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Gutter Painting - The Expert Guide

Painting gutters is one of the DIY jobs that many of us add to the to-do list when the weather gets warmer. That is why our experts have put together this handy guide to gutter painting so you will know not only how to paint them step-by-step but also will know what the best paints to use are.

Gutter painting

What Are Gutters?

As with any decorating project, the first step is to understand the surface you are painting. Gutters are something we are all aware of, consisting of pipes that drain water from the roofline and down the house quickly and efficiently. Gutters are made of a range of materials, including steel, aluminium & plastic, which can have an impact on how they are painted.

While many homeowners may not pay attention to their gutters, they can have a big impact on the kerb appeal of your home. That is why giving them a new lick of paint can be an easy way to freshen up your home, or may be part of a full exterior transformation, in which case do not leave your gutters to ruin the overall impact of the project.

Choosing A Colour

The go-to choice of colour when it comes to gutters is usually a shade that will match the rest of your exterior trim, such as fascias & soffits. While white has always been a hugely popular and common sight in the UK since the 70s, modern shades such as blacks and greys, like Anthracite Grey, have become the go-to shade for exterior trim.

No matter what shade you are looking for, there is a paint that is perfect for you that can be mixed in any colour you choose, meaning you have full control over what shade to use.

The Best Gutter Paint

Now we have established what exactly gutters are, it is time to consider what the best gutter paints are so you can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish. The best paint to use on gutters depends on whether they are plastic or metal. That is why we have included both the best gutter paint for plastic gutters and metal gutters below.

The Best Paint For Plastic Gutters

When it comes to painting any exterior trim as a homeowner, there is always one paint that our experts highly recommend. Zinsser Allcoat Exterior is a multi-surface exterior paint that can be applied to almost any exterior surface, including UPVC & plastic, metal, wood or masonry. Not only this but it is available in gloss, satin & matt finishes and can be mixed in almost any colour making it one of the most versatile paints in the UK today.

Aside from its vast array of options when it comes to achieving the look you want, Zinsser Allcoat also is an exterior paint that outperforms most paints on the market when applied to UPVC. One of the reasons it can be applied to so many surfaces is that it has excellent adhesion, allowing it to resist peeling and cracking for 15 years. Furthermore, what our experts love about Zinsser Allcoat is its ease of use. It comes self-priming and does not require any sanding which makes the painting process as easy as possible. This means that no matter whether you are a professional decorator or an inexperienced DIY'er, it is so simple to paint UPVC gutters using a good quality UPVC paint.

The Best Paint For Metal Gutters

While Zinsser Allcoat can be used on metal, we would always recommend opting for a specially designed product when they are available. While Zinsser Allcoat is the best paint for plastics such as UPVC, when it comes to metal there is a paint that offers superior performance. Rust-Oleum Combicolor Metal Paint is a superb metal paint that offers the various specific needs that exterior metal paint requires, such as anti-rust properties and the ability to apply the paint over previously rusted metal. This is hugely beneficial for maintaining a pristine finish on metal and for reducing the amount of prep work required when painting metal gutters. Combicolor is an oil-based paint which is common with higher sheen finishes such as satin & gloss. This gives it a slightly longer drying time and brushes must be cleaned using a solvent such as white spirit.

Combicolor is available in satin and gloss finishes and can be mixed in any colour with our paint mixing service, meaning no matter what look you want to achieve, Combicolor can help. When it comes to painting any exterior metal, we would highly recommend Combicolor to anyone.

How To Repair Gutters

Before you start painting gutters you must ensure they are intact and free from damage. Any cracks in your guttering can be fixed using a waterproofing sealant such as Rust-Oleum Fillcoat Fibres Waterproofing. Clean and dry the gutters around where the crack is. Using a paint brush, apply the sealant to the crack, smoothing it out as much as possible. Once a base layer has had three days you can apply another layer on to this base layer in order to build a considerable seal on the crack.

This will provide an easy and effective waterproof barrier on the gutters that will help them maintain their integrity.

How To Paint Gutters

The process of painting gutters is relatively easy if you have the right tools for the job. For this you will need a few things:

Step 1 - Preparation

The temptation when it comes to decorating is to get started with the painting as soon as possible. The reality is, preparation is the single most important aspect of any project, which is why it is crucial to take your time at this stage if you want the best possible results. The part of preparation is to get the gutters clean and ready to paint. Clear any leaves, debris and anything else in the gutter before using soap and water the scrub the gutters clean off anything that will prevent the paint from adhering properly to the gutter. You can remove the gutter or the gutter bracket in order to give you an opportunity to fully coat the gutter, although this should only be done if you are confident can can fully reinstall the gutter back. Alternatively you can loosen the screws on the gutter to ensure it remains in place but you have more room to coat behind the gutter or downpipe.

