In short, painting gutters and downspouts is a cheap alternative to purchasing new ones, and when you use a paint sprayer (instead of a brush), the work goes a lot faster.
Downspouts, particularly, can be easily painted by removing them and then spray painting them on a drop cloth by way of an airless sprayer which is a simple-to-use tool that can be rented from most major home improvement stores.
After taking care to protect the trim of fascia and other areas you aren’t painting, you can spray paint the gutters just as easily, though you’ll need to do so on a ladder.
The thing you need to keep in mind here is – much like any painting project, it’s important to prepare the surface and use the right paint for the job.
Painting Downspouts and Gutters
When getting started, the first thing you’ll need to do is remove the downspouts for cleaning and painting.
These downspouts will have accumulated mildew and dirt that must be thoroughly washed away before the paint is applied or else it will not stick.
They can be painted while still on the house, but that is a lot of extra effort.
Step 1: Power Washing
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 a good choice for a cleaning solution for the gutters.
Step 2: Prime
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.
Gutters that have bare metal exposed need to be primed first using an acrylic primer.
Gutters with a factory finish that has been painted over may or may not need a coat of primer.
If the paint is peeling, it is a good idea to apply a bonding primer after the paint is carefully removed by way of power washing.
Gutters in better condition can be painted without any sort of priming.
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 downspouts on them propped up on something like buckets to apply the paint.
Step 4: Apply Two Coats of Paint
It is a good idea to use an airless sprayer. If you don’t have one, you can usually rent one from a home improvement or paint store.
Put a 211 spray tip on the airless sprayer. It will produce a fan of spray 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: Paint the Gutters
Be sure you mask windows and fascia boards close to the gutters by covering them with masking paper and plastic before painting the gutters.
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.
Spray two coats of paint and then remove all of the plastic and masking paper only after all of the paint is completely dry.
Choosing the Best Paint for Gutters and Downspouts
It is generally believed that the best paint for aluminum gutters is acrylic paint, and you should plan on applying two coats to be safe.
If you live somewhere with humid or cold weather, Resilience from Sherwin Williams is a good choice for paint.
This paint is remarkably durable and won’t easily be compromised even if it rains suddenly a few hours after you’re done painting.
On the other hand, Duration from Sherwin Williams or Super Paint is a good option as well. Both of them are durable and come in different finishes.
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 that may be clogging the gutters.
By following these simple steps, you can have your home looking its best in no time!
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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