Rustoleum or Tremclad Paint on Fiberglass? (Does It Work?)

When you don't like the color or the look of any item, simply paint it. Paint will make almost anything look new again, even fiberglass. Plus, painting doesn’t always take a long time and sometimes one coat will do the job well.

The results you get will depend on how much prep work you do before you start applying the paint. They say that painting with these options, prep is 80% of the work. Also, you need to make sure you use the right kind of Rustoleum paint. Not every option is good for fiberglass.

To learn more about this topic just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to consider prior to venturing out and doing this project on your own. You will also find that there will be more than enough differing opinions on this subject to confuse you.

Can Tremclad Be Used On Fiberglass?


We were going to save this information for later but it is best to get it out now. Tremclad paint is owned and manufactured by Rustoleum. You can see it for sale on the Rustoleum website found at this link.

Technically, we will be talking about the same type of paint throughout this article no matter the brand name used. According to the information on that web page, you can use Tremclad to paint fiberglass.

The big box at the top of the page says two little magic words-- ‘and more’. They are not specifically saying you can or you can’t use this brand to paint fiberglass. The company is just saying it is possible.

The word of caution we have for you is to read the labels on the cans to make sure. Not all Tremclad paint options will work on fiberglass so you will have to find the specific type to get the job done.

Then if the label is not clear, talk to the paint experts at different paint stores. These experts should point you in the right direction and cut your research time down so you can get to the right paint option for your fiberglass project.

Will Tremclad Stick To Fiberglass?

It is possible. Like any other paint brand, the results you get will depend on the amount of prep work you do beforehand. You would have to make sure the fiberglass area to be painted is free of dirt and very clean.

Then you would have to use very fine sandpaper, above 220 grit, to score the material while removing wax and other surface materials. Some people use a primer coat prior to using the paint coat and this first coat may be what the Tremclad paint will stick to and not the fiberglass itself.

You can use an orbiter sander to do the sanding, just keep the pressure light to avoid any deep scarring. If you put too much pressure on the sander or sandpaper, you will end up with deep scratches that will need to be filled first before painting.

What you have to watch out for is the fact that fiberglass is a general term covering many different types of fiberglass resins. Each resin has its own properties and what works with one type may not work with another.

With this said, there are as many people advising against using Tremclad paint as there are for it. Their reasons seem legitimate and their point of view needs to be taken into account before you start.

Suffice it to say, there are better options than Tremclad paint.

Can You Use Tremclad To Paint a Canoe?


Anything is possible when it comes to most paint brands. The results you get may differ from someone else’s results. For example, one person did just this but he did not wait for the paint to fully cure before using the item he painted.

The new paint chipped off fairly quickly in some areas. After a couple of months, he noticed that the paint did not come off at all. What this means is that if you are going to use Tremclad paint to paint a canoe, you need to be patient and let the paint fully cure before using the watercraft.

If Tremclad makes a marine paint, the Rustoleum brand does, then that would be the best option for a canoe. However, it is not known if that marine paint comes in a spray can or not. Hopefully not because it is said that spray can paint is not as effective as other paint types.

Now if you are going to let your canoe sit in the water for long periods of time, Tremclad is known to peel off under these circumstances. You would want a better paint to handle the task when you are not going to dry dock your canoe for weeks or even months.

Can I Use Rustoleum Paint On Fiberglass?

Again, this is a possibility as Rustoleum paint company seems to make a paint that covers plastic items like fiberglass doors, etc. This paint option comes in a spray can and as a regular paint liquid that you need to use a paintbrush.

People are reporting good results when they have used this brand of paint to handle their fiberglass painting projects. Others have suggested that you use a marine paint option also made by Rustoleum. It seems that type of paint will stick better to fiberglass than other types the company makes.

When painting a canoe or other type of boat, you should go with the marine paint made by Rustoleum to get the best results and the best protection possible. What you have to be careful of is the spray paint can options.

They may or may not work even with good prep work done before spraying. Some people say that you do not get a wide enough spray pattern with a can and you should use a regular paint sprayer to get the best results.

Which paint you use the price of the paint may be your biggest influence. But spraying fiberglass is not a project to cut corners and save only a couple of dollars.

Does Rustoleum Tub And Tile Work On Fiberglass?


It seems that this paint option is a very good paint to use on fiberglass. it is made for plastic and that is one of the good aspects of using a Rustoleum brand paint. The company has done its research and development work well and has come up with different types of paint to cover all your projects.

But, before you rush out to buy a can or two of this paint, you need to do the proper prep work. This paint is no different from other paint types. The prep work you do will determine your final results and if the completed job looks good or not.

The advice is to follow the instructions to the letter, do proper sanding and take no shortcuts. Instructions are supposed to be in the package or kit when you buy it. That will make sure you know what to do when you get home.

Also, the Rustoleum web page for this product does say it is good for fiberglass. The key to using this paint seems to be in the word ‘indoors’. This paint option does not seem to be made for outside applications.

Make sure to read the can first to see if you can use it outside or not. Also, pretreat using a household cleanser.

Can Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy Be Used On Fiberglass?

Some people say you can but it is always best to go to the horse’s mouth and get the correct information. While some people may have had success using this product on fiberglass, they may not have told the whole story.

