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Types of Metal Roof Paint

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Some homeowners like to try a new color scheme, and painting a metal roof can often provide a dramatic change in a home’s appearance. Adding metal roof paint can also help extend the life of rusting roof that needs some extra TLC.

Pre-Painting Prep Work

Proper preparation is critical for success in applying metal roof paint. First, the weather should be dry, and the outdoor temperature should not be too hot or too cold for painting. Otherwise, the metal roof paint may run or not dry properly.

A roofer should remove any debris off the roof, and all dried paint and rust should be carefully scrubbed off without damaging the metal. Next the roof will be treated with an alkaline cleaning solution, and then power washed and then left to dry. If needed, a layer of primer will be added. Many primers for metal roofs also contain rust inhibitors.

Types of Metal Roof Paint

Some brands of metal paints are designed for barns, sheds and roofs, but the longevity of this paint may be limited. Other paint brands were developed for painting older metal roofs, usually for historic homes. Common colors for metal roof paint include red, grey, brown, green, black and white. Some metal roof paint brands require that more than one coat is applied for best results. Most paints can be rolled, sprayed or brushed, depending on the formula.

Acrylic metal roof paint is water based, and has been engineered to be more flexible. Since this elastomeric paint can contract and expand just like the metal roofing itself, it may be less prone to crack. Some acrylic metal roof paints require primer, while others are “direct to metal” paints and don’t require primer.

Oil based paints are also available. Historically, linseed oil paint was commonly used on tin metal roofs. It may require several coats of paint, but is time tested and very durable. However, linseed oil paint requires mineral spirits for clean up.

Additional Advice

Roof repair work is often times very challenging for first time DIYers, due to the risk of injury and the magnitude of the project. Also, many professional roofers have a larger selection of metal roof paints than most consumers can find in home improvement stores.

The expertise of a professional roof painter is critical, since each climate has its own problems like lots of snow or extreme heat. An experienced professional can help homeowners choose the best metal roof paint for their particular area of the country.

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