What Is the Best Color for a Metal Roof? [Answer Varies by Climate]

Metal roofs bring both durability and style to your home with their highly customizable design. If you are looking to paint your home's metal roof, you are in the right place. To give you the best information on choosing a paint color for your metal roof, we researched this topic to provide you with a detailed answer.

Choosing a light-colored roof like white, light blue, or light green is recommended in warmer climates. If you live in a colder climate, you can also incorporate darker colors like black, grey, or dark brown to absorb more sunlight during the colder months.

Painting a metal roof requires specialized paint that is created solely for this application. To learn more about these paint types and other components of painting a metal roof, please keep reading.

Metal Roof with Snow Guards, What Is the Best Color for a Metal Roof? [Answer Varies by Climate]

What Is The Best Color for a Metal Roof?

When shopping for paints for your roof, there is no one-size-fits-all color best for all metal roofs. A lot of the process for choosing a roof paint color will depend on the type of climate where you live. Since darker colors absorb more heat, your house will get hotter in the summer months if the roof is black compared to a white roof.

Deciding on a paint color is also dependant on the appearance of the rest of your home and picking a paint that is complementary to the existing colors.

Before you decide, visualize your roofing in different colors. What color seems most welcoming and inviting to guests? Personalize your home to what you like most, and most importantly, choose a color that makes you feel welcome. 

Choosing a Color and Paint

A birds view of Metal roof background

You can never go wrong with a neutral color that compliments the siding, or a lighter color that gives an accent to your home. If your house is a material like brick, then darker brown, black, and grey are some great choices. To match multi-colored bricks, pick a more basic roofing color to ensure that your roof compliments these bricks. A different colored roof can create a confusing appearance when paired with multi-colored siding. 

Paint some metal roofing materials with oil-based paint. Galvanized metal roofs, however, usually paint with acrylic-based paint. Everyone has different tastes and preferences when it comes to metal roofing paints. Paint your home according to your liking, but it is always a good idea to consult with a professional roofing company before deciding on a paint type. 

A professional will recommend the correct paint needed for a metal roof with a long life span that lasts 10 to 15 years. These high-quality paints avoid the hassle of needing to repaint your home's roof because all of the colors have faded or the paint has chipped off. Higher-quality paints also are better for the environment and reduce the emissions that negatively affect us.

Is a Black Metal Roof Energy-Efficient?

A black metal roof has a unique look that makes it a favorable choice for various home styles and matches just about any siding option. We often hear that darker colors tend to absorb more heat than lighter colors.

This claim is valid, and a black metal roof will absorb more heat in the summer than lighter colors--but there are ways to counteract this heat absorption problem. 

Cooling Down a Black Metal Roof

First, proper roof insulation and ventilation is a simple way to counter the problem of the heat transfer associated with black metal roofs. The more prolonged exposure the roof has to direct sunlight, the more heat it absorbs, and more likely it is to transfer that heat from the top of the home. 

The good news is that you will be able to prevent a lot of heat from passing into the attic and your home with proper insulation. The insulation will keep the heat at the top of your home and will not seep in, making your home warmer. 

What is the Most Common Type of Metal Roof?

While there are many metal roof materials to choose from, these are three primary materials used most often: 


Steel roofing has become more and more popular over the years and has led to many people rethinking their approach to painting. Stainless steel roofing is the most commonly used metal roofing as it is long-lasting. It has an average life span of 50 to 70 years and is also incredibly resistant to harsh weather conditions. Stainless steel is immune to rust and corrosion that will impact the appearance of your roof and keep your home looking good. 

Stainless steel roofing is resistant to high winds--along with snow, rain, and almost everything else that nature throws at it. Stainless steel is more expensive than regular steel, but it lasts twice as long. Both stainless steel roofs and traditional steel varieties have a vast amount of different color options. The steel roofing panels also have different coatings to choose from that improve their look and increase durability.


Aluminum is lighter compared to steel and stainless-steel roofing and is typically less durable. However, aluminum has a natural zinc coating that makes it more resistant to rust and corrosion.

If you are looking for an affordable metal roof option, aluminum is a great choice and possesses excellent all-round features. Aluminum roofing panels also come in many different colors and styles, so you can always find the perfect color to match your home's siding. 


Copper has a very distinct look that no other material can replicate, making it a unique and attractive option to choose for your home. A copper roof ages gracefully as it transforms from the distinctive reddish-brown color into a weathered green color.

It is heavier than steel and more expensive to install than other metal roofing options but is incredibly durable and lasts upwards of 100-years.

What Type of Paint to Use on a Metal Roof?

Metal Roof with Snow Guards, What Is the Best Color for a Metal Roof? [Answer Varies by Climate]

Exterior acrylic latex paint is an excellent choice for bare metal roofs and can be used over an old paint coat. Alternatively, use an oil-based paint with an appropriate galvanized metal primer. However, a topcoat does not eliminate the need for a good primer. Instead, the topcoat seals the paint, and the primer makes your paint adhere appropriately to the metal surface.

Do not use interior paints on a metal roof as they would not withstand the outdoor elements. Paints designed for exterior metal roofing projects have added benefits such as fire resistance, water resistance, insect repellents, and color pigments that help to reflect UV radiation to keep your home cooler. 

Always follow the directions on the exterior paint can. It will help guide you to your desired results. If the manufacturer recommends, use a paint primer to keep the paint adhered to the metal. 

Can You Paint A Corrugated Metal Roof? 

Yes, you can paint a corrugated metal roof, but painting can be a complicated process for beginners.

Start by painting corrugated metal when warm and dry outside to ensure that your paint does not get affected by rain. You need to scrub your roof with Trisodium Phosphate (TSP). This chemical will allow you to prepare your roof for painting by de-greasing it and removing the original paint or debris.

The results are that paint adheres correctly to the roof, and an even surface is created to apply the paint. Alternatively, you can wash your corrugated metal roof with a power washer to remove all of the debris on the surface.

When painting corrugated metal, apply an acrylic-based paint. Acrylic latex paint works well for a roof that is relatively new and free from wear-and-tear.

Lastly, for a steep roof, always call a professional roofing service to do the painting process for you. Steep inclines are hard to deal with even for professionals and are especially dangerous to individuals who have no experience painting roofs.


Choosing a paint color for a metal roof is related to the type of climate your live in and the color of the rest of your home. A professional roofing company that is knowledgable in roof painting can give you some recommendations if you are indecisive on what color you want to paint the roof.

Painting can be a lot of work, but once finished, your freshly painted metal roof will raise the value of your home instantly.

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