metallic Accents, and more.

They offer both oil-based and water-based paints. However, their oil-based varieties are more popular due to their better coverage and finish than water-based paints. In addition, they provide a glossy coating and combat cracking, fading, and rust build-up.

Can You Paint An RV With Rustoleum?

If you’re wondering about a DIY paint job for your RV using Rustoleum paints, you can do that. You can use Rustoleum mains to coat and paint your RV partially or entirely. It is an industrial enamel paint that you can use for your DIY paint jobs.

The paint is very durable for your RV and can last for a couple of years if you take good care of it. There are several varieties and color palettes to choose from. Whether you want an oil-based paint or a water-based one, you can pick Rustoleum.

A DIY paint job is not a complicated task for any RV owner. It requires minimal prep work and choices that you have to make before you start working on your RV. 

Here are some steps you need to go through before you finally begin your Rustoleum DIY:

Steps For Prep Work

Whether you’re choosing to work with oil-based or water-based Rustoleum, there are some things you need to take care of. If you do not follow these basic preparation steps, you will most likely go wrong somewhere in your DIY.

Firstly, fix any dents before proceeding with your paint job. If you skip this step, all your dents and dings will show on your RV’s body afterward. Secondly, wash the entire RV and ensure no residue is left behind. Next, you need to tape over all the windows and lights to ensure that no paint gets over them.

Then you need to prep the metal with an etching primer. Next, ensure no bumps or bruises remain on your RV’s surface. Lastly, make sure the temperature outside isn’t too hot.

Decals: Should You Keep Them?

Decals are very tricky when you want a paint job on your RV. If you’re going to paint over your decals, you will have a line in the paint that is of the sticker’s shape. However, some people don’t mind the line as it is not visible from a distance.

However, if your decals start to chip off, they may cause problems. They may also peel off later or cause a defect in the overall job. Therefore, keeping or removing your decals is entirely up to you. If you ask us, we would recommend you remove them.

Thin the Paint

If you are using an air sprayer, you may use one quart of paint thinner to thin around three quarts of Rustoleum paint. However, the amount of paint thinner used for foam rolling is different.

For instance, if you’re using additional paint for touch-ups before sanding the color, you might need more paint than just a few quarts. However, foam rollers require wet sanding between coats, so weigh your paint and thin it properly.

Foam Roll or Air Spray?

It is not a hard pick for us. Air spray is preferred among all DIYers. It saves you from doing a minimum of three coats with wet sanding. However, if you want an extra solid base, you can choose to paint those three layers with an air spray.

Both options have their pros and cons. For example, air sprays do not self-level as well as foam rollers do. On the other hand, foam rollers take time to apply. It can take a whole day to get one coat, with up to three people.

In both cases, it takes a week for the paint to cure. If you need to do multiple coats, you will have to wait at least a week if you need to sand any drips.

Tools Needed

First and foremost, once your RV is washed, you need to seal the windows and cracks. Therefore, you will need a sealant for your RV. Secondly, if you decide to remove the decals, you will need a heat gun. Furthermore, you also need a decal remover, a degreaser, and a razor blade.

You can choose between rollers, brushes, and automotive spray paints.

Is It Worth It?

If your RV desperately needs a paint job with chipped paints, decals, or discolorations, an RV paint job with Rustoleum is worth it. If you want to give your RV a new look, you can also do that with a fresh coat of paint.


Painting your RV is a hectic job but brings a new look in your ride. With the new options and color palettes for your ride, you can easily take out a few days from your routine and get it done in no time.

Most importantly, the final look of your RV depends on your base. So prep well for your paint job, and prime the base. Sand your coats to perfection and take your time to paint the best coats you can.

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

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