Galvanized steel gutters are durable, corrosion- and rust-resistant, and affordable, which makes them some of the most popular gutter styles in the country. Now that it’s springtime, homeowners are gearing up to paint their home exteriors, and many will also paint their gutters. Galvanized gutters can be tricky to paint, so here are some tips for getting the job done right.
The Trouble with Paint on Galvanized Steel
Galvanized steel is created when pieces of steel are hot-dipped into zinc to create a corrosion- and rust-resistant barrier. What’s more, as part of the galvanization process, the gutters are also coated in oil to prevent white rust from occurring. Unfortunately, zinc alongside the layer of oil makes galvanized steel gutters difficult to paint. Some paints simply will not stick, and others may seem to adhere to the metal surface and dry, but the freshly-painted look won’t last long. Very soon, the paint starts to crack, chip, and peel away. Despite this, there are some steps you can follow when painting galvanized steel to get long-lasting results.
What You’ll Need
Before you start painting those gutters, there are a few specific tools and products you will need to ensure a job well done. These include a wire brush; ammonia, naphtha, or turpentine; a scouring pad; a lint-free cloth; and metal primer and paint (preferably the same brand). These will provide you with everything you need to prep and paint your galvanized steel gutters.
Painting Your Galvanized Gutters
Before you paint galvanized steel gutters, you will first need to clean them thoroughly. If your gutters are a year old or more, then there’s a good chance the oil left behind from the galvanization process is long gone, but you will still need to remove things like dust, dirt, and pollen in order to boost the paint’s adhesion.
- If your gutters were painted previously, use the wire brush to gently remove any loose paint. Be very careful not to scratch through the layer of zinc, which protects the steel below.
- Use a plastic scouring pad to remove any signs of existing rust.
- Wash your gutters with hot, soapy water (mild dish detergent works well), then rinse them and allow them to dry completely.
- Using a lint-free cloth (and wearing gloves to protect your hands), wipe down the entire surface of your gutters with the ammonia, turpentine, or naphtha. This will remove any leftover oil and thoroughly clean your gutters.
- Apply a coat of metal primer (not just any primer will do) and allow it to dry completely.
- Apply a coat of high-quality exterior latex paint (preferably the same brand as the primer) and allow it to dry. Apply a second coat if necessary.
Though it can be difficult to execute a beautiful, long-lasting paint job on galvanized gutters, it is possible if you take the time to do things correctly. Removing old paint, cleaning your gutters thoroughly, and using a high-quality metal primer and paint will create a beautiful home exterior that lasts.
Contact your Gutter Supply representative @ 888-909-7246 for any additional information.