Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing & Siding [Tips, Types, & Cost] (2023)

Have you ever heard the saying that the solution may be worse than the problem? This applies perfectly to touch up paint for metal roofing. The performance of the touch up paint will never match the performance of the factory-applied paint system. Touch up paint will chalk and fade at a much faster rate than the original old paint.

The small scratch on the coating of your metal panels that was barely noticeable could become an unattractive focal point of your roof if the touch up paint begins to chalk and fade.

Our team at Western States Metal Roofing consists of employees who have been selling metal roofing for many years. If you have a question then we’ve likely answered it. In fact, I’ve lost count of how many times we discuss touch up paint for metal roofing.

Our goal in this article is to take our years of metal roofing manufacturing experience and share that knowledge, making your metal roof installation as simple as possible.

In this article, we will answer all of your touch up paint questions including:

  • What is metal touch up paint?
  • Should you apply touch up paint to metal roofing or siding?
  • Types of touch up paint
  • Where can I purchase and how much does it cost?
  • How to apply touch up paint

What Is Metal Roofing Touch Up Paint?

Metal roofing touch up paint is applied after the baked-on factory finish. It’s available in either a PVDF or SMP coating system. This paint is manually applied after the metal is installed to repair scratches, chips, and dings on the metal panels.

(Video) What Paint is Best for Your Metal Roof? PVDF vs. SMP

Should You Apply Touch Up Paint To A Metal Roofing Panel?

It’s normally a bad idea to apply touch up paint to your metal building, roofing, or siding panels. The touch up paint creates a bigger eyesore than the scratch itself. Metal roofs are viewed from ground to roof and a small scratch just will not be noticeable from a distance. However, the discoloration of the paint is very noticeable almost immediately.

If you have a large area of the metal panel that has been damaged, it’s normally a better idea to just replace the entire panel. The area that has the touch up paint will look different than the factory applied paint after a very short period of time.

What If It’s Only A Small Surface Scratch?

Metal roofing panels normally consist of steel that has a Galvalume® or galvanized metal finish. The paint system is then applied over this metal surface. If you have a small paint scratch and the Galvalume® or galvanized steel finish is intact, you’re better off not repairing that scratch. A galvanized metal roof and a Galvalume® roof will both still protect the metal roofing materials from corrosion even if the paint has been scratched.

What If The Galvalume Substrate Is Damaged?

There are no good options when this occurs. If you don’t repair the ding or chip in the roof surface, you will end up with a rusty metal roof, you will end up with a rusty metal roof. The panel will begin to rust in that area. If you repair the substrate and then apply touch up roof paint, it will not match. You have two bad choices, replace the entire panel or use touch up paint that will not match as it fades.

Indoor Metal Ceiling Or Wall Panels

When you have an indoor application, the sheeting will not be exposed to UV rays and is likely to be viewed at a closer distance. The touch up paint will not fade the same way it would when installed outdoors. This is one of the rare times in which touch up paint may make the problem better instead of worse.

An Important Note: Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing Will Fade

Touch up paints are applied by hand to the panels after they’re installed. It’s different from the original paint process which goes through a heating and curing process. Even though touch up paint is made from the same type of paint finish, it will not hold up to the UV rays the same as a factory applied finish.

Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing & Siding [Tips, Types, & Cost] (1)

(Video) How to understand Metal Roofing Paint Systems ... Good, Better, Best

Touch up paint will not have the same color retention and color fading abilities as the original factory finish. Factory-applied PVDF painted panels have warranties that can be 30 years in length and are designed to retain their color integrity. Touch up paint is not designed that way. After a short period of time the air dried touch up paint will fade much more than the original paint. In addition, you could end up with a white residue on the paint which is known as chalking.

Types Of Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing?

There are three types of touch up paint for metal roofing that can be purchased. Each of them has their own pros and cons.