According to Rustoleum’s website and the specific product page for this paint, it is not made for use on fiberglass. The words in the ad that exclude fiberglass are ‘specifically formulated for metal surfaces.’ We left a keyword out, that sentence should read indoor metal surfaces.

If you are going to paint fiberglass surfaces that are outside, you shouldn’t use this product. Now the people who contradict the company on this topic say it is all in the prep work. They may be on to something and have some success.

But you may not duplicate that success so it is best to follow the instructions the maker gives for its products. Also, if you read further, this paint is not made to be placed on surfaces that will be exposed to heat.

If you want to be safe rather than sorry, then you should find a specific paint type made for fiberglass and follow all instructions carefully.

Can You Paint Rustoleum On Fiberglass Car Bodies?


There is a Rustoleum paint type you can use on the fiberglass body of your car. Some people do not like this option especially if you are going to use a spray can paint. They raised some good reasons in the defense of their position but in the end, it is possible.

What one person did was buy the color they wanted in gloss form and then they also bought Rustoleum’s auto primer spray paint and a bottle of acetone. You use Rustoleum primer for compatibility reasons and use dark primer when your car is a dark color and light when it is not.

Then, you are back to the prep work. You will need to sand the fiberglass as well as fill in any holes or deep scrapes with bondo. Sand that down and let dry thoroughly. Don’t forget to tape off or remove parts you don't want to be painted.

Then you need to clean the car and do the sanding work. These tasks may be boring and tedious to do but they have to be done. The good news is you do not have to sand everything off. Just sand enough so that the primer and paint have something to adhere to.

This will take work and time so do not rush it.

Can You Use Rustoleum Rust Remover On a Fiberglass Boat?

Most likely you can. We have not seen anyone say they have used that particular type of paint on their fiberglass items. Fiberglass doesn't rust so the question to ask and answer yourself is that paint is needed.

Fiberglass will get rust stains but those are easily removed through using different household products. For example, baking soda will remove the rust stain, and then you can paint the fiberglass area to make it look good again.

Plus, you do not need to apply a lot of pressure as that would lead to damaging the fiberglass as the stain is removed. Or you can use bleach, vinegar, or acetone to get rid of the stain. The choice of product is up to you.

Some people have asked if they can use a Magic Eraser to remove the stain. Yes, it is possible to do but there may be some ingredients inside that cleanser that may damage your, your family’s, and your pet’s health.

You should use this product with care. When the stain is gone, just use a Rustoleum paint type made for fiberglass. Using the rust remover may be overkill and more expensive than you want to spend.

What Paint Will Stick To Fiberglass?


When it comes to Rustoleum spray can products, there are at least three options you have available. There will be more if you look beyond the spray can type but in this section, we will focus on just the spray can options.

1. Rust-Oleum 245196 All Surface Spray Paint

The key is in the words ‘all surface’. When you get that word all you know is there is no surface that is being excluded. That includes fiberglass. Once dry the paint should prevent chipping, corroding, and fading.

The design of the can and the trigger makes it easy for the hands to use, even if you have arthritic fingers or joints. Plus, you can continue spraying upside down if you need to. Then you can get this type of paint in a variety of colors.

As with other paints, you need to prep the fiberglass surface very well before applying the paint.

2. Rust-Oleum 280882 Tub Spray Paint

We mentioned this product earlier and it does come in a spray format so you can go a little faster than normal when painting. This is a spray can type that is strongly recommended for fiberglass and will give you a porcelain-type finish.

Also, it is not supposed to peel, crack or discolor. Once on you get that great look you always wanted on any fiberglass surface. The painting process is supposed to be mess-free as well.

The two drawbacks are, one, this paint can be fairly expensive. Some comparison shopping is in order before you buy. Then, two, when covering dark paint colors you may need to put on several coats.

3. Rust-Oleum 245217 All Surface Spray Paint

What sets this spray paint option apart from #1 is its texture. Not only is it supposed to be eye-catching but it has a look of being hammered onto the surface of the fiberglass. Its opaque color helps hide any imperfections your fiberglass surfaces have.

Then the oil base paint is not supposed to chip or crack even when sprayed onto fiberglass. The can comes with the same easy-to-use trigger and spray design #1 has. The ergonomic design is easy on the hands and fingers. Plus, you can spray paint from any angle to make sure you do not ruin the paint already on the fiberglass item.

If you are looking for other types of paint, acrylic is recommended as a good paint type option. It is supposed to adhere to fiberglass quite well. Plus, it is strong enough to endure cleaning, while not cracking or blistering.

Then a good marine paint will handle fiberglass quite well. They are made more for fiberglass boats but they should adhere to just about any fiberglass surface you may have. Not to be glib, but check out the different cans of paint at your local paint outlet. The ones that say are made for fiberglass will work well.

That is if you prep the surface correctly.

Some Final Words

Painting fiberglass is a challenge. But if you get the right paint and do the prep work correctly, your painting time should go a lot smoother. Plus, you should have a good choice of colors making matching different colors very easy to do.

The key will be in taking your time and being careful as you do not want to damage the fiberglass.

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