If the gutters have any peeling paint, scrip these using a filling knife or a stiff bristle brush.

Mask up any parts you do not want to paint. You can do this using a good quality masking tape. It may be a good idea to apply newspaper around other surfaces and to put down a dust sheet to protect from any paint spillages.

Step 2 - Priming

Depending on your gutter, you may have to prime it before painting. Primer helps the paint adhere to the surface, which is why if primer is not used when required, the paint will simply not have the adhesion required to prevent paint peeling.

If you are using an oil-based paint on gutters, you should use an oil-based primer, just as you should only use a water-based primer if you are using a water-based paint. You do not need to use a primer if you are using a self-priming paint such as Zinsser Allcoat.

If you are painting metal gutters will need to sand these down and apply a primer before painting. By sanding the metal down before painting with a low grit sandpaper, you create a key that better helps paint adhere to the metal.

You must ensure that the gutter is completely dry before priming or painting. Check the weather forecast to make sure you will have enough time to fully complete the project in dry conditions.

Apply a primer such as 3369/3380 Combicolor Anti Corrosion Primer to the metal using a paint brush, ensuring a thin but even coating across the surface. Let it dry completely before painting as per the manufacturers instructions. This primer is perfect for using in combination with Combicolor Metal Paint.

Step 3 - Painting

Once the surface is sound, clean & primed if required, it is time to begin with the painting. Apply the first coat of paint to the gutter using a paint brush, ensuring that you apply a thin but even layer. If you are using a water-based paint then you must use a synthetic bristle paint brush as a natural bristle paint brush will absorb water, leaving you with a poor coverage. If you are using an oil-based paint then a natural bristle paint brush would be best.

Paint both the inside and the outside of the guttering as well as painting the braces if you removed these. Allow the first coat of paint to fully dry as per the manufacturers instructions. A water-based paint will dry within a matter of hours while oil-based paint takes up to 12 hours.

Apply the second coat of paint slightly thicker, ensuring you coat the paint thick enough to create a solid block of colour. The chances are with a good-quality paint that it will only require two-coats, however if you do not reach the desired results, apply a third coat of paint to the gutter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How much does it cost to paint gutters?

The average house in the UK will have around 15-20m of guttering and downpipes. Zinsser Allcoat for example has a coverage of 12 metres squared per litre, meaning with two coats required you would need roughly two litres to cover 12 metres squared. Estimating the paint you will require slightly harder than with larger surfaces. Measure the height of the guttering and then the length, then times these numbers together for the most accurate measurement. For 20m of guttering, a 2.5L tin of paint should give you enough to paint to complete the job and allow you to recoat and touch up when required.

Q. Can you paint gutter downspout?

In the same way gutters can be painted, matching these to your downspout is important to achieve high-quality results. Painting downspouts should be done at the same time as painting the guttering along your roofline, ensuring you paint front and back.

Q. How much does gutter replacement cost?

The alternative to painting your gutters to give them that new, pristine look is to get a gutter replacement. A gutter replacement is estimated to cost between £600-£800, which while is sometimes necessary, often is not an unneeded cost if you can repair a small crack and paint the gutters like new.

Q. Can you paint gutters with a brush

When it comes to painting gutters, there are two options; a paint brush or a paint roller. A paint brush will almost certainly be required at some point in order to reach the areas where a roller cannot, especially when it comes to painting the inside of the guttering. The Hamilton Prestige Synthetic Paint Brush is a great option when it comes to painting with a water-based paint as it offers excellent coverage and is available in a range of sizes. The other option if you want to achieve a spray like finish is to use a mini-roller on sections of the gutter that you can access. A 4" mini roller such as the Wooster Jumbo-Koter Red Feather 4.5" Mini-Roller is a great option on fine surfaces like UPVC and metal when using a gloss or satin finish.

We hope this has answered any questions you may have had regarding gutter painting and what the best gutter paints are. Shop our range of trade paint, painting tools & decorating supplies we have in stock here at Painters World, all with FREE next working day delivery available.

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