Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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How to Paint Galvanized Sheet Metal, Gutters, or Valley Tin


How do I go about priming and painting galvanized valleys and flashing on my roof? -Abbey

Hi Abbey,

If galvanized metal is not prepared and painted properly, it will tend to peel over time. Clean new galvanized metal surfaces with a water based cleaner/degreaser to remove any oil or and contaminants. Once the metal has dried, dampen a cloth with white vinegar and wipe the surface down. The acid in the vinegar will act to etch the metal and help the paint adhere.

On older galvanized metal surfaces where the zinc coating has begun breaking down (known as white rust), use a wire brush or fine sandpaper to remove the chalky film before cleaning it.

Once the metal has been cleaned and is dry, prime it using an exterior multipurpose latex primer, or a latex primer that is made specifically for galvanized metal. Topcoat with two coars of a high quality exterior latex paint.

Good luck with your project,


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5 Comments on “How to Paint Galvanized Sheet Metal, Gutters, or Valley Tin”

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  1. dave Says:
    September 13th, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    Very good DIY tips on gutters and thank you for sharing. As a home owner, this will become handy in the future.

  2. Leonard Garrett Says:
    June 15th, 2011 at 12:30 am

    I obtained and retrieved from my bulk storage barn, a galvinized mailbox. It has been painted with what appears to be (white)latex paint. It is pealing worse than a 2nd degree sunburn.

    Because its metal, I want to use it, and the door broke of the existing plastic mailbox.

    I know the metal has to be cleaned, but would soda blasting be the best way to ensure cleaning the old paint off the metal and ensuring adhesion of new paint?

    Not everyone has a soda blast machine, but wondered if that might be the best prep for the new paint?

    Maybe a suggestion that works, and a Question of its value. I will attempt to let you know the results of how well the soda blasting works.

  3. Frances Says:
    January 22nd, 2012 at 10:43 am

    I want to paint an add on metal sidewalk porch/cover for my senior neighbor. It has a white finish now which does not match her house. How can I insure that the paint wll hold for years to come?

  4. Leonard Lubbering Says:
    July 17th, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I have a exterior door that I replaced about 7 years ago because the door frame rotted at the bottom. The replacement door was a metal clad with a wooden frame. I painted the frame after cuts and before installation. I have the same rotting problem again. Does anybody built a exterior door frame out of fiberglass or something else other than metal that won’t rot?

  5. Elisha Says:
    November 21st, 2014 at 12:36 am

    Thanks brother.
    Coloured iron sheets are So expensive here in Uganda and I want to roof my house with colored sheets. Now I want to get cheaper galvanized sheet and paint them. What are the materials to have for better quality work. Thanks and GOD blass you

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