Can Rustoleum Paint Be Tinted?

With a wide range of paint finishes and speciality products, Rustoleum offers solutions for home improvement, crafting, automotive, and industrial applications. One common question Rustoleum users have is whether or not their paints can be tinted to custom colors. The short answer is yes – many Rustoleum formulations can accept tinting colorants to achieve custom-tinted paint colors. However, there are some limitations depending on the specific product line.

This comprehensive guide’ll cover everything you need to know about tinting Rustoleum paints.

Can Rustoleum Paint Be Tinted

Rustoleum Paint Lines

With so many different types of coatings, it’s important to understand Rustoleum’s paint lines before tinting. Here’s a quick overview of some of their most popular paints:

  • Rustoleum Chalked Paint – Soft matte chalk-finish paint ideal for furniture and crafts. Available in small craft sizes.
  • Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint – Transforms surfaces into a useable chalkboard. Has a matte finish.
  • Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations – An all-in-one painting system for renovating cabinets and furniture.
  • Rustoleum Universal Paint – Advanced acrylic formula bonds to difficult surfaces. Available in metallic sheens.
  • Rustoleum Concrete Floor Paint – Durable indoor/outdoor concrete masonry floor coating.
  • Rustoleum Countertop Transformations – Epoxy-acrylic resurfacing kit for outdated countertops.
  • Rustoleum NeverWet – Hydrophobic protection creates super-repellent surfaces.
  • Rustoleum Professional Grade Spray – Industrial, high-performance spray enamels and primers.
  • Rustoleum Automotive – High heat, oil-based enamels for automotive/marine applications.
  • Rustoleum Multicolor Textured Spray – Unique multicolored textured spray paints.
  • Rustoleum Specialty Sprays – Specialty spray paints like glitter, neon, metallic, primer, enamel.
  • Rustoleum High Heat and BBQ Paints – Heat-resistant spray paints rated for grills and stoves.

Other speciality products include wood stains, deck restore kits, epoxy shields, and peel coatings. With this diversity, only certain Rustoleum paint lines are suitable for tinting custom colors.

Which Rustoleum Paints Can Be Tinted?

Out of Rustoleum’s wide range of coatings, these are the most commonly tinted:

  • Chalked Paint – Available in 30 colors, but the Deep Base is tintable.
  • RockSolid Floor Coatings – Concrete floor tint bases accept universal colorants.
  • Cabinet Transformations – Tintable base to customize the white primer/basecoat.
  • Universal All-Surface Paint – The white base accepts tinting colors for custom colors.
  • Concrete & Garage Floor Paint – Tintable base for interior/exterior concrete.
  • Professional Spray Paint – Certain industrial enamels come in tintable bases.
  • Topside Marine Paint – Tintable using marine paint tinting colors.
  • Aerosol Enamels – Oil-based enamels can be tinted.
  • Tractor & Implement Enamel – Tintable enamel sold through Tractor Supply.

So while not every Rustoleum formulation is suitable for tinting, they offer several options. The most compatible are their water-based acrylic and oil-based enamel paints. Paints like chalked, textured, or specialty coats may also not accept tints.

Always check the specific product details before attempting to tint Rustoleum paints. Most tintable options will be advertised as such.

Tinting Base Options for Rustoleum Paint

Start with a Rustoleum tinting base or tintable formula for the best tinting results. Here are some of the most popular options:

Rustoleum Ultra Matte Paint Tint Base

This interior/exterior acrylic paint base comes in quarts, gallons, and 5-gallon sizes. It provides excellent adhesion and a soft matte finish. The white base can be tinted to achieve thousands of custom matte colors.

Rustoleum Concrete & Garage Floor Paint Tint Base

This water-based acrylic floor coating is designed for indoor/outdoor concrete surfaces. It comes in gray and white bases in 1-gallon cans. Accepts universal colorants for concrete floor custom colors.

Rustoleum RockSolid Floor Coating Tint Base

Rustoleum’s advanced concrete floor coating kits come in tintable white base options. Use their RockSolid tinting colors for proper mixing.

Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations Tint Bases

The white basecoat primer of the Cabinet Transformations kits can be tinted before applying the protective clear topcoat.

Rustoleum Professional Tintable Spray Paint Base

Several industrial Rustoleum Professional spray paints come in tintable bases like this oil-based universal enamel. Useful for machinery, tools, and more.

Rustoleum Marine Topside Paint Tint Base

Rustoleum offers several topside marine paint tinting bases for boat painting, including gloss, semi-gloss, and satin finishes.

