Can You Paint a Metal Roof | A Detail Guide With The Process of Painting


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Can you paint a metal roof of the house? It is necessary to stick to the minutest details to paint the house and complete the renovation. For example, the roof is one of those places that deserve your attention, considering that painting a metal roof of the house provides incredible results for the property’s aesthetics and visual characteristics.

Furthermore, painting a metal roof remains an excellent solution for protection against external aggressions. It is essential to guarantee the waterproofing of a roof to avoid the risk of corrosion too. Painting is one of the responses that can be made to protect against rust.

Roof paint is a suitable solution that prevents possible damage. Repainting metal roofing helps prevent water infiltration problems that can irreparably damage a roof. We can thus ensure better longevity of the roof for years to come. Degradation is not limited to only metal roofs that cover buildings. It can also affect fasteners, screws, gaskets, or fittings. A rust spot can very quickly turn into a crack or a hole. The construction, structure, frame, and even the home interior can be seriously damaged if not adequately protected.

But why and how do you paint the metal roof of the house? What procedures should you perform before applying the paint? Is there an ideal type of paint to paint the metal roof? Does it take too long to dry? See how to paint the house’s metal roof with these un-miss able tips, and you will feel the difference that investing in this detail will make to your home, valuing the property and making the landscape much more beautiful.

Why Paint the Metal Roof?

Metal roofs are prevalent for their durability, reliability, and durability. The metal roof coatings usually reflect the sun’s rays and protect the roof from overheating in hot weather. However, after 20-30 years of operation, there are usually clear signs of corrosion on this roof.

What should you do? To help, the paint comes in, which will significantly extend the life of the coating. But do not wait so long, it is better to paint the roof and wait a couple of months after the laying. During this time, a zinc salt film appears on the metallic surface, which improves the adhesion to the paint. Also, the painted metallic surface will look much more aesthetic than the unpainted one.

Can You Paint a Metal Roof

Can you Paint a Metal Roof: Surface Preparation?

Before you start applying the selected paint, you need to prepare the surface properly. To do this, you need to follow a few steps:

  • All waste should be removed from the roof (fallen leaves, for example). 
  • Rub every rust with a wire brush.
  • Wash the surface with water, after which it should be thoroughly dried. You can also use 1/4 cup detergent (5% detergent solution) per gallon of water. Apply the solution to the surface using a sponge or a washcloth. For better results, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before use.
  • If heavy rust spots are present, the roof should be inspected from the inside in these areas. In case, the rust is only situated on the outer part, it should be treated with anti-corrosion compounds. If the corrosion has affected the interior, it is better to replace the sheet entirely with a new one.
  • Treat with galvanized steel primer.
painting a metal roof cost
Treating a metal roof with primer is quite essential and can be further actualized through the following steps:
  • Dilute the primer: To begin, dilute the primer properly. You can paint with a flat paintbrush or with a roller fitted with a lacquer sleeve. It is also possible to apply it with an airless paint gun by diluting it to 5%. Using a pressure gun or gravity gun helps to liquefy the paint with 10% thinner.
  • Apply the primer: It should be applied in a very thin layer without absolutely attempting to paint the surface in a single pass. It is also essential to avoid overloading to avoid runs. 3. Let dry well: it is essential to let the undercoat of paint dry properly before applying a finishing paint. You have to take the time to wait to avoid the risk of soaking during the recovery. It is also important not to trap solvent between the two layers of paint.

Can you Paint a Metal Roof: The Steps Needed?

Painting a metal roof ensures the metal against the aggressive stresses that are usually encountered on a roof exposed to the outside. This can be done through the following steps:

Mix the paint: 

It is essential to mix the paint correctly before any use. This step should not be neglected because it will help maintain the original quality of the paint. A sufficiently long stirring time must also be observed with a mixer if desired to suspend all the active materials that constitute the paint.

Apply the paint: 

It is recommended to apply the paint film very usual without forgetting certain areas or overloading other parts. It is necessary to avoid any overloading, which can cause marks or runs too. Moreover, it’s possible to use 3 or 4 coats of paint when the external stress is particularly intensive.

