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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q:
Aren't all paints basically the same?
A:
No, different types of paints perform different functions. Some have better moisture resistance, some have better color and gloss retention, etc.

Q:
Can aerosol paints be applied to galvanized metal?
A:
No. The oil in the paint will react to the zinc and form a soapy gunk, which will result in poor adhesion of the paint.

Q:
Can I use Rusty Metal Primer on clean metal?
A:
No. The fish oil in the primer needs to penetrate into the rust to seal it from air and moisture. If there isn’t rust, the oil will rise to the surface, making adhesion of the finished coat difficult.

Q:
Can you paint aluminum?
A:
Yes. If you can rough-up the surface, you can probably paint it. The Rust-Oleum Stops Rust brush-on products are our best recommendation.

Q:
Can you paint fiberglass?
A:
Yes. If you can rough-up the surface, you can most likely paint the fiberglass. But if the surface flexes a lot, the paint may crack off.

Q:
Can you paint plastics?
A:
Yes. Rust-Oleum has a complete line of Paint for Plastic, including Hammered and Textured finishes. By using their Plastic Primer, you can apply one of hundreds of beautiful Rust-Oleum top coat colors. Rust-Oleum Universal also offers great coverage on plastic items.

Q:
Does it matter what type of brush you use with any type of paint?
A:
Generally, there are two types of paint brushes: those made of natural-hair bristles and those made with synthetic materials (usually nylon or polyester). Natural bristle brushes are preferred for use with solvent-based (oil- or alkyd-based) paints, especially for enamel or finish work. Natural bristles are hollow and can absorb the water contained in a latex paint, causing them to swell and become soft and limp (like your own hair when it’s wet). Most synthetic brushes work well with both latex and solvent-based paints, but always check the manufacturer's recommendations on the brush. Some of the solvents used in solvent-based paints can break down the composition of a synthetic bristle. Once again, check the label.

Q:
How should I care for my brush so that it maintains its performance level use after use?
A:
Clean it immediately after use with paint thinner or kerosene for bristle brushes, soap and water for nylon/polyester brushes. Use a brush comb to clean and straighten the bristles. Don’t soak your brushes for extended periods of time or they may loose their shape. If possible, store your brush by hanging it and don’t store a brush on its tips.

Q:
Is an expensive brush really that much better than a cheap one?
A:
High quality or more expensive brushes have distinct advantages over the cheaper ones. First of all, a high quality brush will finish the job more quickly. This is because a top-quality brush has the ability to "hold" more paint in reservoir, which means you will spend less time "painting the can" than applying the paint to the surface. Also, a top-quality brush will have a tapered end, which means there are shorter bristles on the outside and longer bristles in the center. Tapered bristles give the painter more control over where and how much paint goes onto the surface. A top-quality brush will also not shed bristles like a cheaper brush, because of how firmly the bristles are seated in the ferrule (the metal band that attaches the bristles to the handle). The quality of a brush is also determined by the material used as plugs (space plugs inside the ferrule that bond the bristles in the ferrule, add taper to the bristles, and finally create "wells" in the center of the bristles to hold paint) in the ferrule.

Q:
My can of oil based paint seems a little thick. Can I thin it?
A:
Yes. For brush or roller applications, use mineral spirits. For spray gun applications, use V.M.P. Naphtha.

Q:
What can I use to thin water-based acrylics?
A:
Water.

Q:
What product should I use to paint galvanized steel?
A:
Any of the Rust-Oleum Stops Rust products, such as Stops Rust Protective Enamel brush-on.

Q:
What product should I use to paint my cement yard statues?
A:
Any of the Rust-Oleum Stops Rust products, such as Stops Rust Protective Enamel brush-on.

Q:
What type of brush should I use if both oil- and water-based paints are being applied?
A:
Nylon and polyester blend paint brushes work well in both oil- and water-based paints.

Q:
When purchasing paint, I've been asked if I want flat, high gloss, satin and even an eggshell finish. What do these terms mean and does it really make any difference what kind of finish I have?
A:
These terms refer to the sheen or gloss level of the paint and, yes, it does make a difference which one you use. The sheen or gloss level simply means the degree of light reflectance of the paint. The terms you mention are ones that various manufacturers use to describe the shininess of their products. Your local independent paint retailer can recommend the type of gloss you need for your particular paint project.

Q:
Why do I have to wait between applying a second coat?
A:
You should wait between coats in order to avoid wrinkling, which is when paint folds or crinkles. If it’s too late and you need to repair your paint job, scrape or sand off wrinkles, wait the recoat time, and reapply a thin coat.
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