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    Home | How to do it | How to Paint a Metal Roof: Step-by-Step Guide

    How to Paint a Metal Roof: Step-by-Step Guide

    how to paint a metal roof

    Metal roofs are all the rage right now. But that’s not the only reason why you should consider one for your home. They’re also durable, long-lasting, and visually appealing. They’ll boost your home’s curb appeal considerably, whether you’re looking to eventually sell or be the newest envy of your neighbors.

    But what about painting a metal roof? You’re probably wondering how you can and the best way to go about it. Luckily, you’ve found our blog about how to paint a metal roof. Read more for our step-by-step guide whether you’re looking to paint corrugated metal, standing seam, or a rusty metal roof. You can also contact our Legacy Service team at 215-798-9790 or visit us at to get started today.

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    Can Metal Roofs Be Painted?

    Yes! You can paint metal roofs, but if you have a new and unpainted one, we suggest allowing it to weather for at least six months before you begin painting it. However, if the project can’t wait, make sure you wash oils and other remains of the galvanizing process off with vinegar.

    When you are ready to paint it, make sure you prepare its surface correctly by choosing the right primers, paints (spray or other), and sealants as well as applying the products correctly. When done right, it can help extend its life and make your house more energy-efficient.

    Benefits of Painting Your Metal Roof

    We probably don’t have to tell you this, but metal roof painting provides plenty of benefits for your home’s exterior. They include:

    Longer lifespan – Metal roofs already tend to have a longer lifespan in general than other types of roofs (especially asphalt shingles). And the good news is that painting them can be an added bonus by increasing their lifespan even further. Whether it’s an old roof or a new one, paint for a metal roof can increase its life and also reduce the average cost of energy.

    Sustainability – Metal roofs are ideal for sustainability and energy efficiency. Lightly colored and reflective metal ones can reduce the heat island effect (the heat that radiates back into the atmosphere, which causes urban areas to be hotter than they should be). High-quality metal roofing can last twice as long as other materials. The materials from most steel roofs can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

    Enhanced aesthetics – There are tons of paint colors for you to choose from, from silver paint to green paint, so you can match your roof to just about any home exterior. No matter which color you choose, though, it’ll surely look beautiful for years to come!

    Those are just a few of the benefits. Get in touch with our team to learn more!

    What Tools You Will Need

    Before you begin your DIY painting project, you’ll need to prepare by purchasing and gathering the right tools and materials. We’ve compiled a list with the basics:

    • Rust-inhibitive metal primer
    • Topcoat in desired color
    • Wire brush or wire wheel
    • TSP cleaner
    • Power washer
    • Paint rollers, brushes, etc.
    • Ladders or scaffolding
    • Scrub brush

    What Kind Of Paint Should You Use on a Metal Roof?

    What Kind Of Paint Should You Use on a Metal Roof?

    There are plenty of different colors and types when it comes to selecting the paint for your roof, so you might find choosing the right one difficult. Whether you have a zinc roof, tin roof, steel roof, aluminum roof, rib metal roof, or another type of material altogether, it’s best to weigh your options and ask for the help of a professional, whether that be a roofer or an employee at the hardware store. At Legacy Service, we can help you find the best paint for your metal roof.

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    Working on Your Roof Safely

    After you determine the paint you want and gather all of the necessary materials, you’ll need to prepare so that you can work safely. Continue reading this section for the best way to paint safely:

    • Grab a buddy – If you’ve decided to do the job yourself, grab a friend to help you out. Make sure you thank them in some way, whether it’s buying them a beer and pizza or paying them for their efforts.
    • Work from a ladder as much as possible – It’s usually safer when you work from a ladder rather than up on the roof. Just remember to keep it away from any power lines or doors.
    • Wear a harness with a safety rope when you’re on the roof – If you need to go on the roof, wear a harness with a safety rope. Anchor the rope securely to either a tree or a part of your home.

    Roof Preparation

    Now it’s time to get up there and started prepping your metal roof for painting. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

    • Remove the old paint – You can scrape away loose paint with a paint scraper or putty knife. Press the tool firmly against the paint, but make sure you don’t damage the metal underneath.
    • Apply the paint – Before you begin to paint, wash the roof with a power washer to ensure you have a clean roof. Wait at least an hour for it to dry. If it’s a good day, you can begin the painting process.

    How to Paint Your Metal Roof

    Now it’s time to start painting. Follow these steps to ensure it will look beautiful for years to come:

    1. Choose a nice day to paint – Fair-weather days in the fall or spring will usually be your best bet. Metal roofs can get very hot during the summer, and it’s always tricky working on a roof during the winter.
    2. Apply a coat of primer – Use a paint roller or brush to apply a thick coat of primer to the entire surface of your roof. Work from a ladder whenever it’s possible. Wait at least an hour for the primer to dry.
    3. Apply the paint – Once the primer is dry, apply a coat of paint to the entire surface of the roof. Again, at least an hour for the paint to dry. Then, apply another coat.

    3 Mistakes to Avoid

    Of course, you’ll want to avoid as many mistakes as possible when painting your roof. We’ve compiled a list of the ones that seem to occur the most frequently:

    • Not using sealant – If you don’t use paint sealer before painting your metal roof, it will be much easier for the paint to peel off the metal.
    • Not choosing energy-efficient paint – By choosing an energy-efficient paint (like the Elastomeric coating), you’re choosing a type of heat reflective paint that will reflect sunlight and protect your roof from leaks.
    • Using leftover paint – It’s not a good idea to use leftover paint that you used for other areas of the home because metal roofing usually needs a specific kind of paint. Contact us to help you choose one that’s right for you.

    Metal Roof Painting

    Frequently Asked Questions About Metal Roof Painting

    Here are some of the questions that our team is most often asked by homeowners:

    Do metal roofs need to be painted?

    It’s a good idea to paint your metal roof to enhance its beauty and sustainability. Metal roof repainting should be done about every 10 years.

    How much does it cost to paint a metal roof?

    On average, hiring a metal roof painter can cost between $1.20 and $2.72 per square foot. Doing it yourself will cost less at first, but you may have to pay for it in the long run if it’s not done correctly.

    How do you paint a metal roof yourself?

    You can review the section above, “How to Paint Your Metal Roof” for a step-by-step process. If you’d prefer to speak to someone, contact your local experts.

    What kind of paint do you use on a metal roof?

    There are plenty of different kinds of paint you can use on metal. We recommend contacting a professional to help you select the one that would work best for your home.

    How do you clean a metal roof before painting?

    Before you begin, you’ll need to remove the old paint and clean the roof. Use a power washer to wash the entire surface and let it dry for at least an hour.

    Do metal roofs fade in color?

    Metal roofs can fade over time, especially due to the elements like harsh sunlight and heavy rains. Whether you want to change the color or restore the same one is up to you. It is recommended to repaint about every 10 years.

    Let the Painting Begin!

    Now that you have all of the information you need, it’s time to begin the painting process. Either hire a professional to help you out or grab a friend and the necessary supplies, and you can get started.

    At Legacy Service, we provide a broad range of services, including but not limited to metal roofing installation, replacement, and repairs. To learn more about metal roof replacement, call us at 215-798-9790 or contact us at

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