How to paint a corrugated metal roof

Written by ryan lawrence
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How to paint a corrugated metal roof
Read the safety instructions on the side of the ladder. (Wooden ladder image by Tasha from

If you are planning to paint a corrugated metal roof, you should understand some key points. Metallic roofs are hard and nonporous, making them ill-suited for paint adhesion. You must abrade the roof with a special type of acidic primer, prior to painting, or the finish will flake. In addition, because corrugated roofs are prone to heavy runs and drips, you should employ a particular application method that will promote a smooth, professional-looking finish.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Extension ladder
  • Pressure washer
  • Professional painter's tape
  • Heavy-duty fabric dust sheets
  • Galvanised metal etching primer
  • Roller frame
  • Nap roller cover
  • 3- to 4-inch latex paintbrush
  • Acrylic latex paint

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  1. 1

    Access the corrugated metal roof using an extension ladder.

  2. 2

    Clean the exterior metal roof, using a pressure washer equipped with a low-pressure tip. Wait 2 to 4 hours for the roof to dry.

  3. 3

    Cover portions of the corrugated metal roof you do not want painted with professional painter's tape. Cover the areas beneath the roof with heavy-duty fabric dust sheets.

  4. 4

    Coat the corrugated metal roof with galvanised metal etching primer, using a roller with a nap cover. Roll only a 3-foot-by-3-foot area at a time. Smooth the wet primer, using a paintbrush, manufactured for use with water-based coatings. Continue until the entire roof is primed. Wait 2 hours for the primed roof to dry.

  5. 5

    Wash the roller and brush with water.

  6. 6

    Coat the primed corrugated metal roof with acrylic latex paint. Apply the paint just as you did the etching primer. Wait 2 hours for the primed roof to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Never paint a bare corrugated metal roof or the paint will peel.
  • Do not use an ordinary acrylic latex or oil-based primer on a metal roof or the finish will fail.
  • If you are inexperienced with extension ladders, read the safety instructions on the side of the ladder before you climb it.

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