If you have an asphalt shingle roof that you don’t like the color of, you may have asked yourself, “Can you paint shingles?” The answer to that question (perhaps to your surprise) is YES!
Painting shingles is a relatively simple process and can be a lot more budget-friendly than re-roofing. We just completed a garden makeover for our outdoor gazebo and I hated the multicolored brown clapboards covering the roof.
The color style really added to the feeling that this is a structure in a public park (rather than a more modern backyard oasis). When I found out that it was possible to paint the asphalt shingles, I jumped at the chance.
It’s a good idea to have a roof inspection done first so you can spot any repairs that may be needed before painting.
SECURITY NOTICE: Any time roofs and ladders are involved, make sure you take all safety precautions and work with a partner or appropriate fall protection equipment if attempting this project yourself.
If you’re not entirely comfortable doing this yourself safely, hire professional roof washers and painters to do the job for you!
Do I have to use a special paint to paint roof shingles?
Yes! You should use an acrylic latex paint recommended for outdoor use on roofing panels such as shingles (Behr Multi-Surface Roof Paint or Sherwin Williams Resilience Paint are good examples) to ensure the life of your paint is extended.
The water-based paint allows moisture to escape from the shingles, preventing the growth of algae and mold.
Do you need to prime roof shingles before painting them?
Priming the shingles before painting them will help your final finish coat adhere as best as possible for the best overall bond.
Use one that is good for all materials and can be used outdoors (like this Multi-Surface Exterior Primer) so it will bond properly to the shingles.
Can you paint a roof that is in bad shape?
While you can technically paint a roof with shingles that are not in good condition (although all roof repairs really should be done before painting), it may not be worth the money and effort to paint the roof (if you really want a need roof). total new roof).
Painting a roof will not fix leaking issues or areas where the shingles may be showing. As such, it may be better to replace the roof and choose a new shingle color when replacing, rather than attempting to paint it.
Are there any disadvantages to painting a shingle roof?
It’s a good idea to have the painted shingles inspected once a year for signs of peeling or chipping. Extreme weather will accelerate paint wear faster than temperate climates.
Step one: Clean the roof
As with most painting projects, you will want to clean up the area to be painted before you start painting. Rooftops are no exception, and you should pay particular attention to cleaning spots that get less sun and where moss or algae are growing.
Using a pressure washer is the most efficient way to clean a roof, which you can either do yourself if it’s a smaller lower structure like our gazebo and you have the pressure washer and ladder, or you can hire someone to do it for you to clean you.
You can damage shingles by blowing water at them too hard (especially in the upward direction), so keep that in mind and have a professional do it if you’re not comfortable.
If the roof has a lot of algae, you can spray and apply a solution of 50% water and 50% bleach to kill the algae and keep them from coming back longer. Water any plants well below the roof drip line (if they are already wet, this will prevent the bleach from seeping into them).
Then rinse the plants well again when you’re done applying your mixture to the roof. Let the roof dry completely before painting to avoid promoting mold or wood rot under the paint.
Step 2: Prime the roof
While some paints have a primer built in, it can be a good idea to use an adhesion primer so the paint adheres the strongest to your shingles. Something like this Multi-Surface Exterior Primer or this Extreme Bond Primer will do.
If necessary, attach drop cloths to protect other areas or plants from overspray. Apply the primer in an even coat using a spray gun (you can also rent paint guns) and allow the primer to dry completely.
Step 3: Paint the roof
Once your primer has dried, use a sprayer to apply your roof paint in thin, even coats, allowing sufficient drying time between coats until all of the shingles are evenly coated.
This will most likely take at least 1-2 coats but may require more depending on how thin you spray and what color you want to achieve (the base coat is white so dark finish colors may need more coats to fully cover).
While painting a roof is a temporary improvement (multiple coats of paint can extend the life of a roof by protecting it from wear and UV damage, which is a plus), it can be worth the effort, especially in cases like mine with one smaller structure where the total cost was quite low.
I’m really glad we decided to paint our clapboards. The color helped modernize the look of the structure, protect the clapboards a little better for years to come, and we didn’t have to replace the entire roof to achieve a similar look.
Painting may not be the best option in every situation, but I’m glad we chose it for our gazebo remodel! xo. laura
Want to see more before and after outdoor spaces? Cash: