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Can You Paint Gutters? (2024 Guide)

Default Author Icon Written by Mike Miller Updated 04/05/2024

You can paint gutters whether they’re made of aluminum or vinyl. Painting gutters is a cost-effective option for homeowners who want to enhance their home’s curb appeal and make their gutters more durable. Read our comprehensive guide on the best methods for painting your gutters.

Tools and Materials You Need To Paint Your Gutters

Ensure you have the right tools before attempting to paint your gutters. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Airless paint sprayer: For faster paint and primer application, consider renting an airless sprayer from a local hardware store.
  • Cleaning supplies: You will need a bucket of warm water, soap, a scrub brush, and a cleaning rag or sponge to eliminate grime, dirt, and grease. 
  • Denatured alcohol: Denatured alcohol and a fresh rag will remove any grit left over from sanding, leaving your gutters ready for paint.
  • Drop cloths or tarps: Use drop cloths or tarps to protect the areas beneath your gutters. Siding, windows, and landscaping are susceptible to paint drips or spills.
  • Flex additive: Mixing a flex additive into your paint will make it less likely to crack, chip, and peel as your gutters expand and contract during temperature fluctuations.
  • Gutter caulk or sealant: Purchase a paintable caulk or other sealant to apply to your gutters prior to painting. This may be a good opportunity to install gutter guards.
  • High-quality paintbrushes: Invest in a set of high-quality, soft-bristle paintbrushes or rollers. If you have K-shaped gutters, you may need more than one size.
  • Hose: You will need a garden hose to help flush and clean your gutters.
  • Paint primer: Choose a primer designed for outdoor use and that pairs with the type of paint you will be using, such as a clear acrylic bonding primer or a high-quality oil-based primer.
  • Paint stripper: Paint stripper may be necessary to remove any paint that cannot be scraped off with a putty knife. You will also need a rag to apply the paint stripper.
  • Painter’s tape: If you choose not to remove your gutters before the paint job, use painter’s tape to protect areas such as the fascia or downspouts.
  • Putty knife: A plastic putty knife will help you remove any coats of paint from your gutters.
  • Safety gear: Wearing gloves will keep your skin safe, and a face mask will keep you from inhaling paint fumes. It’s wise to wear a hard hat while using a ladder.
  • Sandpaper: Sand your gutters after they’re cleaned. Aluminum oxide or silicon sandpaper with a medium or fine grit (80–120 grit) will work best.
  • Screwdriver: You will need a screwdriver to remove your gutters if you want to paint them completely. Make sure it’s safe to remove your particular gutter system.
  • Sturdy ladder: You will need a sturdy ladder to reach your gutters safely.
  • Waterproof paint: Choose a waterproof exterior paint that will adhere to the surface of your gutters. Acrylic paint works best for vinyl gutters, while aluminum gutters require an oil-based paint. Use a glossy finish on the inside of the gutters to make them easier to clean and less likely to clog.
Consider the particular aesthetics of your gutter materials when purchasing your supplies. For instance, the flat edges of K-style gutters may be easier to paint with a brush than the curved surface of half-round gutters.

Steps to follow
Painting your gutters is a manageable DIY project that can be broken down into four main steps. Giving each step careful attention will ensure your gutters are attractive and durable.

Begin the painting process by cleaning your gutters. Use a ladder, gloves, and a garden hose to remove debris and loose dirt from your gutters. Grab a stiff-bristled brush, dip it in a bucket of warm, soapy water, and thoroughly scrub your gutters. 

Rinse the gutters with warm, clean water and wipe them down with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth. Let the gutters air dry completely. We recommend planning this task for a sunny day for a quicker dry time.

Sand your gutters to remove traces of old paint or corrosion. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape away most of the paint, then remove any remaining spots with a paint stripper. Wear a mask and gloves when applying the paint stripper.

Once the paint is gone and you’ve put on your gloves and eye protection, use sandpaper to smooth out rough patches to ensure better paint adherence. After sanding, wipe down the gutters with denatured alcohol, and apply sealant to any cracks or weakened seams.

Priming sets the stage for a long-lasting, professional-looking paint job. Your local paint store specialists can help you select the right paint and primer for your gutters and guide you on the best tools and techniques.

Use a paintbrush or roller to apply a thin, even coat of primer. Or, if you’re comfortable operating an airless paint sprayer, you can also use it on the lowest setting. Allow the paint to dry per the manufacturer’s recommendations—typically a few hours. 

Now that your gutters are properly primed, it’s time to apply a fresh coat of paint. Apply it in thin, even layers, whether you are using acrylic or enamel paint. Ensure that you cover all areas with the first coat, paying special attention to seams and joints. Use tarps or drop cloths to protect nearby surfaces from drops and spills.

Apply a second coat of paint after the first coat has dried to ensure even coverage and richer color. If you are using a brush, smooth out any brushstrokes for a sleek finish.

DIY vs. Professional Gutter Painting

Both the DIY approach and hiring a professional have merits. Here’s a comparison to help you gauge which route is right for you to help you visually create the best gutter system for your home.

DIY Gutter Painting

By painting your gutters yourself, you eliminate labor costs, which are often the most expensive part of a home improvement project. You can paint on your own timeline and spread the task over several days. 

However, painting gutters can be time-consuming, especially if you are new to this type of project, and dangerous if you’re using a ladder. The risk of mistakes, such as uneven paint or missed spots, may be higher. The job involves ladders, which can be a safety hazard if you are not careful.

Professional Gutter Painting

Professionals have the skill set to provide a seamless paint job and can complete the job much faster than the average homeowner. Professionals might be able to install highly-effective gutter guards as part of the project.

Hiring a professional painter will cost more than painting your gutters yourself. Painters typically charge an hourly rate between $25 and $100 per painter.* Coordinating with the painter’s schedule might also be a headache, depending on the season or conflicting timelines.

*Cost data sourced from Angi.

Our Conclusion

Painting your gutters can improve the look of your home’s exterior and help your gutters last longer and work better. If you go the DIY route, follow the instructions above to clean, sand, prime, and paint your gutters like a pro. A DIY approach can save you money, but professionals can finish the job quickly and often yield better outcomes.

FAQ About Painting Gutters

How often do gutters need repainting?

Gutters need repainting once every five to 10 years. The exact timing depends on the gutter material, paint quality, and weather conditions.

How do I know if I need to paint my gutters?

You will know you need to paint your gutters when the color fades or if the gutters look grimy. Cracks or chips may also appear.

Should you replace or repaint your gutters?

Repainting your gutters is sufficient if the only problem has to do with aesthetics. A fresh coat of paint may be enough to address minor rust or wear. If your gutters are nearing the end of their lifespan or have serious performance issues, gutter replacement is a wise investment.

Is painting gutters a good idea?

Painting your gutters is a good idea as long as they are structurally sound. High-quality paint provides an additional layer of protection and allows homeowners to customize the look of their gutters.

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