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Can You/Should You Paint Over Steel Roof? (How To)

Painting the steel roof

There are many benefits to having a steel roof. Perhaps the most important benefit is the fact that it lasts for many years, especially in comparison with other roofs. Over the years, you may have a desire to paint the roof but is it possible to do so?

A steel roof can easily be painted but you have to prepare it properly and use the right type of paint. Painting has many benefits, including environmental benefits, a longer life span, and curb appeal.

As you will learn throughout this article, one of the most important factors in painting a steel roof is preparing it properly. Once it is prepared, you can cover it with a coat of paint of your choice.

Of course, paint choice is a very important factor to consider and we will cover that information in detail. Generally speaking, acrylic latex paint will work quite well but you may also want to use an oil-based paint, provided it is for coating metal.

Can You/Should You Paint Over Steel Roof?

Man painting the roof

When you do things properly, the paint will last for a very long time and will beautify your home. If you don’t do things properly, it is likely that the paint will peel quickly and you will be unsatisfied with the lackluster results.

As is the case with any DIY project, you should carefully consider your personal safety when working on a roof. This is especially true on a steel roof because it has some very specific issues associated with it.

One of the most important things to consider is to always work with someone. Working on a roof by yourself is just a bad idea because if something happens, there may not be anyone there to help you get through it. This is true of everything from dehydration to falling.

The PPE that you use is also an important factor. Here are a few things that you should consider for your safety.

Fall Protection – Although most homeowners will work on a roof without any type of fall protection, it really is not a good idea. At the very least, you should throw a rope over the roof and tie it off so that you can be protected from an accidental fall.

Eye Protection – We always recommend that you wear safety glasses for any DIY project. When painting a steel roof, it is more important for a number of different reasons.

You can purchase safety glasses that fit over your own glasses, which has benefits if you want to wear sunglasses. You can also buy tinted safety glasses that will work well in that regard. It protects your eyes from damage from the sun and from damage from flying objects.

Gloves – A good pair of all-purpose gloves will work well. They are easy to work with and protect your hands nicely.

Respiratory Protection – If you are using paint with heavy fumes, you may need to use a half mask respirator with the appropriate filters. This will help to filter out much of the fumes and any airborne particles.

Let’s consider the factors of whether you should paint over a steel roof and if it is even possible to do so easily.

Can You Paint Over Steel Roof?

Confused man standing

The question as to whether you can paint over a steel roof is one that many people ask. Can you do it and be happy with the finish?

Painting over any type of metal roof is possible but you have to prepare the roof in advance. This could include scuffing the surface or using a primer that will etch the surface. Without doing so, the steel roof will likely shed the paint within a matter of months or years.

Paint choice is also a very important part of painting over a steel roof. Acrylic latex paint is the primary choice but you need to choose one that has been manufactured for painting steel. There are also other options available, but always make sure it is for painting over metal.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/04/2022.

If there is already paint on the roof, you will have to do some extra work before painting. This could include scraping some of the old paint so it doesn’t simply flake away the new paint.

It is absolutely possible to paint over a steel roof and if you do it right, you will love the end result.

Should You Paint Over Steel Roof?

Man painting the roof

We’ve already covered the point as to whether you can paint over a steel roof. It is also good to consider if you should do so, as that is a completely different question.

Painting over a steel roof offers multiple benefits. Those benefits will have you enjoying your roof for a lot longer and can make you proud of your home, because it looks exactly like you wanted to look.

Considering the different reasons why you should paint over a steel roof can help you to make the right decision. Here are a few for your consideration:

Carbon Footprint – You may have chosen a steel roof because it lasts for a very long time. When you paint a steel roof using the proper type of paint, it can also reduce your overall carbon footprint.

Using a reflective paint can cut down on how much heating and air-conditioning you are using throughout the year. It will make your home comfortable without having to do so using a lot of power.

Lifespan – Although metal roofs are well-known for lasting decades, you can increase their lifespan by painting them. Painting the metal roof seals the steel, allowing it to last for a much longer time and to do so while also looking beautiful.

