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. In 2015, the company reached one billion dollars in revenue.Key brands include Stops Rust, High Performance, NeverWet, Painter's Touch, Universal, Varathane, Zinsser, and Watco. The company acquired Synta Inc., in 2012, Krud Kutter, Inc. and Citadel Restoration and Repair, Inc. in 2014,and Seal Krete in 2016.Based on 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.
In 1979 the company's slogan, "Rust Never Sleeps", was adopted by Neil Young as a name for an album.