Rustoleum Paint - Spray Can or Brush?

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Forum topic by Newbiewoodworker43 posted 02-24-2014 07:38 PM 12501 views 0 times favorited 27 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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150 posts in 2470 days

02-24-2014 07:38 PM

Topic tags/keywords: vintage drill press dp craftsman king-seeley paint rustoleum restore restoration

I am working on partially restoring my recently purchased 1940’s Craftsman King-Seeley (103.23130) drill press. I picked it up on CL for $10. I runs well and weighs a ton!

I have spent a couple of days removing the rust and now want to paint it but I do not want to take the whole thing apart. I will probably never be able to get it all back together again.

I wanted to see if anyone has applied Rustoleum paint using a paint brush as opposed to the spray can. Covering all the parts to spray the paint on would be near impossible but I want to protect the base, table, cover, etc. from the rust coming back.


-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

27 replies so far

View dbhost's profile


5726 posts in 3260 days

#1 posted 02-24-2014 07:48 PM

You sure you won’t be able to get it back together? The proper method would be to disassemble into components, and paint the components…

I have used Rustoleum from a brush on can on my smoker, it works fine, but spray can and you can be assured of no brush marks…

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View Tennessee's profile


2873 posts in 2542 days

#2 posted 02-24-2014 07:52 PM

Years ago I used a ton of Rustoleum by brushing it from a can. No more. Most of their spray products, save for the 2X line, are superior by rattle can. Their traditional enamel spray line has been around for decades, and puts on a nice, even finish. That being said, I agree with Dave. Take the time to dissemble it and spray it right.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2324 days

#3 posted 02-24-2014 08:14 PM

You don’t need to remove the quill or anything, you can always mask things off with blue painters tape. I did one of those exact same DPs and totally disassembled it, new quill bearings, chuck jaws, motor bearings, cord and switch assembly. I spent more than a bench DP at Harbor Freight cost but like it better (wish I could add a crank up table though). If you brush it (there isn’t a lot to paint) just make sure it’s warm so the paint flows out. Look through the publications section of the vintage machinery website and you’ll find a manual for that or one similar. It’ll show the whole assembly and it’s nice to have just so you know what the drill speeds are when you change the belt up or down.

View SuperCubber's profile


1027 posts in 2312 days

#4 posted 02-24-2014 08:43 PM

I just finished rehabbing an old tool chest with Rust Oleum rattle cans. I used a grinder right a wire brush art attachment to get the old paint off, then primed and painted. I think it came out beautifully.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

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6768 posts in 2227 days

#5 posted 02-24-2014 10:06 PM

There are two schools of thought on the subject.. some old timers insist that brushing old iron is the only way to go. That is how a lot of vintage machines were painted back in the day. Properly applied, brush marks are not a problem and it puts on a much thicker layer of paint than spraying does (better protection). I’ve done both with good results. My last project, completely non woodworking related (I painted a 120 gallon propane tank), was sprayed using Rustoleum gloss white from a can using a cheap Harbor Freight HVLP gun, and it came out fantastic. Thinned about 10% with acetone as per the directions, I gave it about four coats and it wound up looking like it had just left the factory. Rattle cans work fine, but it’s difficult to get an even consistant surface on large panels. Brushing is a bit more time consuming and difficult to get into some areas, but the results can be just as good if you apply it right.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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2771 posts in 2324 days

#6 posted 02-24-2014 10:34 PM

1 1950s set of Handyman encylcopedias I own have a chapter on tool maintenance shows a guy giving his lathe a coat of paint with a brush. Just do what you want – it’s YOUR tool and nothing is incorrect. In the old days NOBODY would ever take a machine apart to paint it, or mask off the rest of the shop to spray it when a brush would get it done faster.

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2470 days

#7 posted 02-24-2014 11:29 PM

Thanks Brad and dhazelton for the advice. I think it will be best for me to brushing on the rustoleum paint is going to be easier and I will be able to use the DP sooner. I don’t have a DP now so I do need to use the tool.

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

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150 posts in 2470 days

#8 posted 02-25-2014 02:45 AM

Well so much for my stated plan. I broke down and decided to take the DP apart. I took my time and put each set of componets in a ziploc bag which I labelled. I got the owner’s manual which has pretty clear pictures as to what goes where also.

I ended up leaving the tensioner know and lock in place since I did not want to mess with springs. Also I left the quill (I think that is what it is) in place and the chuck. I figure I can mask those up.

It sure is a lot easier getting the rest of the rust off!

Any suggestions on how to get the post rust free? I used a wire brush and drill wire wheel and got most of it off. Will a scotch brite pad do the rest? Also what do you lubricate the post with? WD40 or something else?

I picked up a couple of Hammered Metal rustoleum spray cans to paint the DP. I thought the color/finish would go well with the DP and the hammered effect will help cover up any imperfections in metal.

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2324 days

#9 posted 02-25-2014 02:31 PM

EXACTLY what I used – I got the hammered bronze-y color (gold would have been more appropriate, but hey). If yours has the engine turned aluminum trim on the head don’t try to clean it up cuz all that turning will dissappear. Ask how I know. I used a wire wheel on a drill, then turned to emery cloth and started sanding the tube up and down with the emery wrapped around. I think I coated it with paste wax. If you use an oil it may get gummy.

View Newbiewoodworker43's profile


150 posts in 2470 days

#10 posted 02-25-2014 03:00 PM

Great! Now you tell me. Already messed up the turned aluminum trim on the head. Did the same thing you did and the turning disappeared. But it is clean!

I’ll try the paste wax on the tube.

What do you use to lubricate the quill?

-- ---Howard, Amesbury MA

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Craftsman on the lake

2794 posts in 3465 days

#11 posted 02-25-2014 03:14 PM

Whatever you do, use the rustoleum primer first. If you do the topcoat will stay on better and never chip.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1276 posts in 1662 days

#12 posted 02-25-2014 03:23 PM

To get the post rust free, take some 320 wet/dry paper and some cutting oil (drill/tapping oil) , it’s a rust preventive and contains lubes to clear the swarf.
just wear gloves and sand the heck out of it.
When you are done, just wipe down. You can use motor oil if you really want, I keep my post dry, so nothing sticks to it.

-- Jeff NJ

View TheGermanJoiner's profile


847 posts in 1665 days

#13 posted 02-25-2014 04:28 PM

I have my restored delta Rockwell drillpress here. I used rust oleum hammer tone spray paint. It worked well. Mine weighs a butt load too. Post some pics. I’d love to see it

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View dhazelton's profile


2771 posts in 2324 days

#14 posted 02-26-2014 04:27 PM

I used axle or bearing grease on the quill. If you have a grease gun around just shoot a blob onto your finger and get it on there.

View darthford's profile


610 posts in 1952 days

#15 posted 02-26-2014 04:40 PM

I used spray can Rustoleum Machine Grey on my RAS, it worked great but did take a bit longer to dry than the Ace Hardware brand black enamel. For rust you need to discover Evapo-Rust the stuff is awesome. Here’s my review on it.



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