From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
TypeSubsidiary of RPM International
Founded1921; 102 years ago (1921)
Evanston, Illinois, U.S.
  • Robert Fergusson
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease US$ 1 Billion[1] (FY 2014)
Number of employees
1,000[1] (December 2016)

Rust-Oleum is a manufacturer of protective paints and coatings for home and industrial use. It was founded in 1921 by Robert Fergusson, a sea captain, after he noticed that fish oil spilled on rusty metal decks stopped corrosion from spreading. He soon incorporated whale oil into the formula, although many changes have been made over the years. Rust-Oleum products no longer contain whale oil, instead using resins derived from alkyds, polyurethanes, epoxies, latex, etc.

Rust-Oleum remained a family-owned company until 1994, when it was acquired by current owner RPM International Inc.[2] In 2015, the company reached one billion dollars in revenue.[3] Key brands include Stops Rust, High Performance, NeverWet, Painter's Touch, Universal, Varathane, Zinsser, and Watco. The company acquired Synta Inc., in 2012,[4] Krud Kutter, Inc. and Citadel Restoration and Repair, Inc. in 2014,[5][6] and Seal Krete in 2016.[7] On the basis of market share, Rust-Oleum holds the top position in the U.S. and Canada in the rust-preventative, decorative, specialty and professional segments of the small-project paint category.[8]

In 1979 the company's slogan, "Rust Never Sleeps", was adopted by Neil Young (upon a suggestion by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo) as a name for an album.[9]


Rust-Oleum Corporation's corporate headquarters are in Vernon Hills, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago. Rust-Oleum manufactures product in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin; Hagerstown, Maryland; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Lesage, West Virginia; and multiple other locations in the United States and Europe.

Helmut Jahn designed the corporate headquarters building which has the appearance of a steamboat, including pipes adorning the atrium.[10]

Corporate culture[edit]

The Chicago Tribune has ranked Rust-Oleum among the top mid-sized workplaces in the region in 2013, 2014, and 2015.[11]

Sport venue[edit]

Vernon Hills High School's football stadium is named Rust-Oleum Field, as the company donated $100,000 in exchange for 20 year naming rights.[12] Additionally, Libertyville High School's baseball program receives sponsorship from the corporation.[citation needed]


  • American Accents
  • Automotive
  • LeakSeal
  • Metallic Accents
  • Rocksolid
  • Stops Rust
  • Universal
  • Zinsser
  • EpoxyShield
  • Watco
  • Testors

Official partners[edit]


  1. ^ a b "About us". Rust-Oleum. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  2. ^ Drown, Stuart (May 4, 1994). "RPM Inc. Will Buy Rust-Oleum's U.S. Holdings". Akron Beacon Journal. p. 8.
  3. ^ Cho, Janet H. (September 16, 2015). "How Rust-Oleum became a $1 billion consumer brand". The Plain Dealer. Cleveland. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  4. ^ "RPM Acquires Synta Wood Deck And Concrete Restoration Business" (Press release). RPM International. September 24, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  5. ^ Cho, Janet (January 19, 2019). "RPM buys Krud Kutter, a Georgia maker of non-toxic, biodegradable cleaners and removers". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved December 29, 2020.
  6. ^ "RPM Acquires Citadel Floor Coatings Business" (Press release). RPM International. January 22, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2020 – via PR Newswire.
  7. ^ Cho, Janet H. (March 7, 2016). "RPM acquires Seal-Krete, maker of concrete sealants". The Plain Dealer. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  8. ^ "Financial Reports". RPM International. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  9. ^ McDonough, Jimmy (July 1, 2010). Shakey: Neil Young's Biography. Random House. pp. 534–535. ISBN 978-0307373809. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  10. ^ Cancino, Alejandra (November 14, 2014). "Rust-Oleum's perks sparkle among top workplaces". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  11. ^ Cancino, Alejandra (November 14, 2014). "Rust-Oleum's perks sparkle among top workplaces". Chicago Tribune.
  12. ^ Ryan, Nancy (August 14, 2002). "Naming rights sold--this time, at high school field". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 31, 2020.
  13. ^
  14. ^

External links[edit]