Paints & Coatings Resource Center

Ask the Expert Question-and-Answer Archive

by Ron Joseph

April, 2002

Tin Roof Painting

Q. I recently bought a farm house in PA. which has a tin roof. It has been painted with a tarlike substance that is aluminum in color and sort of tarry. I wish to change the color to green. Is there a proper paint or procedure to do so? Must I replace the roof in order to get the color I wish?

A. Without seeing your roof I can't give you a definitive answer. However, it is possible that if you first apply an aluminum-pigmented, or a micaceous iron oxide-pigmented paint over the coal tar paint, you will prevent the tar from bleeding into your new color. You can regard this as your "sealer" coating. Thereafter you might be able to apply an acrylic-latex green roof paint.

Before you decide to repaint the entire roof, you should first try this recommendation on some part of the roof that nobody can see. If it works to your satisfaction, then you can consider repainting the roof.

There are no guarantees. It might work, but then it might not.

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