In short, painting aluminum gutters and downspouts is a cheap alternative to purchasing and installing new ones. And if you use a paint sprayer (instead of a brush), the work goes much faster and easier.
Downspouts, particularly, can be easily painted by removing them and then spray painting them on a drop cloth with an airless sprayer, a simple-to-use tool that can be rented from most major home improvement stores.
After protecting the trim of fascia and other areas you aren’t painting, you can spray paint the aluminum gutters just as quickly, though you’ll need to do so on a ladder.
Painting Downspouts and Gutters
Remember that, much like any painting project, it’s essential to prepare the surface and use the right paint for the job.
So, you’ll need to remove the downspouts for cleaning and painting when getting started.
These downspouts will have accumulated mildew and dirt that must be thoroughly washed away before the paint is applied, or it will not stick.
They can be painted while still on the house, but that is a lot of extra effort.
Step 1: Power Wash
Clean the outside metal surface with an appropriate cleaner and then allow it to sit for up to 10 minutes.
If there is no chemical sprayer on the tank of the power washer you will be using, you can use a cheap garden sprayer instead.
Thoroughly power wash the cleaner and dirt off the downspouts and gutters.
If the surface is stained and weathered, you can scrub it clean using a coarse scrubbing pad.
Then, let the surface dry fully. To power wash the gutters, you’ll need an extension ladder.
Mixing bleach and water is also a good choice for making a cleaning solution for the gutters, which can be used for a profound clean effect.
Step 2: Prime Aluminum Gutters
Gutters that have exposed bare metal must be primed using an acrylic primer.
Also, if there is paint peeling, applying a bonding primer is a good idea. You should do that after the paint is carefully removed by power washing.
However, if the gutters are aluminum and factory-painted without any bare metal exposed, you won’t need to prime them. Just use two coats of premium acrylic paint.
Step 3. Get the Painting Area Set-Up
Put down canvas drop cloths in the area to protect the ground or excess spraying.
Put the metal downspouts on them propped up on something like buckets to apply the paint.
Step 4: Apply Two Coats of Paint
Using an airless sprayer is recommended for this step. You can usually rent one from a home improvement or paint store if you don’t have one.
Put a 211 spray tip on the airless sprayer. It will produce a spray fan across four inches, making it ideal for most downspouts and gutters, and the width will lessen the risk of over spraying.
Spray two coats of paint on the downspouts, and allow the paint to dry entirely between coats. Turn them over and apply two coats of paint to this side.
Step 5: Spray Paint Gutters after Painting Downspouts
Mask windows and fascia boards close to the gutters by covering them with masking paper and plastic before painting them.
The fastest and easiest way to mask for spray painting is using a 3M hand masker.
Lay down 4-by-12-foot canvas drop cloths on the area of the roof shingles right above where you intend to spray to protect them from paint.
Put the ends of the drop cloths in the gutter and use rocks to hold them in place.
Spray the gutters from end to end, and keep a wet edge the entire time.
After spraying two coats of paint and allowing the paint to completely dry, remove all the plastic and masking paper.
What Color Should My Gutters and Downspouts Be?
When painting exterior water systems in your home, the question that arises in most minds is whether they should paint downspouts and gutterings the same color as the house.
In my opinion, this is not necessarily the case.
You could instead choose to paint your gutters the same color as your roof or trim, depending on what you like. And I think downspouts usually look nicer when they match the color of your siding.
The safest route is selecting the same paint color for the gutter and downspout that matches your siding. They will likely go unnoticed by making them the same hue as your siding.
PLS: If your house is more detailed than most, don’t paint your downspouts in different colors. Instead, pick the color of most of the downspouts and paint it that same color.
For those who can’t make up their minds or prefer more subtle colors, black and white are excellent choices.
Black is timeless but can look harsh when placed against a white house. Make sure to choose the right color that compliments the rest of your home’s design.
Should Gutters Match the Fascia and Soffit?
The colors of your gutters, fascia, and soffits (primarily wooden) don’t have to match perfectly. You could even mix and match colors to create a unique look.
However, if you want everything to blend seamlessly, consider choosing similar shades or using a color wheel for inspiration.
Can Gutters And Downspouts Be Different Colors?
Although it may not be apparent, having gutters and downspouts of different colors can make a home look messy, unfinished, awkward, or unattractive.
As a result, many homeowner associations prohibit this activity from maintaining the value of homes in the neighborhood.
Home improvement experts also suggest that gutters and downspouts be kept the same color to create a more polished, coordinated look for your home.
Choosing the Best Paint for Gutters and Downspouts
Before repainting old guttering and downpipes, check the material they are made of. Depending on the materials of your gutters and downspouts, you might have to select different paints.
The best paint for aluminum or galvanized metal gutters is exterior acrylic latex paint, and you should plan on applying a primer followed by two coats of paint to be safe.
Resilience from Sherwin Williams is a good choice for paint if you live somewhere with humid or cold weather.
This exterior-grade acrylic latex paint is remarkably durable and won’t easily be compromised even if it rains a few hours suddenly after you’re done painting.
Duration from Sherwin Williams or Super Paint is also a good option. Both of them are durable and come in different finishes. You may also choose to coat these water systems with oil-based paints, but they come with higher VOCs which might make you uncomfortable.
The Bottom Line
Painting downspouts and gutters are a great way to improve the look of your home exterior, and it’s a task that can be completed in just a few hours.
Be sure to use a ladder when painting to avoid any accidents. And always begin by cleaning the downspouts and gutters with a garden hose or pressure washer.
This is essential to remove any dirt, debris, or leaves clogging the gutters.
By following these simple steps, you can have your home looking its best in no time.
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Jack Luis is a semi-retired painter who loved painting his clients’ ideas on their walls.
He had worked as a painter for more than a decade to serve the customers in areas such as Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Beaufort, Georgetown, SC (South Carolina). Today in his free time, he likes to read and write about the newer techniques that are being implemented in his profession. You may read more about him here or get in touch with him here.
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