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Faux Zinc Roofing: A Better Alternative To Zinc Roofing
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on March 16th, 2022

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Faux Zinc Roofing: A Better Alternative To Zinc Roofing

Choosing the right roof for your project ultimately comes down to two major factors: cost and appearance. While zinc roofs are known for their stunning appearance, they’re also known for being one of the most expensive (and hard to find) roofing materials on the market. If you still want the look of zinc without the incredibly high price tag, luckily there is another option.

Western States Metal Roofing manufactures metal roofing and siding panels in over 100 colors and specialty paint finishes including a line of panels that are designed to look like zinc. By using steel panels that are painted, you will still get the benefits of a metal roof without having to pay the premium price of zinc roofing panels.

In this article, we go over the benefits of using painted metal roofing panels to achieve the look of a zinc roof. By the end of this article, you will know whether faux zinc roofing sheets are right for you.

What Is A Faux Zinc Roof?

A faux zinc roof is made up of metal roofing panels that are painted to look like Zinc. The colors used reflect the various stages of patina that zinc goes through. Each faux zinc roof metal panel is painted in the premium PVDF paint system with multiple colors throughout the highs and lows of the corrugations to create depth. 


Standing Seam roof in Galv-Ten Robust

Standing Seam roof in Galv-Ten Robust

The result is a very realistic paint print that mimics a zinc appearance. Made from steel, a faux zinc roof panel has similar benefits to Zinc, such as being low maintenance and durable, but is much more economical.

Benefits Of Using A Faux Zinc Roof

  • More availability 
  • Choose your desired color
  • No patina runoff stains
  • Warranty
  • More affordable

More Availability 

Authentic Zinc panels are not the type of roofing material that you can just pick up at your local hardware store. In the United States, zinc panels are hard to find and have longer lead times than steel. Metal panels, such as faux zinc roofing panels, are readily available and can be easily ordered through a metal roof manufacturer.


Choose Your Desired Color

Every Zinc panel will look slightly different depending on the climate and rate of patina. There is no guarantee of how a Zinc roof will ultimately look or age overtime. However, faux zinc panels allow you to choose the exact color of your metal roofing material and will have a consistent looking finish throughout.

⅞” Corrugated roof in Bonderized

⅞” Corrugated roof in Bonderized


No Runoff Stains

Zinc material produces runoff when exposed to moisture that will cause staining on driveways, walkways and personal property. Faux Zinc panels, on the other hand, do not stain or have any runoff.


Unlike authentic zinc, faux zinc painted panels come with a paint warranty.

More Affordable

Zinc roofing material is one of the more expensive metal roof materials, besides Copper. If you use a steel panel that looks like zinc, you will be saving a significant amount of money on material cost. Besides being a long expensive material in general, the price of Zinc has recently gone up due to demand for energy products that require this type of metal.


Zinc Roofing Cost vs Faux Zinc Prices

The biggest reason to use a painted metal panel that looks like zinc vs. real zinc is cost. As you can see below, the price of zinc is significantly higher than painted steel. The price variations depend on the gauge and profile of the chosen roofing panel as well as market supply.

Panel Type


Corrugated Faux Zinc Metal Panel

$3.00-$5.00 per sq. ft.

Standing Seam Faux Zinc Metal Panel

$4.00-$6.00 per sq. ft.

Authentic Zinc Panel

$15.00-$25.00 per sq. ft.


Faux Zinc Roof Colors

Below is a brief explanation of each faux zinc color that Western States Metal Roofing offers.



Vintage® roofing has a classic aged appearance. It looks like an old galvanized or Bonderized steel.


Patina® looks similar to Vintage®, but at a lower price point. It has a flat dull gray appearance.

Black Zinc Matte®

A gun metal finish that blends a matte black and a matte gray finish together.

Gray Zinc Matte®

A gray finish that looks like a Quartz Zinc, but in a matte finish for less reflectivity.

Galv-Ten Robust®

An aged metallic finish that's designed to look like an old galvanized roof with white rust streaks.

Zinc Patina®

Designed to look like an aged zinc. It has multiple colors to give the finish depth and texture.

Zinc Metallic®

A solid metallic color that's designed to have a shiny and reflective appearance.

Matte Musket Gray

A solid gray that has a matte finish for less reflectivity.

Blackened Steel Matte®

This color looks like dull blackened steel. It has a nice balance of black and gray.

Speckled Blackened Rust®

A lighter version of a blackened steel finish that's designed to look like iron oxidized with black rust spots.

Streaked Blackened Rust®

The highs and lows of the corrugations are different colors which adds depth.\


Bonderized is also referred to as Paint Grip. It's NOT a paint finish and there's no warranty.


Download The Faux Zinc Roofing Color Chart


When To Use Real Zinc Roofing

Zinc has a protective patina coating that allows it to perform well and last a long time in coastal environments. If your project is on or near the water, you will want to use real zinc roofing as opposed to faux zinc roofing. The steel of faux zinc roofing will corrode when exposed to the harsh salty environment of the coast and fail prematurely.

While zinc will last longer if it's inland than on the water, you can still expect coastal zinc to last 60-80 plus years. 


When To Use An Alternative To Zinc Roofing

Zinc is an excellent corrosion resistant roofing choice for those with a larger budget that are looking for commercial roofing that will never have to be replaced as they last for 80-100+ years. However, if you are looking for something more affordable, such as for residential roofing, that will still last 40-60 years, then a metal roof could be a better cost saving alternative.

Choosing a faux zinc roof gives you the look of zinc and some of the similar value and benefits of zinc. Since Zinc is technically a type of metal, steel roofing and Zinc share similar qualities such as being durable, low maintenance and fire resistant.

See how faux zinc panels will look on your project’s roofing or siding digitally by using our free color visualizer tool. You can then request a free sample of your favorite colors to see how your top choices look in person.

Color & Product Visualizer

Request a Free Color Sample

About Lauren Risotto

Lauren is the Content Manager at Western States Metal Roofing and provides insight on content creation and product promotions.