Can You Paint A Metal Roof To Change Its Color? A Complete Guide

As they say, “Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal,” so you might also want to bring a change to how your house looks. Particularly if you have metal roofs, the color may fade with time, or you may get bored with it. With a wall, you can simply paint and give a quick makeover.

But the question is: Can you paint a metal roof?

Yes, you can. Changing the color of your metal roof can enhance the aesthetics by offering a cheap makeover and quick makeover to your house. Painting in the proper manner is more eco-friendly, reduces corrosion, and improves the life of your roof. Thus, ultimately an efficient and economical option too.

However, you cannot abruptly start painting your roof with new color without looking at certain aspects. Before painting the metal roof, some inevitable preparations require your attention to achieve long-lasting results.

When Can A Metal Roof Be Repainted?

If you recently installed a metal roof, it is best to leave it for six months before you start repainting it. To do so, you have to make sure about the suitable paints, sealants, primers, and other related products. The right mix and layering of the products make the paint and metal roofing long-lasting and enhance the energy efficiency of your house.

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


In the market, you will find different paints. To eliminate the confusion, we are listing suitable options here.

Acrylic latex paint

We recommend Krylon K05633007 when it comes to latex paint for a metal roof.

It is suitable to paint for bare roofs and also repainting metal roofs with old paint. It is water-based and easier to clean with soap and water. Thus, maintenance of this kind of paint is also easy. They offer better coverage at less cost. Therefore, Acrylic latex paint has a more frequent use for indoor and outdoor painting.

Oil-based alkyd paint

Another option for painting metal roofs is Oil-based alkyd paints. However, use them with a suitable metal primer. The primer locks the paint and enhances its adherence.

Both are pretty standard options when it comes to painting your metal roof. But when selecting one of them, focus on the features and properties you want to see. For instance, many paints have UV rays repelling pigments. The UV repelling property makes the house more energy efficient. 

You may also find insect and pests repelling properties in the paints. Make sure to choose the paint that fulfills your requirements according to the area.

If you choose from a good company, they offer detailed guidelines about the proper application of the paint. If it mentions using a sealant or primer, use it for appropriate adherence of the paint to the metal surface.

How To Repaint A Metal Roof?

Choose the right weather condition

When it comes to the actual paint application, choose a day when the temperature is hot enough to dry the paint. However, metal can get extremely hot during summer; be wise in selecting the weather and time. Never paint under rain lest it washes away the paint. Here is a guide on when to schedule a roof paint session.

Application of the paint

Once you have selected the right weather, paint, and prepared the surface, it is time to apply the paint. The application is quite simple, and you get to choose from a lot of options.

Apply the primer

If your selected paint mentions the use of a primer, spread a thick coat of it on the roof. You can spread the primer with the help of a paintbrush. Use the ladder to reach the areas that are away from you. Else, buy a paint roller with a long handle to go farther away. After applying the primer, wait for some time to let it dry before applying the paint.

Apply the paint

You can spread the paint with a brush or roller designed for corrugated metals. If you have a large surface or are short of time, a speedy option is the use of airless sprayers. They allow for swift and efficient dispersal of paint.

A sprayer is also a preferred option on a steep surface. You can extend the sprayer nozzle and reach hard-to-access areas. However, the downside is they are not a suitable option in windy weather.

Preparations before repainting the metal roof

If you have finally embarked on your mission of repainting your metal roof, make sure to clean it by removing all the dirt, mildew, or scraping paint. You can use a scraper or putty knife to remove the flaking paint. During the exercise, ensure the metal of the roof remains safe; therefore, keep the blade steady.

An alternative method is by using a jet power wash that can remove the flakes and dirt with its pressured water. If you do not have a get washer, use your standard garden hose at high pressure. You can also dissolve existing paint oils and residue with a mild acid such as diluted vinegar.

If you still see an uneven surface, you can combine the above method with final scuffing with sanding paper. This method will even out the surface and also enhance the adhering ability of the paints and primers.

Paint the metal roof

Now you have prepared the metal roof for painting, the peeling paint, dust, and dirt get successfully removed. It is time to move to the primary step of painting the metal roof.


Working on Your Roof Safely

When you are painting your metal, ensure to tick boxes all the safety. Your careless attitude at this point can be hazardous. These are some of the safety tips when applying paint to the metal roof.

