The Cost and Benefits of Painting Your Metal Roof

The average cost to paint a metal roof as well as steps to see what a professional would do. Learn what to ask when hiring a contractor or learn how to do it yourself.


Having a roof to any home is essential; it keeps you dry from the rain, gives you shade during hot days, and keeps out the cold in the dead of winter. The shingles, the roofing material, is a necessity for homes and customizable to fit designs. One of the most durable and worthwhile material is metal roofing. This type of roofing is ideal for schools and businesses who need to withstand harsh weather conditions. Metal roofing is also an option for homeowners who want a sturdy look and want something that can last for decades.


But just having a metal roof isn’t good enough painting it is a worthwhile investment that can add color to your home and make the roofing last even longer. A costly expense, in the beginning, but rewarding when you see your neighbors having to replace a roof after or storm or decaying from mildew.


How Much Does it Cost to Paint A Metal Roof?


The average cost for a two-story house with a 1,500 square foot roof is between $1,597 to $3,304 to paint.


The calculated numbers are by the average rate of the lowest cost coming in at $1.06 per square foot and the average high at $2.20 per square foot. Now, these prices are just for the painting themselves and not including and cleaning and prep work needed.


If you were to add in any power wash cleaning service done by a professional, you would add between $247 to $600 per hour. That would increase the rate for the job to $1,843 to $3,904 to clean the roof, provide supplies, and labor.


When Should You Be Repainting?


If you already have a painted metal roof and aren’t sure if it needs a new coat here are few things to look for when inspecting.


  • Any visible rust spots
  • Cracks in the paint
  • Peeling or bubbling
  • A chalky appearance or fading color


If any of these appear on your roof have a professional inspect if the job requires repair or cleaning.


DIY or a Professional Job


Anyone can do any job they set their mind to, but this is one time where hiring a professional installer and painter would be better than handling the work on your own. Reason being that this is a very labor-intensive job that requires equipment that is expensive to buy or rent. The professionals also have the experience to get the job done efficiently, quickly, and safely. That beats being stranded on a metal roof on a hot day because the ladder you were using fell. You can get a free quote rating by square feet, by the hour, or by project depending on the company. Get a rough estimate of labor costs and choose the best roof painters for the job.


But if the DIY route is how you want to go or you want to know how a professional would do the job here are the steps.





Skip this step if it is a new metal roof and has never painted before.


Removal is a combination of removing any old and damaged paint from the metal roof, getting rid of any patches of rust, and cleaning with a power washer.


Remove any old paint that is loose or falling off. Using a paint scraper or putty knife remove the paint but avoid damaging the metal underneath. You do not have to remove any that is in good shape as you can paint over it instead.


After removing all the loose paint take note of any rust marks and their size. For smaller rust spots try removing them with a putty knife and for stubborn stains add vinegar or other chemicals to help clean. This step is also when you can note any roof repairs needed to add to your metal roof painting cost.


The next step would be to use a power washer on the roof and serves two purposes. First, remove any missed loose paint and secondly cleaning the roof, prepping it for the next coat. A power washer would be provided by a professional or rented at your local home improvement store. If neither is an option, using a garden hose will clean the roof but less effective.




For newer roofs, it is best to let metal become weathered and let it sit for about six months. The reason behind this is so that the oils will wash off from the natural rain and the minerals will remove any remnants of the galvanizing process. If in a rush a thorough cleaning by power washing will do fine.


After cleaning and inspection of the roof, let dry for at least an hour. Weather will change how long you will need to wait before moving forward. Check the area and if not completely dry leave for an additional 30 minutes and check again. Repeat until done. The whole space must be arid before moving forward or face issues with paint not adhering to the metal.


Primer and Sealer


Sealer, or sometimes called Primer, is the layer you apply to the roof before adding the paint. Using it assures that the paint will adhere to the metal surface through chemical bonding.  Skipping this step risks the paint peeling off after drying.


Applying the primer/ sealant first before painting is essential and if skipped, will set the project back, waste time, and material. When hiring a contractor, ask what kind of primer they will be using if they are using a two-in-one or sole primer. If DIY make sure you don’t miss this item while your shopping for supplies.


After applying a coat of sealer/primer, let it dry for one hour. Check for complete dryness by testing the last area painted. If the area is dry, you can confirm that the rest of the roof is dry as well.




Before you start looking at colors, you have to look at the type of paint and if it is suitable for the metal material. When it comes to the kind of paint, two options are ideal for extended exposure to the sun and atmosphere. The choices are PDVF or polyester paints, but both contain a material called elastomeric coating. This coating has the benefit of being both opaque and reflective, repelling sunlight away.  


PDVF and Polyester are both durable paints and have a difference in price due to the longevity in the products. Polyester is an affordable option and will last ten years before needing to repaint. PDVF, on the other hand, will be a bit more costly but has a life span that exceeds polyesters by decades.


Either choice will be suitable for the house; the choice is more dependent on how often you are willing to recoat your roof as the year's pass.


With that, those are all the steps and process you would take or see a painting contractor to paint a metal roof. An extensive project to take on but the benefits of this project far exceed the costs.





A well-painted metal roof costs a lot up front, but the return on your home is vast and immeasurable. Metal is innate at conducting heat and will reach scorching temperatures during the summer. If left untreated, the residual heat would travel down to the home, raising the internal temperature. With the chemical bonding of the roof to the paint, it will repel most sunlight and UV rays, reducing the amount of heat it will absorb, and reducing the amount of time needed for the metal to cool.  


What this means is that you will have a more comfortable home as the attic and crawl spaces will be cooler during the summer. The winter won’t be an issue either with the paint protecting the metal from rusting and other aggregate materials in the snow that could affect the integrity of the exterior.




Don’t go celebrating and think that this is a set and done when the paint dries. To maintain a healthy and pristine roof, it’s a wise habit to have it checked at least once to twice a year by a professional. Why would you do this after taking all the time and care to get it done the first time? Incidents happen where the paint didn’t set as needed or perhaps some paint was ripped off from a storm. Damages left unchecked until you the next recoat and left unattended could cost a lot more to repair or replace.


A quick check on your roof once or twice a year won’t seem as bad as having to replace the whole thing because of preventable damages. Most professionals have year warranties on their work and can cover natural disasters or faulty work. 


Is Metal Roof Painting Worth It?


Yes. After everything is said, and prices calculated, it is worth having your metal roof painted. It will add longevity to the material and give personality to your home.


Next: Lighting Ideas that Will Illuminate Your Home the Right Way