December 2, 2021

The Cost and Benefits of Painting Your Metal Roof

The Cost and Benefits of Painting Your Metal Roof

The Cost and Benefits of Painting Your Metal Roof

The average cost to paint a metal ceiling, as well as the 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 in any home is essential; It keeps you dry from the rain, gives you shade on hot days, and protects you from the cold in the dead of winter. Shingles, the roofing material, are a necessity for homes and can be customized to suit designs. One of the most durable and valuable materials is the metal roof. This type of roof is ideal for schools and companies that need to withstand adverse weather conditions. Metal roofs are also an option for homeowners who want a rugged look and want something that can last for decades.

But having a metal roof isn’t enough to paint, it’s a worthwhile investment and can add color to your home and make the roof last even longer. A costly expense at first, but rewarding when you see your neighbors have to replace a roof after a storm or decaying from mold.

How Much Does It Cost To Paint A Metal Roof?

The median cost of a two-story home with a 1,500-square-foot ceiling is $ 1,597 to $ 3,304 to paint.

The numbers calculated are for the lowest cost average rate at $ 1.06 per square foot and the highest average at $ 2.20 per square foot. Now, these prices are only for the paint itself and do not include any necessary cleaning and prep work.

If you were to add in any professional power wash cleaning services, you’d add between $ 247 and $ 600 per hour. That would increase the labor rate from $ 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 ceiling and are not sure if you need a new coat, here are some 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 show up on your roof, have a professional inspect if the job requires repair or cleaning.

DIY Or A Professional Job

Anyone can do whatever job they put their mind to, but this is a time when hiring a professional installer and painter would be better than handling the job on your own. The reason is that this is a very labor intensive job that requires equipment that is expensive to buy or rent. Professionals also have the experience to get the job done efficiently, quickly and safely. That’s better than being stranded on a metal roof on a hot day because the ladder I was using fell off. You can get a free quote qualification per square foot, per hour, or per project, depending on the company. Get a rough estimate of labor costs and choose the best ceiling painters for the job.

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


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 pressure washer.

Remove any old paint that is loose or peeling. Using a paint scraper or putty knife, remove the paint but avoid damaging the metal underneath. You don’t need to remove any that are in good condition, as you can paint over them.

After removing all loose paint, look at the rust marks and their size. For smaller rust stains, 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 write down the roof repairs needed to add to the cost of painting the metal roof.

The next step would be to use a pressure washer on the roof and it serves two purposes. First, remove any loose paint that you have lost, and second, clean the ceiling, preparing it for the next coat. A professional will supply you with a pressure washer or rent it from your local home improvement store. If neither is an option, using a garden hose will clean the roof but will be less effective.


For newer roofs, it’s best to let the metal erode and let it sit for about six months. The reason behind this is that the oils will be washed out of the natural rain and the minerals will remove the remains of the galvanizing process. If you’re in a hurry, a thorough power wash cleaning will be fine.

After cleaning and inspecting the ceiling, let it dry for at least an hour. The weather will change how long you will have to wait before moving on. Check the area and if it is not completely dry, leave it for 30 more minutes and check again. Repeat until done. The entire space needs to be arid before you move on or face paint problems that won’t stick to metal.

Primer And Sealer

Sealer, or sometimes called Primer, is the coat you apply to the ceiling before adding paint. Its use ensures that the paint adheres to the metal surface through chemical bonds. Skipping this step risks the paint peeling off after drying.

Applying the primer / sealer first before painting is essential and skipping it will delay the project, wasting time and material. When hiring a contractor, ask him what type of primer he will use if he uses a two-in-one or single primer. If you’re DIYing, make sure you don’t miss out on this item while shopping for supplies.

After applying a coat of sealer / primer, allow it to dry for one hour. Verify that it is completely dry by testing the last painted area. If the area is dry, you can confirm that the rest of the roof is too.


Before you start looking for colors, you should look at the type of paint and if it is suitable for the metallic material. When it comes to the type of paint, two options are ideal for prolonged exposure to the sun and the environment. The options are polyester or PDVF paints, but both contain a material called an elastomeric coating. This coating has the advantage of being opaque and reflective, and repels sunlight.

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

Either option will be suitable for the house; the choice depends more on how often you are willing to coat your roof as the year goes on.

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



A well painted metal ceiling costs a lot up front, but the performance of your home is huge and immeasurable. Metal is innate to conduct heat and will reach scorching temperatures during the summer. If left untreated, the waste heat would travel to the house, raising the internal temperature. By chemically bonding the roof to the paint, it will repel most sunlight and UV rays, reducing the amount of heat it absorbs and reducing the amount of time it takes for the metal to cool.

What this means is that you will have a more comfortable home as the attic and driveways will be cooler during the summer. Winter will also not be a problem with the paint that protects the metal from rust and other materials added in the snow that could affect the integrity of the exterior.


Don’t go celebrating and think this is a set and done when the paint dries. To maintain a healthy and pristine roof, it is a good habit to have it checked by a professional at least once or twice a year. Why would you do this after taking all the time and care to do it the first time? Incidents occur when paint did not harden as needed or maybe some paint was chipped from a storm. Damage that is not checked until the next coat and left unattended could cost significantly more to repair or replace.

A quick check on your roof once or twice a year will not seem as bad as having to replace everything due to preventable damage. Most professionals have annual warranties on their work and can cover natural disasters or defective work.

Is Metal Roof Painting Worth It?

Yes. Having said everything and calculating the prices, it is worth painting the metal ceiling. It will add longevity to the material and give your home personality.