  1. Spray Cans - This type of paint should never be used on metal roof panels. You cannot apply it precisely and it will cover a much larger area than needed. This is not a good choice since you do not need to touch up your entire roof. This type of paint is more appropriate when you need to match the color to paint accessories such as plumbing vent pipes.
  2. Metal Touch Up Paint Pen - This is a good choice if you have a small area that needs to be repaired. It will have a small applicator tip that will fit into the scratches.
  3. Brush Top Cans - These are an excellent choice when you have a small area like a ding. They are available in 2-ounce cans and have a small brush attached to the inside of the lid.

Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing & Siding [Tips, Types, & Cost] (2)

Where Do You Buy Touch Up Paint?

You should never go to your local hardware store and purchase touch paint. It’s a different type of paint than what’s on your metal roofing panels. Instead, contact the metal roofing supplier and they can supply you with touch up paint.

If you’re not the original property owner and don’t know who supplied the metal building. You might be in luck, sometimes metal roofing suppliers will sell touch up paint on their website. Always verify the color match and whether it’s appropriate for metal panels.

Matching Your Metal Roofing Color

As long as you have a solid paint color and you buy the paint pens from the supplier of the metal panels, they will match.

Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing & Siding [Tips, Types, & Cost] (3)Specialty Print - Fresh Rust

(Video) 2022 Most Popular Metal Roofing & Metal Wall Colors

Touch Up Paint For Specialty Paint Prints

A specialty paint print is a color that has been painted multiple times. It’s not one solid color, but is two or three colors. If you need touch up paint for this type of paint it will be available in the base coat only. For example, in the picture above the touch up paint will be the dark brown color and not the orange.

How Much Does Touch Up Paint Cost?

Touch up paint has a short shelf life and manufacturers offer lots of different colors. Quite often, they will not inventory the touch up paint and it will be ordered specifically for your job.

You cannot order one or two cans or pens. The companies that make the touch up paint will have minimum order requirements in place. Typically, you will need to buy 12 cans of paint or 25 metal paint pens. It’s way more touch up paint than a typical property owner will ever need.

The total price of a touch up paint order is usually $150 to $250. In addition, it will take about two weeks to receive the touch up paint.

What To Do If You Have To Apply Metal Touch Up Paint

You should always follow the metal roofing paint manufacturer’s instructions. They will be different depending on the type of touch up paint.

Valspar has some good recommendations for applying touch up paint in this article:

(Video) Metal Roof Color: How To Pick The Best Color For Your Roof

Touch-up Paint Tips: Quickly And Correctly Apply Touch-up Paint To Metal Panel Scratches

Metal Roofing Maintenance

The best solution is to keep the problem from happening in the first place. Handling your painted metal roof panels with care during installation is your best defense.

If you have metal panels that need to be cut, you can lessen the likelihood of damaging the paint. Flip the panels over when cutting. This allows the slivers and metal chips to be brushed from the backside. This eliminates damaging the exposed and painted side of the metal roofing panel. Just be careful not to scratch the panel when turning it over.

Routine metal roofing maintenance is an important step that will ensure longevity. In fact, metal roofs are actually pretty simple to maintain.

Here’s are some easy maintenance tips to get the most out of your metal roof:

Maintaining Your Metal Roof: 6 Steps You Need To Be Taking

(Video) Why NOT to apply Metal Roof Coatings - The worst thing to ever do

Check out our Metal Roofing Learning Center and view our YouTube channel.

Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing & Siding [Tips, Types, & Cost] (4)

FAQs

What kind of paint do you use on metal siding? ›

In most circumstances, standard high quality 100 percent acrylic exterior paint is the ideal choice for painting aluminum and steel siding. Choose a satin shine since it sheds water better than flat and lasts longer.

What kind of paint do you use to paint a metal roof? ›

You can use acrylic latex paint or oil-based alkyd paint; just make sure you buy one that is specifically designed to paint a metal roof. Painted metal roofs come with a baked-on factory finish. To ensure that the paint will stick to the previous finish, you must prime the surface.

How do you touch up metal paint? ›

There's no need to prime — just apply an exterior-grade acrylic enamel paint. Use a tiny touch-up brush on nicks, a spray can on bigger scratches. For wrought iron on tubular steel, use a wire brush and sandpaper to sand any rust spots or chipped paint down to bare metal.

