How to paint roof slate tiles

Updated February 21, 2017

Many people believe that the urban beauty of slate accentuates the overall look of their particular home. Others believe that slate looks grey and drab and prefer a roof with a little more colour. Unfortunately, paint doesn't adhere very well to slate surfaces and, more often than not, when do-it-yourselfers attempt to paint their slate roof, the finish generally doesn't hold up over time. If you need to paint roof slate tiles, use a special type of coating specifically designed for concrete, clay and other natural surfaces.

Access the roof, using a ladder.

Rinse the slate tiles, using a pressure washer. Start at the far edge of the roof and work backward, moving toward the ladder. Allow the roof to dry.

Apply Rustoleum primer 44 to the slate tiles, using a 4-inch paintbrush. Start at the far edge of the roof and work backward, moving toward the ladder. Allow the roof to dry for two full hours.

Apply Rustoleum Dac-Hydro to the roof in the same manner as you did the primer.

Check weather conditions closely, and only work on a warm, dry day.


Rustoleum primer 44 and Rustoleum Dac-Hydro are the preferred type of coating for slate tiles. If you prefer another brand, make sure it is specially formulated to cover slate or you will end up with chipping and peeling.


Adhere to the safety directions printed on the side of the extension ladder to avoid unnecessary injuries.

Things You'll Need

  • Extension ladder
  • Pressure washer
  • 4-inch paintbrush
  • Rustoleum primer 44
  • Rustoleum Dac-Hydro
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About the Author

Ryan Lawrence is a freelance writer based in Boulder, Colorado. He has been writing professionally since 1999. He has 10 years of experience as a professional painting contractor. Lawrence writes for High Class Blogs and Yodle. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations with a minor in history from the University of Oklahoma.