As a natural skeptic, anytime I read a review on a product my mind immediately wanders away from the review and immediately suspects that name brand x (Rust-oleum) paid reviewer Y (me) Z amount of dollars (zero) to write some puff piece to glorify whatever new product the manufacture is pushing. So to be completely up front, I am in no way affiliated with Rust-Oleum nor are they paying me for this review (although I reserve the right to change the above paragraph at anytime should they or any other paint company choose to line my pockets in exchange for said puff pieces).
Now recently I had a project where I painted forty Interior/Exterior doors on a residence, and decided to try Rust-Oleum’s Beyond on them. Although I don’t claim to be the end all expert on this product, I think I have used enough of it to have an opinion, and suffice it to say in once sentence; I don’t think Rust-Oleum’s Beyond line is good, I think it’s great.
What is Beyond?
Beyond is a zero VOC (volatile organic compound) and zero HAP (hazardous air pollutant) water based Acrylic Enamel finish.
What Can I use it on?
Although it appears that Rust-Oleum markets this product more for industrial/commercial use it can clearly be used for much more beyond that (I guess hence the name). I would have no problem using this product residentially which is primarily what I want to focus on for this article (as I think most of the people reading this will be interested in the product for their own homes). Make no mistake about it though, this is not your run of the mill water based material. Surfaces that I have in the past preferred to use oils to on, I would not hesitate to use Beyond on.
Before discovering this product I would cringe at the thought of using a water based material on a set of cabinets. Now, however, (although I haven’t tried this yet) I find myself considering Beyond, a water based material for the monumental stress of such a sub straight. For my higher end work I find myself considering Beyond on such things as interior trim (i.e doors, door frames, base boards crown molding, etc.), exterior doors or anything else where a hard durable finish is required. Just a short time ago, oil was my go to material for top notch finishes on many of the surfaces described above, and now I find myself asking why use an oil when I can have the durability and look of an oil in water a water based formula?
How it beats typical water based materials
If I were to compare this product to any water based material in this category, I’d have to say Beyond would be Superman and the competition would be the pan handler that has the cardboard sign that says he will work for food (even though he won’t) who dresses in the dirty clothes and then hops into his BMW at the end of the day. Yep it’s really that much better! Beyond can run faster, jump higher, and looks better than any cured water based product period! The way this product lays down (also called leveling out) is on par with oil based products such as Benjamin Moore’s Iron clad, or Dunn Edward’s Draflow (both of which are top notch oil based products by the way). In the past water based materials were used simply more out of convenience or because they hold up better outside than oil. Now that we finally have a water based material that looks and acts like an oil all while giving us the convenience of a water based material, I really see no reason to use the ladder for most projects any longer.
How it beats typical oil based materials
The main disadvantages to oils were that they didn’t hold up well outside, they yellowed over time, and they took far longer to dry than water bases. Additionally the smell that they produced could clear a room far faster than even the smelliest water based products could ever dream to. On top of all of that oil based products are harder to work with and required thinners for cleanup. We put up with all of these idiosyncrasies because the final product was much harder and looked far nicer than their water based counter parts… Until now. Beyond will not yellow, dries in roughly the time as a water base material, has virtually no smell, dries hard, looks great and the list goes on.
Even though from everything I’ve said about Beyond being better than… human reproduction, there is one thing I want to flat out criticize about this product and that is the price. As a contractor I paid somewhere in the neighborhood of $55.00 per gallon for this stuff. That is borderline grand larceny for a gallon of water based paint. For that price it wouldn’t take very many gallons of this stuff for me to contemplate buying Rust-Oleum out in a hostile takeover and then take my paint for free. Okay maybe that’s a little bit of a stretch, but you get the point.
The other thing I wanted to cover here is more of an unknown. As you may know from some of my other articles, I am not a fan of zero VOC products. I have noticed that they do not tend to hold up as well over time like the old products used to. I speculate that this is due to the additives that tend to be removed to attain the elite zero VOC status. I am not saying that Beyond won’t hold up over time (I am actually hoping that it does quite well), but I have yet to have the option to go back and look at it after any length of time and see how it performs. So until some time goes by where we get to observe how it holds up, I will have to leave this part of the review as one big question mark.
In the past I have heard painters say that with how good the water bases are these days that there is really no use for oil based products anymore. I always thought that that comment was an exaggerated stretch of the truth, and I still do not think that water bases have completely taken over oils in every facet of painting. Yet with Beyond, I definitely could make the case that it is no longer such an exaggerated position and I think it would be fair to compare Beyond against many top tier oil based products today.
All in all this product is nothing short of fantastic as far as I am concerned. If you buy it you WILL love it, period end of story… that is IF you survive the heart attack brought on by the sticker shock. All kidding aside however the bottom line is that this product will give you the stunning results of oil with the ease of application that a water based product provides. It is a product that truly is ahead of the curve and something to be envied by other painting manufactures. Stars are boring but if I had to rate Beyond I’d give it Four 4” block brushes way up!