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Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing & Siding [Tips, Types, & Cost]
Paul Rubio

By: Paul Rubio on November 30th, 2020

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Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing & Siding [Tips, Types, & Cost]

Painted Rusted Roofing

Have you ever heard the saying that the solution may be worse than the problem? This applies perfectly to touch up paint for metal roofing. The performance of the touch up paint will never match the performance of the factory-applied paint system. Touch up paint will chalk and fade at a much faster rate than the original old paint.

The small scratch on the coating of your metal panels that was barely noticeable could become an unattractive focal point of your roof if the touch up paint begins to chalk and fade.

Our team at Western States Metal Roofing consists of employees who have been selling metal roofing for many years. If you have a question then we’ve likely answered it. In fact, I’ve lost count of how many times we discuss touch up paint for metal roofing.

Our goal in this article is to take our years of metal roofing manufacturing experience and share that knowledge, making your metal roof installation as simple as possible.


In this article, we will answer all of your touch up paint questions including:

  • What is metal touch up paint?
  • Should you apply touch up paint to metal roofing or siding?
  • Types of touch up paint
  • Where can I purchase and how much does it cost?
  • How to apply touch up paint


What Is Metal Roofing Touch Up Paint?

Metal roofing touch up paint is applied after the baked-on factory finish. It’s available in either a PVDF or SMP coating system. This paint is manually applied after the metal is installed to repair scratches, chips, and dings on the metal panels.


Should You Apply Touch Up Paint To A Metal Roofing Panel?

It’s normally a bad idea to apply touch up paint to your metal building, roofing, or siding panels. The touch up paint creates a bigger eyesore than the scratch itself. Metal roofs are viewed from ground to roof and a small scratch just will not be noticeable from a distance. However, the discoloration of the paint is very noticeable almost immediately.

If you have a large area of the metal panel that has been damaged, it’s normally a better idea to just replace the entire panel. The area that has the touch up paint will look different than the factory applied paint after a very short period of time.


What If It’s Only A Small Surface Scratch?

Metal roofing panels normally consist of steel that has a Galvalume® or galvanized metal finish. The paint system is then applied over this metal surface. If you have a small paint scratch and the Galvalume® or galvanized steel finish is intact, you’re better off not repairing that scratch. A galvanized metal roof and a Galvalume® roof will both still protect the metal roofing materials from corrosion even if the paint has been scratched.


What If The Galvalume Substrate Is Damaged?

There are no good options when this occurs. If you don’t repair the ding or chip in the roof surface, you will end up with a rusty metal roof, you will end up with a rusty metal roof. The panel will begin to rust in that area. If you repair the substrate and then apply touch up roof paint, it will not match. You have two bad choices, replace the entire panel or use touch up paint that will not match as it fades.


Indoor Metal Ceiling Or Wall Panels

When you have an indoor application, the sheeting will not be exposed to UV rays and is likely to be viewed at a closer distance. The touch up paint will not fade the same way it would when installed outdoors. This is one of the rare times in which touch up paint may make the problem better instead of worse.


An Important Note: Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing Will Fade

Touch up paints are applied by hand to the panels after they’re installed. It’s different from the original paint process which goes through a heating and curing process. Even though touch up paint is made from the same type of paint finish, it will not hold up to the UV rays the same as a factory applied finish.

Touch Up Paint For Metal Panels

Touch up paint will not have the same color retention and color fading abilities as the original factory finish. Factory-applied PVDF painted panels have warranties that can be 30 years in length and are designed to retain their color integrity. Touch up paint is not designed that way. After a short period of time the air dried touch up paint will fade much more than the original paint. In addition, you could end up with a white residue on the paint which is known as chalking.


Types Of Touch Up Paint For Metal Roofing?

There are three types of touch up paint for metal roofing that can be purchased. Each of them has their own pros and cons.

  1. Spray Cans - This type of paint should never be used on metal roof panels. You cannot apply it precisely and it will cover a much larger area than needed. This is not a good choice since you do not need to touch up your entire roof. This type of paint is more appropriate when you need to match the color to paint accessories such as plumbing vent pipes.
  2. Metal Touch Up Paint Pen - This is a good choice if you have a small area that needs to be repaired. It will have a small applicator tip that will fit into the scratches.
  3. Brush Top Cans - These are an excellent choice when you have a small area like a ding. They are available in 2-ounce cans and have a small brush attached to the inside of the lid.
metal touch up paint pen


Where Do You Buy Touch Up Paint?

You should never go to your local hardware store and purchase touch paint. It’s a different type of paint than what’s on your metal roofing panels. Instead, contact the metal roofing supplier and they can supply you with touch up paint.

If you’re not the original property owner and don’t know who supplied the metal building. You might be in luck, sometimes metal roofing suppliers will sell touch up paint on their website. Always verify the color match and whether it’s appropriate for metal panels.


Matching Your Metal Roofing Color

As long as you have a solid paint color and you buy the paint pens from the supplier of the metal panels, they will match.


Touch Up Paint For Specialty Paint Prints

A specialty paint print is a color that has been painted multiple times. It’s not one solid color, but is two or three colors. If you need touch up paint for this type of paint it will be available in the base coat only. For example, in the picture above the touch up paint will be the dark brown color and not the orange.


How Much Does Touch Up Paint Cost?

Touch up paint has a short shelf life and manufacturers offer lots of different colors. Quite often, they will not inventory the touch up paint and it will be ordered specifically for your job.

You cannot order one or two cans or pens. The companies that make the touch up paint will have minimum order requirements in place. Typically, you will need to buy 12 cans of paint or 25 metal paint pens. It’s way more touch up paint than a typical property owner will ever need.

The total price of a touch up paint order is usually $150 to $250. In addition, it will take about two weeks to receive the touch up paint.


What To Do If You Have To Apply Metal Touch Up Paint

You should always follow the metal roofing paint manufacturer’s instructions. They will be different depending on the type of touch up paint.

Valspar has some good recommendations for applying touch up paint in this article:

Touch-up Paint Tips: Quickly And Correctly Apply Touch-up Paint To Metal Panel Scratches


Metal Roofing Maintenance

The best solution is to keep the problem from happening in the first place. Handling your painted metal roof panels with care during installation is your best defense.

If you have metal panels that need to be cut, you can lessen the likelihood of damaging the paint. Flip the panels over when cutting. This allows the slivers and metal chips to be brushed from the backside. This eliminates damaging the exposed and painted side of the metal roofing panel. Just be careful not to scratch the panel when turning it over.

Routine metal roofing maintenance is an important step that will ensure longevity. In fact, metal roofs are actually pretty simple to maintain.

Here’s are some easy maintenance tips to get the most out of your metal roof:

Maintaining Your Metal Roof: 6 Steps You Need To Be Taking


Check out our Metal Roofing Learning Center and view our YouTube channel.

Metal Roofing Learning Cener

About Paul Rubio

Paul Rubio is the Vice President and one of the owners of Western States Metal Roofing. He has been in the metal roofing industry for 25 years. WSMR is a manufacturer of metal roofing, wall panels, and metal siding. We have colors and finishes that nobody else has with nearly 100 different colors in stock. Our selection of color options and finishes is likely the largest in the industry.