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Best Paint For Metal Roof: SMP Paint v PVDF Coatings
Lauren Risotto

By: Lauren Risotto on February 25th, 2020

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Best Paint For Metal Roof: SMP Paint v PVDF Coatings

Homeowner Education | paint systems | SMP

Deciding between PVDF panels or SMP panels for your new metal roof? We’re here to help. As a manufacturer of panels with both types of paint systems, we are often asked which is better. We want you to be able to choose which panels will make the most sense for you.
Let’s talk about how the two types of painted panels compare in these areas:
  • Chemical Structure
  • Fading and Chalking
  • Abrasion Resistance
  • Warranty
  • Cost


Are SMP Panels Or PVDF Panels Better For My Roof?

PVDF coated panels are seen in the industry as being superior to SMP panels in both quality and performance. However, PVDF panels can cost significantly more than SMP.

The biggest decision between these two panels comes down to compromises between price and performance.


Chemical Structure

The key to a product’s performance is in it’s chemistry. How well a product performs is directly associated with the quality of its components.

What Is SMP Coating?

SMP coating is made of polyester and silicone intermediates. Silicone acts to improve the gloss retention and weather resistance of the coatings. The amount of silicone in the coating varies depending on the manufacturer. The higher the silicone content, the better the performance of the paint.

What Are PVDF Coatings Made From?

Also referred to by its generic name, polyvinylidene fluoride PVDF, coatings consist of one of the strongest bonds known, called the carbon-fluorine bond. This chemical structure gives it the ability to resist strong acids, solvents and reducing agents.


Areas of a roof that receive the most direct sunlight will experience fading and chalking the fastest.


Fading And Chalking

Fading refers to the visible loss of color overtime. Chalking is when the appearance of a powdery substance forms on the surface of a coating. Both result directly from the chemical breakdown of a coating’s base resins and pigments that occurs from sun exposure. The areas of a roof that receive less UV rays from the sun will fade slower than the areas in direct sunlight.

Fading and chalking are undesirable, yet unavoidable, components of a painted metal panel that keeps it from looking fresh and new.

SMP Paint

While the silicone in SMP paint helps with resistance to fading and chalking, the exposure to UV rays will take its toll on the appearance overtime. Some colors fade faster than others, with red generally being the most susceptible to fading. Lighter colored panels make the appearance of chalking less apparent.

PVDF Paint Coatings

The strong chemical foundation of PVDF paint makes it able to withstand harsh environmental elements to provide long-term durability.


Abrasion Resistance

Since your roof will be exposed to environmental elements, it’s important to look at how well each type of panel can resist being scratched or worn down.

SMP Paint

SMP resins are harder than those of PVDF, making SMP paint abrasion and scratch resistant. Even though it can take rough handling, its hardness actually makes it less flexible and tiny fractures may result.


PVDF paint is softer than SMP, making it highly formable without risk of cracking. However, this also makes it much easier to scratch.


Paint Warranty

It may be surprising when you see how much paint warranties vary in the metal roofing industry. It used to be that all warranties were just about the same. Warranties today are now a part of the marketing strategy and every company is trying to be more competitive than the next. However, you have to read the fine print. Pay attention to what they cover, and not necessarily how long it is covered for.

Paint warranties for metal panels cover 3 areas:

  • Film Adhesion/Integrity
  • Chalk
  • Fade/Color Change.

Not all of these categories are covered for the same amount of time.

SMP Paint

Even though SMP is considered to be overall lower quality than PVDF, SMP panels actually have a longer warranty. Kind of.

When you look at a warranty for SMP panels, it is very common to see a 40-year warranty. While that sounds great at first, a closer look shows that the 40-years only covers film adhesion. The coverage for fade/color change and chalk is usually always less than a warranty for PVDF panels.


The warranties generally last 20 to 40 years for film adhesion for PVDF panels. When it comes to color change, it actually depends on the color itself. It’s likely to see a warranty of anywhere from 10 to 30 years for chalking and fade coverage.

Check out a sample PVDF® warranty v. SMP warranty to compare.



The biggest advantage of SMP paint systems over PVDF is the price. However, it’s important to consider that not all SMPs are created equal, in quality or price. Not only should you consider the cost between PVDF and SMP, but also think of the cost of different SMP paint systems.

SMP Paint

There are higher quality SMP paint systems made with ceramic pigments that help improve its fade resistance, and improvements in resins that helps reduce chalking. These are going to cost more than other lower quality SMPs because of the improved components.

Is PVDF Worth The Cost?

PVDF can cost between 15-35% more than SMP. The greater cost is the result of PVDF being made with higher quality components.

Download Your How To Choose A Metal Roofing Color Guide


Which Paint System Should I Choose?

We can only provide different aspects to consider as you determine which panel type is best for your situation.

SMP Paint Panels Typically Fit Those Who:

    • Have a smaller budget and are looking for the most economical choice.

    • Will be roofing an industrial building or other structure where aesthetics is not a top priority.

    • Neutral colors such as white or tan.

PVDF Paint Panels Typically Fit Those Who:

    • Have aesthetics and performance of panels as a main concern.

    • Want the panel with the best longevity possible.

    • Bright and vibrant colors such as red or green.

Let Us Help You Choose A Metal Roofing Color

At Western States Metal Roofing, we offer both SMP and PVDF painted panels. We have an extensive color selection between both paint systems.

The next step is to determine the color of your metal roof. This article will help you with that decision: Metal Roofing Colors: 5 Tips To Pick The Best Metal Roofing Color

Start narrowing down your color selection by requesting free samples of your favorite colors in either paint finish.

Click here to request a free metal roofing sample in your favorite color!

About Lauren Risotto

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