Experts give tips on painting a metal roof

Can I paint my metal roof? Is it reliable and how much does it cost?
Angie's List member Linda Knudsen

Metal roofs in good structural condition are a great surface to repaint, according to Todd Miller, a board member with the trade group Metal Roofing Alliance. "Usually, it can be repainted, as long as the surface is just faded or chalky," he says.

However, he adds, "If the original paint is starting to peel, flake or become separated from the metal, it's not a good surface to repaint because there's an adhesion problem."

Painting a metal roof can preserve it, but the work should be performed by a professional painter or metal roofing company, says Scott Gulseth with highly rated Capitol Roofing USA in Chantilly, Va. "The paint needs to be installed per manufacturer specifications; otherwise, it may prematurely fail," he advises.

Gulseth adds that proper products - specialty metal roofing paint or coatings designed for the conditions - and preparation are keys to a lasting finish. He recommends starting with an inspection and repairing or replacing damaged panels, then cleaning and priming the roof before applying any product.

The roof may also need to be power washed first to ensure it's a clean base for a new layer of paint, Miller says.

Miller estimates it costs about $2.50 to $3 per square foot to repaint; whereas replacing a metal roof can cost $5 to $10 per square foot. "As long as you keep a good coating on it, metal roofs are really quite permanent," he says.

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