Curb Appeal – This is a benefit that should not be overlooked. Curb appeal is important, not only because you may want to sell the house someday but because you need to live in it. We all want to be proud of our property, and painting a steel roof is one way to accomplish it.

What Tools And Preparation Do You Need To Paint Steel Roof

Confused man standing

There is nothing more important about painting the steel roof than preparing to paint it. This would include gathering the tools that you need and taking the proper steps so the paint lasts for a very long time.

Cleanliness is one of the most important factors for preparing a roof for paint. The old steel roof may have been up there and exposed to the elements for quite some time, so it may have gathered dust, dirt, and could even be peeling. Cleaning the roof properly is the first step for preparation.

Let’s consider the steps necessary to prepare to paint a steel roof:

1. Gather Your Tools

Gather the following tools and have them on hand before you start the process.



Pressure Washer

TSP Cleaner

Wire Brush


Paint Rollers


Scrub Brushes



5 Gallon buckets




Once you have your tools available, continue with the preparation process.

2. Pressure wash

Using a power washer that is at least 3000 psi, cover the entire roof so that it is clean. Pressure washing will remove mold and mildew and can even remove some of the old paint that may be chipping.

3. Scraping

If you have any old paint on the roof and it is coming loose, you should scrape it away using a good scraper. Without doing this step, the peeling paint would simply continue to peel with the new paint.

4. Wire brush

If you have any difficult areas, you can scrub them with a wire brush. You can also use a wire wheel on a drill to accomplish the same purpose easily.

5. Primer

Use a self-etching primer to prepare the roof for paint. The etching will give the roof a bite so the paint will adhere to it. It will also cover the roof and make it more uniform so the paint covers nicely.

What Paint Can You Use To Paint Steel Roof?

Man painting the roof

As is the case with painting any item, paint choice is imperative. What paint is usable for painting a steel roof?

Almost any type of paint can be used for painting a metal roof but you need to ensure that it is specifically made for that purpose. Some of the more common types of paint include acrylic and alkyd paints. As long as you prime the surface and use a good sealer, these paints will last for a long time.

One option that you should consider is using exterior paint. This will help to extend the life of the paint and the roof as well.

Alkyd paints tend to cover nicely because they are thinned with mineral spirits or alcohol. Since the paint flows better, it covers better.

This article and its contents are owned by Ready To DIY and was first published on 08/04/2022.

How To Paint Steel Roof Properly

Confused man standing

We have now come to the point where it is actually time to do the work. If you are ready to paint your steel roof, these are the steps needed to paint it properly.

Roof preparation is the most important factor for painting your steel roof. Unless you remove the old paint, clean the steel roof, and use a quality primer, it is unlikely that the paint will stick for long. It may look good for a short amount of time, but without proper preparation, it will quickly peel away.

Here are the steps for painting a metal roof properly.

1. Timing

They often say that timing is everything, and that is true of painting a roof. If you choose a day when it is supposed to rain in the afternoon or if it is too hot, you run the risk of ruining the project.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on 2022-08-04.

2. Prepare

Pressure Wash the steel roof to remove mold and mildew along with any dirt that is built up. You can then scrape the old paint and use a wire brush or wire wheel to clean up any rough edges. Apply primer suitable for the type of paint you selected.

3. Paint

At this point in the process, you just need to cover the surface of the roof with your paint of choice. Always opt for the second coat rather than trying to cover the roof in one, thicker coat.

4. Seal

It is important to seal most types of paint both before and after the paint is applied. Sealing the paint after it is applied will allow it to last for a very long time.

Can You Paint Over Steel Beams?

Confused man standing

Along with painting a steel roof, you may need to paint steel beams at times. Is this possible?

Steel beams can be painted over but you have to prepare them or the paint will peel quickly. This can be done by cleaning the steel beam with a pressure washer and scraping away any loose paint. Apply a self-etching primer and allow it to dry before applying the paint.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on 2022-08-04.

If you want to paint over your steel roof, you can do so easily by preparing it and choosing the right paint. It provides an excellent means of extending the life of the roof and providing curb appeal at the same time.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on 2022-08-04.

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