By Amy DeYoung
Updated Jan 18, 2023
If you’re thinking about replacing your gutters, you may want to consider painting your gutters instead. Painting your gutters is a cheaper alternative to buying new gutters and can quickly improve the look of the outside of your house.
Many homeowners believe painting their gutters is a taxing, time-consuming DIY project. However, with some planning and prior research, you can quickly paint your gutters and increase your home’s curb appeal.
Below, we’ll show you how you can prepare your gutters for painting and how to paint them properly.
The first step to painting your gutters is assessing whether or not your rain gutters will need to be removed before you paint them.
If you’re planning on painting your entire gutter system, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to remove the whole system. Not only is this time-consuming, but no one will likely see that small patch you missed painting in the undercarriage.
If you’re planning on painting a few feet of your gutters or the downspouts, consider removing them to do a more thorough job on this small section.
Another thing to consider before removing gutters is your comfort level with heights and physical abilities. Are you able to safely remove the gutters yourself? Would you be uncomfortable painting the gutters while standing on a ladder for a prolonged period of time?
In short, you can leave your aluminum gutters attached to your home’s roof and paint them while on a ladder in most cases.
You wouldn’t paint a canvas covered in dust, so neither would you want to paint gutters filled with leaves, mildew, and grime.
Your gutters need to be absolutely stripped down and meticulously cleaned for the paint to apply evenly. Pressure washing may seem like a good idea to accomplish this, but if not done well, it can result in the dirt just being moved around. Instead, we recommend using warm water, a large sponge, bristled scrub brush, and a lot of liquid dish detergent. Use the bristled scrubbing brush to loosen dirt and grime from the gutters, then follow up with a thorough scrubbing with the sponge.
After you’ve finished scrubbing the gutters, inspect them for any scratches or nicks that could affect the paint job. Sand these spots down with silicon carbide or aluminum oxide sandpaper to smooth them down and ensure all old paint is removed.
Choose a high-quality, clear acrylic bonding primer before painting your gutters. This primer penetrates a gutter’s surface, giving you the evenest application after priming. Then, apply an oil-based high-gloss enamel to your gutters within the first two days of applying the coat of primer.
The oil-based enamel paint will allow rainwater to move quickly through the gutters without catching it. We recommend applying a second coat of this enamel after the first coat has thoroughly dried.
After the final coat of enamel has dried, start painting your gutters.
Choose 100% acrylic paint free from ammonia, which can react negatively to aluminum surfaces. A UV-protected paint is ideal for minimizing the risk of sun damage over time. Prep the surfaces around your gutters with painter’s tape and other protective materials to ensure they stay paint-free.
Next, you’ll want to decide if you would be better off using a sprayer or a traditional paintbrush. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A sprayer allows you to get the job done quickly but can result in a bigger mess. Always place a large canvas drop cloth over your roof shingles above the gutters to prevent the paint from getting on the roof.
In contrast, painting by hand gives you much more control over the final results but is slower and requires more leverage to get around the corners of the gutters. Painting by hand is also ideal if you’re only painting a small section of the gutters or your downspouts. After all, you don’t want to accidentally overlap paint and cause your gutters to be in varying shades.
Regardless of what method you choose, plan on giving your gutters at least two coats of paint, with plenty of time to dry in between.
You can expect an excellent gutter paint job to last several years.
There are two primary signs that indicate your gutters need to be repainted:
Yes, you can hire a painting contractor to paint the exterior of your home, including the gutters. The pricing for hiring someone to paint your gutters will vary dramatically based on your location and how many linear feet the professional painter will be doing.
On average, you can expect to pay at least $100 to $200 to have your gutters painted. The national average cost for the materials for gutter painting is $0.62 per linear foot and $2.51 for both materials and labor in 2022. Keep in mind that this does not include cleaning, which you’ll need to do beforehand or hire a different professional to complete before the painters arrive.
A final tip before you begin painting your gutters — check the weather first. The last thing you want to do is spend hours deep cleaning your gutters, only for the wind to pick up and dirty them up again or for the rain to come in the middle of your paint job.
Take your time setting up painter’s tape and canvases to protect your roof and parts of the gutter that you’re not painting. You don’t want to give yourself another project, like repainting or replacing roof shingles you accidentally painted during the process.
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