The Types of Metal

When painting a metal roof, it’s best to consider the metal type because it would positively or negatively affect your project’s outcome. This includes:

how to recoat a metal roof

Ferrous metal

Working with ferrous metal is much more complicated than most metal roof types. This is because this material reacts strongly to extreme temperatures and is also subject to corrosive changes. It is essential to pay attention that the paint for ferrous metals must be resistant to moisture, preferably with anti-additives and anti-corrosion, especially if rust spots are already visible in some places. Here, elasticity is an essential factor so that the paint layer does not crack when the roof is heated. Also, a primer designed for metals will need to be purchased, as if the roof is not properly primed, the paint may peel off later, and the overall look of the roof will become unattractive.

Galvanized metal

A positive factor when working with galvanized metal roofs is that they do not need to be primed. A primer is only needed in places where corrosive processes have started. However, it should be borne in mind that galvanized coating has low adhesive properties, and improper paint will not stick. Its adhesion and elasticity must be increased. Only then will the coating become high quality.

An important point is the pre-cleaning. Since galvanized steel is smooth, if you leave the surface dusty or polluted, the paint will not stick properly. If the project can’t wait, wash off oils and other remnants from the galvanizing process using an acid such as vinegar, diluted 50 percent with water.

Non-ferrous metals

Roofs made from non-ferrous metals, such as copper, titanium, or zinc, are less common. This is due to their high cost. Therefore, there are not too many options for such projects. It is essential to pay attention to such factors as lack of electrical conductivity, good elasticity, adhesion, resistance to mechanical damage when painting. As a rule, non-ferrous metals do not corrode, so it is unnecessary to take an anti-corrosion composition, but the paint must resist moisture adequately.

Types of Paint

Certain types of paint are suitable for each variant of the metal roof. While many of these turn out to be expensive, remember that buying paint and painting the surface saves you the trouble of quickly replacing the entire canvas, which will cost a lot more.

Depending on the roofing material, the type of paint is selected. Even the highest quality paint material wills not appropriately if it does not match the roof’s finish. Thus, the preceding guide would be quite handy:

Oily paint

Oil-based alkyd paints initially cover the metallic variants to secure the sheets during transport, installation, and first use. In the future, many people choose oil paintings because of their low cost, but in reality, things are not that simple. Despite the apparent savings, the oil options cannot adequately protect the roof coating from atmospheric agents. The elasticity is almost zero, which is why the painted layer cracks quickly, and the roof needs to be repainted every 3-5 years. As you can see, the merits are somewhat uncertain, both in terms of finances and time.

Acrylic paint

These varieties are considered among the best. They exhibit ideal performance in paint roofing materials: excellent elasticity, UV resistance, high adhesion properties. Acrylic versions can be used to paint metal roofs. Depending on the addition of various additives, the properties of paints can also be changed.

The downside can only be identified by one – the high cost. Indeed, in the modern market, acrylic latex paints are among the most expensive. However, when recalculated, the price does not seem so unfair since the coating can last up to 25 years without losing its original properties.

Anti-corrosion paint

These are quite similar to acrylics, but with the addition of special additives that prevent rust formation. As a rule, anti-corrosion options cannot be applied to the affected areas – it makes no sense. It is better to treat the metal sheets with them immediately after installation, before the first rain, to protect the roof surface as much as possible. Anti-corrosion paints are quite expensive but with great merits. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to paint a metal roof?

From research, it has been observed that painting a metal roof costs between $120 to $272 per roofing square.

How long does metal roof paint last?

If you paint your metal roof properly using the steps earlier highlighted, it should last for at least 30 years. 

Do Metal Roofs need to be repainted?

It’s best to check your metal roof yearly, and once any signs of rust are noticed, go ahead and repaint it.


In conclusion, metal roofs are unique, as they come with merits such as Energy savings. A metal roof can aid you in saving as much as 50 percent of your home energy bill, according to a report issued by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In hot climates; this difference can be as high as a 50% reduction in utility costs. Also, metal is 100-percent recyclable. If you desire to get the best out of your metal roof; it’s best to paint it when necessary. This can be quickly done upon making use of the steps highlighted above.

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