Use extension ladder

  • It is wise to use an extension ladder instead of climbing on the roof. The slanting top can cause you to slip and come falling on the ground.
  • Place your feet firmly on the steps and always make sure the ladder is steady against the support wall.  Climbing on a wobbly ladder is an unnecessary risk that you should never take.
  • When you are on a ladder, do not try to reach areas that are too away from your hand. Doing so, you can lose balance and fall. Instead, you can use a paint roller with a long handle to reach those difficult-to-reach patches.

If you are looking for the right extension ladder, we recommend this Louisville Ladder

Wear safety harness

Taking extra precautions is essential to when you climb on the ladder. Wearing a safety harness can enhance your protection while painting the metal roof. You can anchor the rope to a stable post (house or a tree) and put on the harness. The rope gets attached to the harness. This way, you are secure from accidental falls.

Ask for the help of a friend

Instead of working alone to paint the roof, it is better to ask for the help of a friend. Your friend can hold the ladder when you are painting the ceiling. Thus, this is another way of ensuring your safety.


What paint to use on a metal roof?

You get to have two options to pain the metal roof; Acrylic latex paint, Oil-based alkyd paint. The former is water-based paint, while with the latter, you have to use a primer.

Can you spray paint a metal roof?

Yes, it is one of the frequently used options to paint the metal roof. The spray paint is suitable for areas that you cannot reach with a paintbrush.

What is the best paint for a galvanized metal roof?

You can use either acrylic latex paint or oil-based alkyd paint. But with the latter, you have to apply a thick undercoat of a galvanized metal primer.

How to paint a rusty metal roof?

To pain a rusty metal roof, you have to go through the following steps:

  • Remove the rust using a stiff brush
  • Wash the roof with a chemical solution such as trisodium phosphate in water. Alternatively, spray it with a power wash
  • Apply primer that contains rust-resistant properties
  • Once the surface is clean, paint the areas with a paint that is compatible with the primer. Use latex paint with latex primer, etc.

How to paint to stop condensation on a metal roof?

You can use multiple methods to do so:

  • Use appropriate insulation
  • Install vapor barriers
  • Ventilate the inside
  • Find condensation troubles
  • Avoid water from oozing below

Material choices for metal roofing

The advantages of metal roofs such as resistance against a hurricane, energy conservation, and durability are gravitating many people to install them on their roofs. There are a lot of materials commercially used to make roofs. We are listing some of them for the help of people intending to install a metal roof in the future.


This is one of the most famous material and most robust materials that you can use for metal roofing. It is also one of the less expensive options. Commercially, steel is galvanized (dipped in molten zinc) to prevent rusting. Alternatively, coating it with aluminum-zinc (Galvalume) also happens.


The aluminum roofs are always painted. They are a little pricier and softer than steel. Aluminum is most suitable for areas that experience acid rain because of its rust-resistant properties.


Copper is another material commonly used for roofing. It has the longest history of use as a roofing material. It is the most expensive and long-lasting material which is easy to cut and shape. The material can last as long as two centuries. Over time it develops a protective coating that turns blue.


The tin-and-lead-coated roofs were first used in 19th century Europe. It is frequently painted to protect its iron substrate. In modern times, steel roofing with layers of tin is common to resist extreme weather.

Ongoing Roof Maintenance

How to maintain the metal roof after painting? This is an essential question to ask once you have painted a new color on your metal roof. Painting a ceiling is an investment with money, time, and energy. Thus, maintaining it properly can make it last longer and eliminate the need for frequent repainting unless you get bored with the color.

The materials used in the metal roofing require low maintenance. Nevertheless, it does not mean that you neglect, putting them last on your priority list.

You can clean the roof with water and detergent every six months. This practice will remove all the cakey dirt and enhance the looks and the life of the roof.

Checking your roof every periodically will help you spot the rusting spots or areas about to experience corrosion. This way, you can do the damage control before things get out of hand.


People have used metal roofs for building for a long time now. They are durable, conserves energy, and have a standard lifespan of more than 50 years. However, wanting to see some change in them now and then goes without saying.

Painting your metal roofs is one way of doing a quick makeover of your entire house. Paint enhances their longevity, at the same time, strengthen its aesthetics as well. However, you cannot start painting the roof on your whims only.

This article highlights the proper way of preparing and painting your metal roof. You can choose the appropriate paint according to your requirement and give a quick new look to the house.

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