Can You Paint Roof Shingles?

Everyone’s grateful to have a roof over their head but most homeowners don’t spend much time thinking about the upkeep of their roof shingles. So, can you paint roof shingles? What are the pros and cons and is it something that is safe for the average person to attempt? If you do notice that your roof shingles are looking a little shabby, we can recommend some tricks and tips that may make the task less intimidating and help you get satisfying end results. 

Can you paint asphalt shingles? 

Yes, you can most definitely paint asphalt shingles. However, it can be a time-consuming and downright scary task to undertake on your own. We recommend hiring a professional to ensure the job is done correctly. Asphalt shingles are by far the most common type of roofing material used on Boise homes. This material performs well with the contrast in daily temperatures that is present in the Treasure Valley. For example, it may be very cool in the morning but may quickly rise to temperatures in the 90s by the afternoon.

Most asphalt roofs are durable and flexible enough to handle the constant contraction and expansion for approximately 20 years. They also tend to be a very competitively priced roofing material and come in a variety of styles and colors that look great with any style of home. Metal roofs are much less commonly used in Boise. While their longevity may be longer, they do cost more than asphalt shingles. So even though a metal roof can serve your home for a long time, most people agree they are less visually appealing. 

How to Paint Roof Shingles 

As mentioned above, taking on a project of this magnitude isn’t for everyone. But if you consider yourself somewhat of a handyman and want to cut down on expenses, there are some tips we recommend to help guide you through the project. 

  • Start by getting an inspection done 

It’s important to know if your roof is in need of any repairs before you ever start painting. Be sure to repair or replace any damaged shingles before applying any paint. 

  • Round up the right tools and equipment

For any project to be a success, it’s necessary to have the proper tools on hand. Here is a list of the basic tools you’ll need:

  1. High-pressure water blaster 
  2. Paint spray gun and pump 
  3. Extension ladder 
  4. Air respirator 
  5. Full bodysuit to protect your clothes 
  6. Tarps 
  • Gather Safety Equipment 

Obviously, there can be many accidents while working on your roof. Because of this fact, we recommend getting safety equipment for protection. You should always wear a harness and have set anchored points should you slip and fall. 

  • Clean Your Roof 

To achieve a smooth and consistent finish, you’ll need to remove all built-up dirt and grime before applying paint to your shingles.

  • Apply the Correct Primer and Sealer 

It’s really beneficial to use primer and sealer for the best results when painting your roof. Just be certain you purchase the right kind, depending on whether your shingles are asphalt or metal.

Why you should paint your roof shingles 

If you’re wondering if painting your roof shingles is a good idea, we’ve compiled a list of all the reasons someone may want to: 

  • More Affordable 

It’s no secret that repainting your roof shingles is a far less-expensive option than replacing the existing roof surface. Painting will also save you money in the long run because it will improve your energy efficiency.

  • Longer Roof Life 

A fresh coat of paint can extend the life of your roof by protecting it from the elements. However, you don’t want to make the mistake of applying the wrong kind of paint to your shingles. We recommend going with 100% acrylic latex in a flat finish for the most protection as well as aesthetics.

  • Updated New Look

When you start noticing your roof shingles are showing signs of wear and tear, a fresh coat of paint can be the best way to upgrade the look of your home. 

Why you should NOT paint your roof shingles 

Everything has a list of pros and cons. So here are a few reasons why it may not be the best idea to paint your roof shingles: 

  • Painted Shingles Means More Maintenance 

Unpainted shingles can look nice for up to 20 years. But once your shingles have been repainted, they will show signs of wear and tear much faster. Repainted shingles may need to be examined and routinely painted every 5-7 years or sooner depending on how quickly your paint deteriorates. Examine your roof on a yearly basis and be prepared to potentially go through the entire process all over again. 

  • You May Damage Your Roof 

If you don’t use the appropriate paint, you could likely damage your roof. You certainly don’t want to put in precious time and money to improve your roof, only to discover that it was better off left alone. You’ll need paint specifically designed for roofs. Acrylic latex, water-based paint allows moisture to escape from the shingles. Less moisture will discourage the growth of algae and mildew while protecting your home from roof leaks.

  • Painting Your Roof is Hard Work! 

Working on a roof pitch is dangerous and you’ll need lots of safety equipment. It’s time-consuming and requires tools that not everyone has just lying around. It just makes good sense to leave painting your roof shingles to the professionals. 

How Much Does it Cost to Paint Shingles? 

If you have an average-sized roof, you’ll roughly pay around $500 if you do the job yourself. This amount includes the paint and necessary equipment. If you have a larger-sized roof, you can expect that number to go much higher. 

A gallon of roof paint will cost somewhere between $30 to $40 dollars. One gallon should roughly cover 400 square feet. Quality rollers and paint trays will add an extra $50-$100. Throw in a few hundred more dollars to purchase a ladder and safety equipment.

When paying a professional contractor to paint your roof that is approximately 1200 sq ft., you should plan on paying between $4200-$6600. Plan on paying around $7000-$10,000 for a roof of around 2000 sq ft. 

Can You Paint Your Roof Singles Conclusion 

Painting your roof shingles is hard work. It can be dangerous and very time-consuming. Turn to the professionals at Boise Home Painting where we can put our experience and equipment to work for you. We use only the highest quality materials and current painting techniques to ensure your complete satisfaction. We serve the entire Boise area including Nampa, Meridian, and Eagle! Click here to get your free estimate for your roof and exterior painting needs!

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