So you are have been thinking of painting your house – giving it that fresh brand new look and have finally decided that you cannot wait any longer and get it done in time for the Christmas get together.
After all you want to impress your guests with your new house painting, right?
However if you are having your house painted, gutters and downspouts can be the sticking point. Do you do it yourself or get a professional house painter?
Because of all the painting jobs that need to be done around the house, fascia, downpipes and gutters may be the hardest.
Do not underestimate how noticeable gutters and downpipes can be on most houses. Gutters are a significant fixed feature on your house.
To make matters worse, if you don’t do the job right, you will probably find that you need to re-paint your gutters and downpipes long before you have to paint your house again.
The two common things some people get wrong when painting gutters is choosing the wrong type of paint and not preparing the surface properly before painting.
The three most common materials gutters are made from are steel, aluminium and vinyl. Each of these requires a different preparation treatment and different types of paint.
How to Paint Steel Gutters
Steel gutters, if properly painted, are very long-lasting. If not properly painted, rust will develop and stain the outside of the gutters and the paint will chip and peel.
- Check if you need to replace the gutters and downpipes or if you can get away with cleaning them.
- Do they look like they need to be painted and cleaning them doesn’t bring them back to something close to their original condition.
- Are they a colour that doesn’t match the same undertone of the new trim colour.
- If they are due for replacement, getting them done before or during the exterior painting process makes sense, especially if your painter has the chance to paint the gutter boards once the old gutters are removed and before the new ones are installed.
These are the steps you need to take when you paint new steel gutters:
- New steel gutters have a thin surface treatment. If not removed, it will prevent paint from adhering to the steel. This can easily be removed just be washing down the gutters with a mild detergent and scrubbing with a mildly abrasive scrub sponge like the one you use to clean non-stick pots and pans. Be sure you rinse the gutters and let them dry thoroughly before you commence painting.
- Apply an undercoat of good quality rust preventive oil based primer. Let it dry for 24 to 48 hours. One coat of primer should be sufficient.
- Use a good quality oil based enamel paint for your top coats. For best adhesion, apply the first coat within 48 hours of applying the primer. Apply two thin top coats, allowing the first coat to dry thoroughly before applying a second coat.
Click to Watch Video – How to clean your gutter
How to Paint Aluminium Gutters
With aluminium gutters, you can use either oil based or acrylic paints. Whichever you choose, use the same type of paint for both the primer and the top coats. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your paint does not contain ammonia in its ingredients. Ammonia reacts with aluminium, creating a gas. When this gas is released, it created paint bubbles. Another mistake many people make with aluminium is to skip the primer, thinking it’s an unnecessary step, since aluminium doesn’t rust. If you don’t apply an undercoat of good quality primer, your paint will start to peel within a year.
How to Paint Vinyl Gutters
Vinyl gutters do not usually need to be painted because they come in standard colours. They can be painted, though, and more easily than steel or aluminium gutters. First prepare the surface by rubbing the gutters down with denatured alcohol. Then paint with a good quality exterior latex paint. Do not paint the interior of vinyl gutters.
Tips for Repainting Gutters
When you want to repaint your gutters, you will need to do some extra preparatory work:
• Scrape off all loose, flaking and peeling paint.
• Using a foam wet-dry sanding block, sand the sheen off of the remaining paint. If it is adhering well, you don’t need to remove it completely, but the glossy sheen will prevent the new paint from sticking to its surface.
• Thoroughly wash the guttering. Soap it down with a mild detergent using a sponge and then rinse completely. If possible, get up on a ladder and rinse from the top down. This way, you will be sure to remove all the debris and soap residue.
• When repainting gutters, give them a coat of primer first, as you do with new gutters.
Unless you’re repainting in the same colour, it’s best to remove the down pipes so you can repaint them thoroughly. It’s almost impossible to paint the backs of down pipes when they’re attached to the house.
What about Colour?
If you are replacing them, chances are you are limited to a choice of colours. In that case, We always recommend that you go with the colour that matches either the roof or the trim. Choose your trim colour after you have picked your gutter colour. It’s easier than doing it the other way around.
If you are painting your gutters simply paint them your trim colour.
Black or White?
Black or dark gutters will look better longer than white ones will but they are far more pronounced so make sure if you choose black it ties in with other features of the house.
Newly installed black gutters provided a perfectly straight line and a white gutter board was possible and stunning.
What About the Downpipes?
While choosing gutter colours is pretty straight forward, downpipes are a whole other ball game. There are so many variables that most homeowners don’t know what to do.
The rule is generally when you are replacing downpipes or repainting them if the downpipes are placed along the trim, match the colour to trim. If your downpipes are flush against siding, match them to siding colour.
What if half of your downspouts are along trim and half are along siding?
Pick the colour that the majority of your downspouts are up against and go with that colour. Or pick the colour that the downspouts that are most visible from the street.
Can you mix downspout colours on a house?
Generally the rule is one downspout colour – majority rules. The exception is when you are dealing with a house with a lot of trim of details. Heritage houses are a perfect example. The last thing you want downspouts to do is detract from the beauty of a house.
If you prepare your surfaces properly and use the right paints, your gutters, downpipes and fascia will stay looking good for years.
While it may take longer initially, the results will be far more satisfying in the long run.
To make sure you get the best paint for your gutters, talk to a paint supplier near you.
If you don’t want to tackle the job yourself, find a professional painter in your area and let them do the job for you.