Can You Paint Roof Shingles? A Quick Guide to Painting Your Roof

Can You Paint Roof Shingles? A Quick Guide to Painting Your Roof

February 20, 2024

Roof replacements are expensive, and if you’re tired of the look of your current roof and want a change, a replacement may be a bit over budget for what you’re looking for. Naturally, you may wonder - can you just paint your shingles instead of replacing them?

In this post, we’ll discuss if you can paint roof shingles and what types of roofing are good for painting. We’ll also talk about things to consider before painting over your roof and the pros and cons of painting over your roof.

Can You Paint Roof Shingles?

In short- yes, you can, but there are a few things to keep in mind when considering this option. In general, most professional roofers don’t recommend painting for shingle roofs.

Painting shingles isn’t the most common way to give your home or business a design change, but it is possible. People paint their shingle roofs for a variety of reasons, from upgrading the style of their roof to improving the energy efficiency of their roof by changing the color. 

So, you can paint your shingles, but sometimes your roof needs more than a fresh coat of paint to look a little nicer. Not every type of roof can be painted, and any damage or wear on your roof may warrant some more intense repairs. 

What Types of Roofs Can Be Painted?

We’ve talked about how shingle roofs can be painted, but there are a few other types of roofs that can be painted as well. 

  1. Metal: Metal is one of the most commonly repainted roof materials. Due to its durability, the original coats of paint and sealant on a metal roof may wear out before the roof itself does. This is why some home and business owners get their metal roofs repainted when needed.
  2. Slate: While not as common as painting metal or asphalt, some types of slate roofing can be painted. Slate is tricky though - once painted, there’s no going back. Generally, it is not recommended to paint a slate roof.
  3. Tile: Tile roofing is another decent candidate for roof painting, as tile is much easier to paint than some other materials. Some tile types are better for painting than others depending on what the tile is made out of.
  4. Wood: Natural wood can be painted or stained, but it usually requires a special sealant to ensure the wood stays in good shape on your roof. Wood shake that is wearing out, rotting, or already stained cannot be painted.

While these materials can be painted (with some exceptions) keep in mind that specialty roofing materials that mimic the look of natural materials like DaVinci slate and shake roofing should not be painted. These materials are highly durable and usually do not benefit from being painted over.

What to Think About Before Painting Your Roof

If you are dead set on putting a fresh coat of paint on your shingle roof, here are a few things to ask yourself before you get started.

Why Do I Want My Roof Painted?

Are you unhappy with the look of your current roof? Will a simple color change fix that? Sometimes, the color of your roof is not the entire problem. If your flashing or siding is in poor shape or your roof is starting to deteriorate, a coat of paint may not be the solution you’re looking for.

Does My Local Weather Work For This Project?

The weather and climate you live in can determine whether or not painting your roof will be a long-term solution. Too much direct sunlight can cause the paint to fade and weather quickly. Too much moisture and humidity can cause issues with the paint adhering to your roof. Consult with a roofing professional to determine if your climate will work for your project.

Are You Avoiding Roof Repair/Replacement?

A new paint job might make your roof look more presentable, but it won’t undo any damage or wear on your roof. Before making any changes to your roof, you should get it inspected first. If your inspector says any damage needs attention, tackle that first before painting and ensure your roof is in good shape.

Is It Worth It to Paint My Roof?

Getting your roof painted can be expensive depending on the size of your roof and the materials you choose. Before you commit, make sure a full paint job is worth it. Is your roof old and due for replacement soon? Do you need repairs before you can start painting? Are there other cosmetic areas of your home or building that need attention too? Before you get your roof painted, ensure that that is the solution you are looking for. 

Painting Roof Shingles: Pros and Cons

With any roofing project, there are pros and cons to every decision you make. Here are some pros and cons of painting your shingle roof.

Pros of Painting Your Roof

  1. Extra Protection: Some roof paints can help improve the durability of your roof and extend its lifespan. Paint may help protect your shingles from chipping and falling apart from storms and normal wear and tear. 
  2. Better Energy Efficiency: The color of your roof can directly affect the energy efficiency of your home or building. Opting for a more reflective coating or color can reduce heating and cooling costs during more extreme temperatures.
  3. Less Cost than a Shingle Replacement: Painting your roof is often less expensive than replacing your shingles. You can get a new look for your roof without having to start from scratch.
  4. Higher Property Value: In some cases, painting your roof can improve the value of your property by improving the overall look of your home or building. It may help improve your roof condition if your roof is older.

Cons of Painting Your Roof

  1. The Prep Process May Damage the Roof: Roofs need to be thoroughly cleaned before they can be painted. This cleaning process can actually further damage the shingles if your roof is not in good shape.
  2. Peeling, Fading, and Flaking: Not all paint is created equal, and not all roofing companies or contractors are trustworthy. When you choose to paint your roof, peeling, fading, and flaking of the paint are real risks to consider. These risks are more apparent if the wrong type of paint is used, if no protective coating is applied, or if the roofing company does not apply the paint properly.
  3. Maintenance Required: Painted shingles will not stay in good shape without maintenance. The granules on asphalt shingles fall off and crumble over time, and they can take the paint with them as they fall off. Touch-ups are necessary to maintain the look of a painted shingle roof, and they may be needed more frequently depending on the weather your roof endures.
  4. Does Not Fix Deeper Issues: Painting your roof is usually a purely cosmetic solution. It is not a substitute for necessary repairs or roof replacement. If there are any other issues like leaking or displaced shingles, you should focus on repairs over a new paint job. 

Conclusion: Should You Paint Your Roof Shingles?

Before considering painting your roof, always consult with a professional. Most roofing professionals do not recommend roof painting, but you can always ask if you are interested. Always weigh the pros and cons, and take the recommendations of your roofing professional seriously before making your final decision.

If you need roofing services in Oklahoma, call Statewide Roofing first for a free quote and the best roofing services in Oklahoma. We work on both commercial and residential roofs, installing all kinds of roofing systems for any tastes, needs, and preferences. Check out our blog for more roofing knowledge, and reach out on our contact page to get started with us.

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