Tinting Colorants for Rustoleum Paint

Choosing the right tinting colorants is important for proper tinting results. Here are some guidelines:

  • Use Rustoleum Tints – For products like Cabinet Transformations and RockSolid floors, use Rustoleum’s own tinting kits.
  • Universal Colorants – Most latex and oil-based paint bases accept universal point-of-sale tinting colors.
  • Avoid Mixing Brands – Stick to Rustoleum tints when possible. Mixing brands is riskier.
  • Marine Tinting Colors – For marine topside paint, use specialty marine paint tinting colorants.
  • Enamel Colortants – Oil-based enamels take universal enamel tinting colors best.
  • Ask Store Associates – Consult store paint desk experts when unsure about compatibility.

Using the right tinting colorants designed for the specific base paint will provide reliable, consistent tinting results.

How to Tint Rustoleum Paints

Tinting Rustoleum paints is a straightforward process when done properly:

  1. Choose Tintable Product – Select a Rustoleum base like Chalked Deep Base, Floor Paint Tint Base, etc.
  2. Select Color – Browse color cards/chips to choose custom tint color.
  3. Tint in Store – Take to paint counter for store associate to add tint.
  4. Mix Thoroughly – Mix for 5+ minutes to fully incorporate tinting colorants.
  5. Check Color – Verify tinted color matches selection before leaving store.
  6. Apply as Normal – Allow proper dry times and apply tinted paint as normal.

It’s always smart to test tinted paints on scrap material first to confirm the custom color before fully committing to a project. Tinting does come with some risk of unintended results.

Tinting Rustoleum Chalk Paints

Rustoleum’s popular Chalked chalk-finish paint is a top choice for DIY furniture makeovers and crafts. Here are some tips for tinting Chalked paints:

  • Use Deep Base – The deep tintable base provides the most flexibility.
  • Only Tint Latex Base – The “ultra matte” Chalked paint base accepts tints best. The soft touch chalk paint does not.
  • Limit Intensity – Pastels and lighter tints work best. Intense tints are riskier.
  • Test First – Chalk paint tinting can be less predictable than typical paint.
  • Mix Thoroughly – Mix for 5-10 minutes after adding tint to disperse color fully.

When tinting Chalked paint, limit tint levels to 2 ounces or less per gallon for more subtle, soft tinted chalk paint colors.

Tinting Rustoleum Cabinet/Furniture Paint Kits

Rustoleum makes several all-in-one paint kits for refinishing cabinets, furniture, and other surfaces. Two options that can be tinted include:

Cabinet Transformations

This popular cabinet paint kit comes with tintable white primer/basecoat. To tint:

  • Only Tint Basecoat – Not the topcoat. Tinting is for the white primer step.
  • Use Universal Tints – Standard point-of-sale tinting colors at paint stores.
  • Follow Mixing Instructions – Mix thoroughly and check color before applying.
  • Light Tints Work Best – Dark custom colors are harder to achieve.
  • Test First – Tinting the primer may influence the final topcoat color.

Tinting allows for custom colored cabinets without buying specific color kits. Note that grain and wood tones may still show through lighter tints.

Furniture Paint Kit Tint Bases

Rustoleum now offers tintable bases for its Ultimate Furniture Paint Kit as well. Similar guidelines apply:

  • Tint Basecoat Only – The clear topcoat should not be tinted.
  • Universal Tinting Colors – Use standard paint tint colors.
  • Pastel Tints Ideal – Deep or bright tints are riskier.
  • Test On Wood First – Ensure tint works with wood undertones before fully committing.

Overall, tinting furniture paint kits takes proper care but can provide custom colored finishes.

Key Tips for Successfully Tinting Rustoleum

Tinting Rustoleum paint does come with some inherent risk. Certain products may tint better than others. To get the best results:

  • Always check product details before tinting. Only tint compatible bases.
  • For light, soft tints, limit tint oz. levels to 2 oz. or less per gallon.
  • Pastel, muted tints tend to work better than intense hues.
  • Thoroughly mix for at least 5 minutes after adding tint.
  • Use the right tinting colorants for the specific product.
  • Test tinted paints first before fully committing to a project.
  • Be aware of how base colors like white vs. gray affect the end tint.
  • Ask store paint counter associates when unsure about a product.

While tinting Rustoleum isn’t always perfect, following these tips will provide the best chance for success. Properly tinted Rustoleum can deliver beautiful custom paint colors.