How much does metal paint cost? ›

Paint Quality & Color – the price of paint varies, but the paint for your metal roof will typically cost between $0.30 and $0.40 per square foot.

What is the best way to paint metal siding? ›

Before painting or repainting steel, use a wire brush to clean up rust on your steel surface. Obtain a rust-resistant primer from local stores and apply two coats on your steel. Dry in between to create a much stronger protective barrier. Apply good paint such as 100% acrylic latex paint or oil-based paint.

How long does paint last on steel siding? ›

Aluminum/metal siding can go about 8-15 years between paint jobs, if the metal is electrostatically powder coated in a factory the finish can last 10-25 years.

How long does metal roof paint last? ›

Most metal roof paints last 10 to 15 years on average. Roof paint lifespan depends on many things, including the quality and type of paint used. Exposure to different weather conditions and high temperatures also affects the lifespan of metal roof paints.

Can you spray paint metal roofing? ›

Can Metal Roofs Be Painted? Yes! You can paint metal roofs, but if you have a new and unpainted one, we suggest allowing it to weather for at least six months before you begin painting it. However, if the project can't wait, make sure you wash oils and other remains of the galvanizing process off with vinegar.

Can you use touch up paint on metal? ›

Touch-up paint can cover unwanted scratches, chips, abrasion marks or other lightly damaged areas on the panel to present a consistent finish and appearance. A finished paint layer on a metal panel is no thicker than cellophane; it's easy to see how scratches can occur.

Do you need primer with touch up paint? ›

To ensure better color blend and adhesion to the surface, primer is a must. Prime the part of the wall you have cleaned and repaired. Use high-quality latex primer, and don't go beyond the area you'd like to touch-up. The primer should be completely dry before applying paint to the touch-up area.

Does touch up paint work? ›

It will not necessarily make a scratch go away or flawlessly remove a paint chip scar, but if applied correctly, touch-up paint will prevent further damage and look much better than it did before.

Is it cheaper to paint or replace a metal roof? ›

If the roof's structural integrity remains in good shape, it costs less to repaint it than to replace it. Repainting a metal roof costs about $2 to $3 per square foot, while replacing one costs $5 to $10 per square foot.

How much does it cost to paint steel siding? ›

Painting metal siding and galvanized steel cost

Painting metal siding costs $1 to $4 per square foot on average but may cost up to $7 per square foot if extra cleaning is required to remove the oil film from new steel before painting.

What colors does metal paint come in? ›

Metal Paint Colors
  • Beige / Cream.
  • Black.
  • Blue.
  • Brown / Tan.
  • Gray.
  • Green.
  • Shop Savings.

Do you need to prime steel siding before painting? ›

Prime the metal with anti-rust primer. This will create a good surface for adhesion and prevent future rust breakouts. Allow full dry time. Use a rust preventative enamel on top.

How do you paint over pre painted metal? ›

Start with a layer of primer made especially for use on metal, which will help the new paint bond to the surface. Coat the entire item and let it dry according to package directions. It may take as little as 15 minutes or as long as 24 hours for a coat of metal primer to dry depending on the manufacturer.

Does paint stick to metal siding? ›

The good news is that metal siding is one of the best surfaces to repaint. The process of repainting pre-finished metal siding is a little different than it is for other types of exterior surfaces.

What Sherwin Williams paint is best for metal? ›

Metal - Use either latex or oil/alkyd paint on properly primed iron or steel. You can apply latex directly on aluminum and galvanized metal. However, these metals need to be properly primed if you're using oil/alkyd-based paint. Trim - Either latex or oil/alkyd paint is appropriate for trim.

What type of paint is best for aluminum siding? ›

Acrylic Latex Paint

Most experts consider this hybrid paint the top choice for painting aluminum siding. Like 100% acrylic, acrylic latex is found at every home improvement store.

How do you paint peeling on metal siding? ›

I would use the red Rust-Oleum primer – the oil-based primer – and I would let it thoroughly dry after you knock off all the loose paint and sand it and make sure the surface is ready to accept it. That is how you can get the paint to adhere to steel siding.

