Can You Paint Roof Shingles?

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve been considering painting your roof shingles. 

Whether you’re looking to change the roof color for aesthetics or just want to freshen up the aging roof, it’s essential to understand what goes into painting roof shingles before you start.

Painting your roof shingles isn’t just a matter of slapping some paint on and walking away – there’s more to it than that. 

Any experienced DIYer knows that preparation is key for successful painting projects, and the same holds for painting roof shingles. 

With that said, let’s dive into what it takes to paint your roof shingles successfully.

Can You Paint Roof Shingles?

The short answer is yes, you can paint roof shingles. Painting your roof can give it a fresh look but also help protect it from weather damage and moss growth. But it’s only if the roof shingles are in a condition suitable for painting. 

Asphalt, wood, and composite shingles can all be painted, but paint may not be the best idea, depending on your roof’s age and wear and tear.

If you have an aging roof that’s beginning to show signs of wear, the paint may not provide the long-term solution you’re looking for. 

It could do more harm than good if your shingles have reached the point where they need to be replaced. 

That said, new or recently replaced roofs can easily be painted with high-quality paint formulated specifically for that purpose.

In addition to determining if your roof is suitable for painting, selecting the correct type of paint is also essential. 

Choose a paint specifically designed for asphalt roofs since this will help ensure a seal between the shingles and prolong the life of your roof. 

Also, choose a color that complements your home’s exterior and fits your style preference.

What Types of Roof Shingles Can Be Painted?

If you’re looking to paint roof shingles, certain types of shingles work better than others. Generally, you should avoid trying to paint asphalt and fiberglass shingles altogether. 

But certain materials can be painted, such as wood and slate.

Wood Shingles

Wood shingles are the most commonly painted roof shingles because they’re made of natural materials. 

They can easily be stained or coated in paint, making them ideal for a new look. When painting wood shingles, prep the surface by cleaning off any dirt and debris first—otherwise, the paint won’t stick properly!

Slate Shingles

Slate is another material that can be painted, but it’s a bit more tricky than wood shingles. 

Painting slate requires a fair amount of patience and precision—it generally needs to be done with a brush or roller because it’s not as smooth or porous as other materials. 

Also, remember that you’ll need to use specialized paint for slate since its surface is harder than other types of shingle materials.

Preparing Your Roof Shingles for Painting

Believe it or not, you can paint your roof shingles to change their appearance or to cover up any discolorations that have happened over time. 

To get the best results, there are a few steps you need to take to prep your shingles for painting.

Remove moss and mildew 

The first step is removing any moss and mildew buildup from the surface of the shingles. Moss and mildew can form on your shingles if you live in an environment with lots of rain. 

This can weaken the integrity of your roof, so it’s essential to remove it before painting. You can use a pressure washer to remove moss and mildew—just make sure not to damage your shingles.

Sand the surface 

Next, you’ll need to sand down the surface of your shingles with sandpaper or a power sander to create a smoother texture so that the new paint will adhere better. 

Be sure not to get too aggressive with the sandpaper—just give them a light scuff.

Remove Dust Particles 

Finally, ensure no dust particles remain on your roof before painting—use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment hose to remove any dust particles lingering around after sanding so that they do not interfere with the paint job.

Once you’ve gone through these steps and ensured that everything is ready for painting, your roof shingles are ready for their new coat!

What Types of Paint Are Best for Painting Roof Shingles?

When it comes to painting roof shingles, you want to pick a paint that is specifically designed for exterior surfaces. 

Most of these products come in acrylic-latex or elastomeric coatings. The difference between the two boils down to water resistance—elastomeric coatings are much more resistant to water, so if you live in an area with heavy rain and snow, that’s the option you should go with.

Acrylic-latex is still a great choice, though, and is typically thinner than an elastomeric coating, which means it won’t flake off as quickly with age.

No matter which one you choose, make sure you get to paint with ample UV protection so your roof doesn’t fade over time.

Regarding the color choice, you want something that matches your existing shingles as close as possible but also provides good contrast and visibility for safety reasons. 

If your new shingle color blends in too much with the existing ones, it could be hard to spot from up high.

How to Paint Your Roof Shingles

Believe it or not, you can paint roof shingles. This can be an excellent way to freshen up the look of your home without splurging on a new roof. 

That said, knowing the proper process and using suitable materials to ensure success is essential. 

Here are a few tips on how to do it properly:


Before you start painting, you need to ensure your shingles are clean and free of dirt, grease, or other residues. 

A pressure washer will make light work of this task. Be sure not to get too close, though — doing so could damage the shingles.

Once you’re done washing your shingles, let them dry for at least 24 hours before starting to paint.


Once you’ve cleaned your roof, apply an oil-based primer coat to help prevent any moisture from seeping behind the paint job. 

Start with an even coat at the bottom and work your way up in overlapping strips for optimal coverage.


Finally, choose quality acrylic latex paint for the top coat. This type of paint has superior adhesion, so it won’t chip off easily and is also resistant to fading and cracking over time. 

Again, go in overlapping strips until you reach the top — be sure to use even strokes! Finally, using two coats of paint for optimal coverage and protection is always best.


Painting roof shingles is a viable option if you want to refresh the look of your roof and improve its durability. 

It’s essential to choose the right paint and prep your roof correctly, however, to ensure the job is done correctly.

Be sure to research, check local regulations, and get advice from an expert before you paint. 

Proper preparation and maintenance make a painted roof look great and last for many years.

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