Gutters aren’t usually considered an attractive part of your home, but that doesn’t mean you want them to stick out like a sore thumb. If you’re changing up your home color or you just want to refresh your worn-out gutters, you can paint them to whatever color you want!
Types of Gutter Materials
Not all gutters are made from the same materials. Aluminum gutters are the easiest to paint, because the right types of paint bond well on aluminum. When you do the job right, it lasts for years without any real risk of rust or peeling. It’s simple to paint aluminum gutters, but you have to make sure you get the correct paints and primers.
Vinyl gutters come in a wide variety of colors, but they are not as easy to paint. Most companies don’t recommend painting vinyl gutters, because the finish isn’t made to be painted. It’s still possible to do it, but we’re going to focus mainly on how to paint aluminum gutters this time around.
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Using the Right Paint
Getting the right primer type makes a huge difference if you want a high-quality finish that lasts for years. Look for clear acrylic bonding primer and stay away from latex primers that have ammonia in them. As much as they may be convenient, don’t use a paint + primer combo either, because these usually also contain ammonia.
A primer without ammonia is essential, because the ammonia can react with oxidized aluminum and create bubbles underneath the paint. You might lose your new paint job within a few months or less, making all your efforts a waste of time. So, skip the ammonia-based primers and look for clear acrylic.
As far as paint choices, you have more options. It’s okay to look for any regular exterior latex paints. These are the same kind you would use painting the outside of your house, and they are okay to use on the gutters as long as you have primed appropriately.
Preparing Your Gutters for Painting
If there is paint already on your gutters, you need to remove it first before painting. You will also need to do gutter cleaning if you want to paint to bond properly to the aluminum. Use a cleaning solvent to help remove some of the long-standing dirt stains that have been on your gutters for years. Consider hiring a professional company to clean your gutters if they’re in too much of a mess.
It’s tempting to paint right over the dirt and old paint, but you really need to reconsider. Painting over old paint means your new primer and paint won’t properly bond with the metal surface of the gutters. It may look good for a while, but it won’t last as long as it should, and you may find yourself repainting within a few years because of peeling paint. The same goes for dirty gutters, because dirt will block the primer and paint from bonding to the metal surface directly.
It’s simple to paint aluminum gutters, as long as you have the right materials! Take your time to do it right the first time, so that you won’t have to re-do anything else later on.