Roof painting offers many benefits for the average homeowner when performed correctly with the right tools; it prevents early roof deterioration, increases your home’s value, and saves you money on energy bills.

Roof paint has a lifespan of about 10-15 years depending on the paint’s quality and the workmanship’s excellence.

Homeowners must be willing to perform regular maintenance activities on their roof if they wish to extend the lifespan of their roof paint. These include periodic inspection of their roof surface for cracks and discoloration and cleaning and sweeping away debris from their roof.

How often will I need to repaint my roof

You can repaint metal roof every 10-15 years, which is the natural amount of time it takes for the roof coating or protective membrane to break down due to the effects of sunlight, debris, and severe weather conditions. However, note that discoloration or accelerated fading of your roof paint due to storm damage, or ultraviolet (U.V) radiation can necessitate painting your roof much earlier than expected.

Is it cheaper to replace or repaint my roof?

Replacing your roof is a big big-budget renovation job compared to roof repainting. Prices for both roof replacement and repainting varies depending on the type of roof you have.

Metal Roofs
The average cost to replace a 1,500 square feet metal roof painting costs range from $9 – $11 per square foot and the total cost to install one is around $12,000. On the other hand, it costs between $1.06 – $2.20 per square foot to paint a 1,500 square foot metal roof. And the total roof painting costs can range from $1,597 – $3,304 depending on the quality of the materials used.

Tile roofs
The cost of replacing a 1500 square foot tile roof range from $4.00 – $16.00 per square foot. Average installation costs range from $3,857 to $32,117, depending on the type of tile roofing material used. The average cost of hiring a professional to paint a tile roof ranges from $4 to $10 per square foot and the average total painting costs is around $7,000.

In conclusion, painting your roof is way cheaper than replacing it, as long as your roofing material hasn’t failed. Roof painting takes less time to complete, and it is more environmentally friendly than replacing your roof because it produces much less waste.

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Can I paint over a rusted metal roof?

Painting over a rusted metal roof can be done so long as the roof surface is prepared (scraped, washed, and primed) before painting. The preparation process can be long and exhausting, so hiring a painter who can take the time to perform the procedure using the correct materials is essential. After the preparation process is complete, a good quality galvanized metal primer allows the new paint to bond firmly with the roof. Water-based acrylic latex paint is the right choice for metal roofs because it is easily applied over old paint.

Can I paint over a rusted metal roof paint rusted metal

What’s the difference between roof paint and exterior paint?

Roof paint shouldn’t be confused with ordinary paint used on home exteriors. Both paints perform different purposes, but roof coatings are formulated to have significantly more excellent durability, strength, waterproofing, and heat reflective properties than any typical house paint.

Below is a list of a few properties of roof paint:

Long lifespan
Roof paints have a life expectancy of 10-15 years, which is much longer than the 3-5 years average lifespan of the typical exterior home paint.

High quality
Roof paints have high-quality properties that can enable them to withstand extreme temperatures. Roof paints have highly elastic properties, which help maintain their molecular integrity when exposed to excessive sunlight. In contrast, most exterior house paints develop cracks, peel, chip, and generally fail under similar conditions.

U.V absorption
Roof paint has elastomeric resins that protect the roof from the sun’s harmful UltraViolet (U.V) radiation. Ordinary exterior paints, on the other hand, have no such U.V absorbing properties.

Energy savings
Roof paints are formulated with a blend of unique heat-reflective ceramics designed to disperse as much heat as possible away from your home interior.

What's the difference between roof paint and exterior paint

How should I prepare a roof for painting?

The purpose of preparing a roof surface before painting is to create a surface that will bond firmly to new roof paint. Roof surface preparation is probably the most critical stage of the roof painting process. Most roof paint and coating failures can be attributed to inadequate surface preparation. Although the surface preparation process for both metal and tile roofs are nearly identical, they do have slight differences. Surface preparation should only be performed when rain is not forecast to fall for at least 2 to 3 days.

Tile roof preparation

  1. Sweep the roof with a stiff broom attached to a long pole to remove debris.
  2. Wash the roof tiles with a high-pressure washer. Or, you could soak them with water and scrub thoroughly with a stiff brush to remove loose and deteriorating paint. Rinse the roof with water when done.
  3. To know if the old paint on a recently prepared roof surface will bond with new paint, place sticky tape over the old paint on the tile. Pull away the tape and check the underside of any of the old paint is pulled away with the tape. If you notice paint residue on the tape, then you have to strip away all the old paint before repainting the roof. No sign of paint on the tape means the roof is well prepared, and it is ready to receive a new coat of paint.
  4. Apply primer and a new coat of paint according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Metal roof preparation

  1. Sweep away or power blast all leaves, branches, and any other debris on the roof.
  2. Remove the rust spots on the roof by scrubbing with a wire brush, water, and Trisodium Phosphate.
  3. Rinse down the roof with a power washer. A power washer is recommended because it can easily dislodge firmly bonded rust particles challenging to reach areas on the roof.
  4. Coat the roof with a specialized zinc primer to prevent further metal rust.
Metal roof


Yes, you certainly can. Both metal and tile roofs can be painted, and a quality paint job lasts for 10-15 years. Painting your roof prolongs its lifespan and protects your roofing material.

Reflective roof paint is an effective method for cooling down your roof. As its name suggests, reflective paints reflect the sun’s radiation away from your roof and prevent your building from heating up during hot weather conditions. Reflective paints can help a house achieve between 20-60% energy savings, and white reflective paints are renowned for being the most effective, potentially reducing up to 60% of the heat coming in through the roof. The lifespan of reflective paints depends on the climate, but they should last an average of 10-15 before needing a new coat.

Painting your roof tiles can rejuvenate and improve your roof appearance at a fraction of the cost of completely replacing your entire roof. Painting your roof tiles extends the life of your roof tiles by several years. Almost all types of roof tiles can be painted, including concrete, asphalt, clay, terracotta.

You can paint your roof shingles, but most shingles do just fine with their neutral tones. Wood, asphalt, and metal shingles can last up to 20 years without painting. However, painting your shingle means you’d spend more time maintaining them than if you didn’t. To prevent problems with rot or decay with wood shingles, use high-quality acrylic latex paint specifically formulated to adhere to shingle surfaces. Also, painted shingles need to be repainted every 5-7 years.

roof shingles

Funso Ogunnowo
Author: Funso Ogunnowo - Funso is a freelance writer with over ten years of experience working as an accountant. His love for writing prompted his foray into the world of freelance writing, and he is active on freelance websites like Upwork, where he has completed several writing projects for different clients.