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Painting Shingled Roofs: The Need-to-Know

Painting roof shingles can be an exhausting DIY adventure, but the instant and shiny transformation will make your house look unique! However, you must know when, how, and with what purpose you paint the roof shingles! They’re made of tricky materials, such as asphalt or composite, which can quickly lose the paint or damage your roof.

And it doesn’t matter since we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to paint roof shingles and the main benefits and drawbacks! You’ll also learn more about the shingles’ materials and their specific characteristics, including the right coloring and how to use them efficiently.

Now, let’s grab our spray guns!

Roof Shingles: A Quick Overview

Before answering the question, “Can you paint shingles on a roof?” we must delve a little deeper into the shingle materials and their characteristics. Firstly, what are roof shingles? It’s a roof installation made of rectangular and flat pieces of various roofing materials, such as asphalt or composite. 

You can install shingles in different colors and textures based on your preferred color palette and materials. For example, you can choose the color and texture based on the type of shingle material – from wood and slate to clay and asphalt. 

Asphalt shingles are the most popular because they are found in different shapes, sizes, and colors. Sometimes manufacturers design them to mimic wood, clay, or other materials. 

Depending on the shingles’ materials, the durability can vary from one material to another. For instance, asphalt shingles can last up to twenty years with proper maintenance and the usage of high-quality repair materials. On the other hand, wooden or slate shingles can beautify your roof for up to 50 years, although these materials can double the price.

Naturally, the question: “How can you paint a shingle roof based on the materials?” pops into your mind. But first, let’s find out can you paint a shingle roof at all.


Can You Paint Roof Shingles?

Yes, you can! DIY enthusiasts have a special love for painting roof shingles in different colors and textures. You’ll enliven your living space exterior, decrease costs, and increase energy efficiency. 

There’s a logical step-by-step procedure behind painting roof shingles. The first thing you should do is replace the damaged shingles with new ones, clean the roof, and install safety equipment. Climbing to the top of your house can be a risky adventure, so you should take care of your safety before anything else.

After you’ve assured the situation’s safety, you should choose the right time of the year or the day to paint, choose the right color and the tools. For instance, you can use a paint roller or a spray gun based on the texture and the surface. You can use a paint roller with a back brush for wooden roof shingles or a spray gun for asphalt or composite shingles.

There’re many benefits of painting roof shingles. The following are the most instant and pleasuring ones:

  • Painting roof shingles are less expensive than a replacement Professional replacement cost can differ, depending on the surface area that needs covering and the materials. On the other hand, if you paint the roof shingles by yourself, you can significantly reduce the costs and buy high-quality paint for around $1.000 for 20 squares of shingles.
  • Extend the life of your roof – You can extend the life of your roof by applying acrylic latex exterior to the asphalt shingles. Double or triple coloring or other protective materials can boost the durability of the shingles and their resistance to weather and temperature fluctuation.
  • Energy efficiency – If the sun can be annoying where you live, painting your roof shingles with light colors will reflect the sunlight and reduce the cost you pay for keeping your home cool!
  • Easy customization – Using that specific color and texture, you can make your home look like you always dreamed. The beauty of painting roof shingles is that you can choose the right design and color to match the surrounding and the interior.

Painting Roof Shingles: The Process Explained

Even though there are many benefits to painting roof shingles, the process can be risky, exhausting, and thankless. To avoid all the tricky situations, we’ve prepared a step-by-step guide for you on how can you paint roof shingles and ensure that the working environment is safe and you’re doing the right thing.

Get an Inspection

Before you begin painting, ask for a professional inspection to assess the damage and maintenance needs for the whole project. Sometimes you’ll need to replace many of the shingles; other times, you’ll have to alter the painting procedure depending on the damage and other conditions. You’ll get all this information from the professional inspection service provider near you. 

Clean the Debris and Dirt

If you don’t want your fresh new coat of color to get mixed up with debris and dirt and stay shiny, you’ll have to use various tools to remove them from the surface. You can do this by using a lower-powered power washer. Additionally, you can use a 50-to-50 mixture of bleach and water – an effective combination for removing algae or moss.


After you apply the natural or manufactured cleaning mixture, leave it for 10 to 15 minutes before you wash it off. The surface of the shingles should be dry before you apply the color.

Install Safety Equipment

If you don’t hire professional roof coating and painting services, you’ll have to keep an eye on the safety equipment. For example, you should get a safety harness and edge protection to avoid falling from 8 feet or more. Also, you can always call a friend for help or hire another worker to assist you.

Get Paint & Equipment

Depending on the materials and the roof’s position and angle, you may need different equipment to paint roof shingles. That’s why you should get a ladder, a harness, a spray gun, paintbrushes, and more. You’ll also have to calculate the roof’s surface and the gallons of paint accordingly. On top of that, different equipment and tools are most effective for different surfaces and angles.

Watch For The Weather Conditions

Choose a week when there won’t be any rain! Watching for the rain is essential because frequent showers can wash off the paint and destroy your masterpiece! That’s why it’s best to choose the summer months for this DIY endeavor and let the cleaned shingles and the paint coat dry before you can proceed to other activities.

Use the Paint, Tools & Equipment Wisely

After you’ve chosen the paint for roof shingles and all the equipment, you can start painting your rooftop. However, use the tools and equipment wisely. First, you’ll have to paint the edges and valleys using a brush. Then, you can proceed to paint the roof shingles with a high-quality brush, 2-3 inches thick.

You can use the paint roller in equal effect for sizing or applying a coat of color. To paint the rest of the shingles, use either a paint roller or a spray gun. It’s your choice! Many DIY enthusiasts use the spray gun, although it can be more expensive than a paint roller. They use it for slate or clay shingles because it can fill all the gaps and uneven surfaces with the coat. 

Assess the Situation and the Necessary Number of Coats

At this point, before you do anything else, stop and assess the situation. Start by trying the chosen color on a small surface and see how it applies to the whole rooftop. Next, see how to apply a single coat and wait for it to dry within 24 hours. You can then apply the second and decide if there is a need for another coat. After you’ve applied the last coat, let it dry and enjoy the refreshing and shiny appearance of your home.

Closing Thoughts on Painting a Shingled Roof

From finding the right roof paint for shingles to predicting the weather and purchasing the right equipment, painting roof shingles can be an exhausting DIY endeavor. However, if you follow a few simple steps, such as hiring an inspection, cleaning the debris and dirt, and properly assessing and completing the process, you won’t have any problems!

For this purpose, you can always contact professional services, saving you money, time, and effort. Abbrite is always here – to provide you with high-quality coating and maintenance services for your roof shingles!



Is painting roof shingles a good idea?

Yes, it’s a great idea if you know more about the materials, tools, and ideal weather conditions.

Do you need to clean a roof before painting?

Yes, you’ll need to clean the debris and dirt before painting roof shingles.

How much does it cost to paint a shingle roof?

You’ll need to pay around $1000 to paint 20 squares of an old shingle roof or between $1.000 and $1.500 for new shingles.

What color is best for roof shingles?

Lighter colors are better because they reflect the UV rays. However, you can also use darker colors depending on the materials and the color preferences.


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