Can You Paint a Metal Roof?

visual image of red metal roofs on three small buildings

Metal roofs are a great way to increase the durability and efficiency of your home or commercial building. If you’re looking to provide a mini upgrade to your metal roof, the material can be painted to give a new, fresh look to your building.

While painting your metal roof is completely possible, it’s a misconception that it can be easily done without the proper preparation. Prior to marvelling at that fresh coat of paint to your metal roof, there are vital steps that should not be skipped.

If you’re looking for a professional and affordable upgrade to your home, our experts at Canuck Roofing are well-versed in all things metal roofing. From installation and repairs to maintenance and painting, our team has the tools, knowledge, and capabilities to improve your residential or commercial metal roof.

Painting a metal roof, while very worthwhile and doable, is a big task. It requires proper pre-care, correct execution, and an experienced hand to complete the job correctly. To avoid issues with your roof’s paint job, there are a few steps to take before getting started. Here’s what you need to consider to create a long-lasting, durable paint job to your metal roof:


If you have a newly installed metal roof, you should wait at least 6 months for the new materials to settle and weather, prior to painting. It’s also important to pay attention to the forecast; a rain-free few days will go a long way in helping your metal roof dry and seal.

Wash Your Roof

A dirty roof is a sure-fire way to have a patchy, peeling paint job. To ensure that the paint applies smoothly to the metal surface, all forms of dirt, mildew, and debris must be removed.

This can be done with a power hose to blast away the collected loose bits. If you don’t have access to a power hose, the alternative is to use a paint scraper and scrub your metal roof with a solution of water and trisodium phosphate, a substance used for the toughest of cleaning jobs.

After the roof has fully dried from the cleaning, you can then sweep the roof to remove any remaining dust. This ensures your metal canvas is as clean as can be.

Remove Old Paint

If your metal roof has an existing coat of paint, you’ll need to scrape this away with a paint scraper or putty knife. While you can use a decent amount of pressure to remove the old paint, ensure that you’re not damaging the metal underneath.

If you find patches of rust, don’t worry. Try applying an anti-rust treatment or consult our team at Canuck Roofing to have it professionally handled.

Apply a Primer

A layer of primer needs to be applied to your metal roof before the paint. This increases the durability of the paint to prevent cracking. Not only will it help your paint last longer, but it will appear smoother and more vibrant. You can apply primer with a paint roller or brush, but make sure it fully before painting.


1.     Buying Paint

Before you buy just any type of paint, consult a roofing expert to make sure that you’re purchasing the correct one. Choosing a specialized paint that is designed for metal roofs is crucial. It should be fire and water resistant, have UV reflecting capabilities, and be insect repellant.

2.     Applying Paint

An evenly spread paint is crucial to a long-lasting paint job. When you apply paint too thickly, it’s more likely to peel, requiring more retouches, work, time, and money down the road. To improve the paints lifetime, a few coats of paint should be applied. Ensure that between each layer you allow enough time for the roof to fully dry. Wait an hour or longer between coats depending on the weather and time of day.


Applying a sealant to your freshly painted roof will help bond the layers for a longer lasting appearance. Skipping this step can lead to more maintenance down the road. Since the chemicals seal the paint to the roof, they prevent peeling and increase durability. When choosing a sealant, you’ll want to find one that can withstand a range of extreme temperatures and weather conditions, is non-flammable, and specifically formulated for metal roofs.

Get Professional Help

Painting your metal roof is a great way to freshen up your home or commercial building’s appearance. It’s cost-effective, sustainable, and long-lasting when done correctly. While you may be tempted to DIY your repaint, our professionals at Canuck Roofing can get the job done right. This way, you can avoid premature maintenance fees down the road. Well-versed in metal roofing in Burnaby and surrounding areas, Canuck Roofing can install, repair, and maintain your residential or commercial roof with ease and professionalism. Reach out today for a quote on your metal roof’s fresh coat of paint.