Can you paint over painted metal siding? ›

The good news is that metal siding is one of the best surfaces to repaint. The process of repainting pre-finished metal siding is a little different than it is for other types of exterior surfaces.

How do you paint exterior metal siding? ›

Aluminum and Aluminum Siding
  1. Make sure the metal is clean and dry. Remove any dirt, grease or stains.
  2. Cover any nearby areas to avoid getting paint on it.
  3. Prime the metal with anti-rust primer. This will create a good surface for adhesion and prevent future rust breakouts. ...
  4. Use a rust preventative enamel on top.

Does aluminum siding need to be primed before painting? ›

Before you paint aluminum siding, clean the surface thoroughly and prime the siding with one coat of acrylic primer. Then, paint with two coats of acrylic paint.

What kind of paint do I use on aluminum siding? ›

What is the best paint for aluminum siding? As mentioned before, 100 percent acrylic latex paint is the best paint to use to paint aluminum siding.

How much does it cost to paint steel siding? ›

Painting metal siding and galvanized steel cost

Painting metal siding costs $1 to $4 per square foot on average but may cost up to $7 per square foot if extra cleaning is required to remove the oil film from new steel before painting.

Do you need to put primer on metal before painting? ›

Priming is one of the most important steps prior to the application of metal paint. While a water-based primer is not to be applied on metal surfaces, other primer options such as rust-inhibiting primers, galvanized primers, and iron oxide primers are more suitable options.

Do I need to sand metal before painting? ›

After the metal is clean, it needs sanding. Sanding helps create a rough surface. Painted metal which isn't sanded will be more prone to peel or flake off. If you're prepping metal that's already painted, you need to sand off and smooth.

What Sherwin Williams paint is best for metal? ›

Metal - Use either latex or oil/alkyd paint on properly primed iron or steel. You can apply latex directly on aluminum and galvanized metal. However, these metals need to be properly primed if you're using oil/alkyd-based paint. Trim - Either latex or oil/alkyd paint is appropriate for trim.

Can you spray paint metal siding? ›

The best way to paint aluminum siding is with an airless sprayer. These tools are used by professional painters to create a perfect finish. Not only do these sprayers cover more area, but they do it faster and with a more even finish than a brush or roller could do.

How do you paint peeling on metal siding? ›

I would use the red Rust-Oleum primer – the oil-based primer – and I would let it thoroughly dry after you knock off all the loose paint and sand it and make sure the surface is ready to accept it. That is how you can get the paint to adhere to steel siding.

Is it cheaper to paint aluminum siding or replace it? ›

Though painting may seem cost effective, having to repaint over and over really adds up. In the long-run, it'll cost more than installing new vinyl siding. Painting aluminum siding is a big job.

How long will painting aluminum siding last? ›

How Long Does Paint Last on Aluminum Siding? Paint lasts on aluminum siding for about 40 years. That is if it is well-maintained and painted using the right equipment and product. To maintain the appearance of your aluminum siding, you should repaint it every 4-6 years depending on its condition.

What is the best Sherwin Williams paint for aluminum siding? ›

We went with Sherwin Williams SuperPaint Exterior Acrylic Latex. This is a high-end exterior paint recommended for painting aluminum siding. (There's is an even higher-end paint – Duration – which is not recommended for aluminum.) You can choose your sheen on this paint.

What to clean aluminum siding with before painting? ›

Prepping the Surface

Scrub away any mildew with a solution of three parts water to one part household bleach. Remove dirt and grime by hand-washing the siding with soap and warm water. Alternatively, if you want to speed up the job of cleaning, rent a power washer.

Should I paint steel siding? ›

Don't Paint Metal Siding - It can actually ruin the original baked-on finish. Painting metal siding can have lots of problems. Paint is messy, Paint that is not baked on can crack, chip, bubble, and peel on your siding.

What's the best primer for aluminum siding? ›

Priming Your Aluminum Siding

I personally recommend priming with Kilz Adhesion Primer. Kilz Adhesion Primer is a bonding primer formulated to adhere to surfaces that traditional water and oil-based primers wont. This primer can bond to glossy surfaces, chalky surfaces, and all types of materials, including metals.

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