Tinted Rustoleum vs. Other Brands of Tinted Paint

How does tinted Rustoleum compare to tinted paints from Behr, Sherman Williams, and other brands? Here’s an overview:

  • Color Range – More limited color selection than major paint brands with thousands of proprietary colors.
  • Tinting Consistency – Major paints tend to tint more reliably than some Rustoleum products.
  • Chalk Paint Tinting – Rustoleum’s Chalked Paint offers unique soft tintability other brands lack.
  • Specialty Tinting – Rustoleum offers specialty tint bases other DIY brands may not, like concrete floor tints.
  • Price – Tinting Rustoleum is generally more budget-friendly than premium tinted paints.
  • Availability – Rustoleum tint bases are easier to find than specialty paint brands.

Rustoleum provides a more affordable option to major brands for basic tinting needs. But a premium brand may work better for advanced color-matching or perfect consistency. Consider the specific project when deciding.

Significance of Tinting Your Own Rustoleum Paint Colors

Why tint your own Rustoleum colors vs. buying pre-mixed paint? Here are some benefits:

  • Customization – Achieve specific hues and colors beyond pre-mixed offerings.
  • Color Matching – Tint to match existing paint colors and palettes.
  • Cost Savings – Tinting bases avoids buying quarts of each color.
  • Experimentation – Tinting allows for easy testing of different color ideas.
  • DIY Control – You control final hued color vs. relying on someone else’s vision.
  • Uniqueness – Create one-of-a-kind colored pieces.

For crafters, DIYers, and hobbyists, tinting your Rustoleum paint allows for more creativity and customization for your unique projects and vision.

Troubleshooting Rustoleum Tinting Issues

Tinting paint does come with some potential downsides and risks. Here are some common issues and fixes:

Problem: Tinted color is incorrect or inconsistent.

Solution: Use compatible tints for that base, mix thoroughly, and test before committing.

Problem: Tint appears streaky or unevenly dispersed.

Solution: Mix for at least 5-10 minutes after adding tint to incorporate color fully.

Problem: Tinting chalk paint didn’t achieve desired soft pastel color.

Solution: Use less tint oz. per gallon or choose a lighter/muted color.

Problem: Tinted concrete floor paint seems too thin or transparent.

Solution: Only use thin films, allow proper recoat times, and use proper tint levels.

Problem: Furniture paint kit basecoat tint looks too intense.

Solution: Test tints first on wood. Prefinished wood accepts tints differently.

Ask store associates for advice if encountering any issues with tinted Rustoleum products. While not perfect, proper tinting technique provides beautiful results.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tinting Rustoleum Paint

Here are answers to some common questions about tinting Rustoleum paint products:

Can all Rustoleum paint colors be custom tinted?

Only certain bases and formulations advertised as “tintable” can accept tints. Specialty paints like textured, chalk style, or industrial brands may not accept tints well.

What is the tinting capacity for Rustoleum paint?

Most tintable latex bases can accept 2 oz. of colorant per gallon. Oil-based enamels can range from 4-8 oz. per gallon depending on brand. Always follow recommended tint loading limits.

Do I have to use Rustoleum branded tints?

Rustoleum’s own tints are recommended for consistency for products like concrete floors and cabinet kits. Otherwise, most universal tints work. Avoid mixing brands when possible.

Can Rustoleum spray paints be tinted?

Some Rustoleum Professional spray enamel bases do come in tintable options. But most regular spray paints cannot be tinted.

Can I tint just one quart or sample amounts?

Yes, most paint stores can tint individual quarts. This allows you to test a custom color without committing to a full gallon.

Does tinting Rustoleum chalk paint work well?

Tinting Chalked latex paint in the Deep base can provide nice soft pastel colors when proper tinting techniques are followed. Limit tint levels to 2 oz. per gallon or less.

How do I know if a Rustoleum color is pre-mixed or a base requiring tint?

Bases will be labeled as a “tintable base” whereas pre-mixed colors will display the specific color name. Bases are typically white, gray, or neutral until tinted.

Can I tint oil-based Rustoleum enamels?

Yes, most paint stores can tint oil-based Rustoleum paints using universal enamel tinting colorants.


With the right tintable product, proper colorants, and by following recommended tinting techniques, many Rustoleum paint formulations can be customized into unique colors. Rustoleum offers a great DIY-friendly option for budget-friendly tinting with more creativity and control compared to pre-mixed paints. Certain specialty paints may provide more predictable results for demanding tinting needs. But for most weekend warriors tackling home projects, tinting your Rustoleum paint is a great way to achieve the colors you envision.

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