If you’re thinking about replacing your gutters, but want them to look brand new for a lower price, consider painting them instead. Giving your gutter system a fresh coat of paint is a great way to freshen up the outside look of your house and boost your home’s curb appeal.

Many homeowners believe painting their gutters is a taxing, time-consuming DIY project. However, with some planning and prior research, you can quickly paint your gutters and increase your home’s curb appeal.

I’ve compiled a guide to teach you how to prepare your gutters for painting and how to paint them properly. Can’t decide which color you want your gutters to be? Check out our guide for choosing gutter colors for your home.

*Costs in this article sourced from contractor estimates used by Angi.

How Long Does Gutter Paint Last?

An excellent paint job on your gutters will last a few years. There are two primary signs that indicate your gutters need repainting:

  • The color of your gutters no longer matches the undertone of your trim color.
  • The gutters’ paint is peeling, and they appear grimy. Cleaning them no longer improves their overall appearance enough.

If you are noticing either of the above issues, it may be time to paint your gutters or to hire a professional to do so.

Can I Hire Someone to Paint My Gutters?

Yes, you can certainly hire a contractor to paint your gutters if you don’t feel comfortable to do the job yourself. The pricing for hiring someone to paint your gutters will vary dramatically based on your location and how many linear feet the professional painter will be doing.

You can expect to spend $2.50 for every linear foot which you need painted. Keep in mind that this does not include cleaning, which you’ll need to do beforehand or hire a different professional to complete before the painters arrive. If you feel prepared to refresh your house’s rainwater drainage system yourself, you can do so with some preparation, beginning with removing your gutters from your home’s exterior if needed.


Do You Need To Remove Gutters to Paint Them?

I recommend starting by assessing whether or not your rain gutters will need to be removed before you paint them.

Unless your house’s entire drainage system requires a big paint refresh, I do not recommend removing and rehanging your gutters. This is because this can be time-consuming, and the back side of the gutters against the home’s exterior will not be visible.

Keep in mind that removing and rehanging your gutters also requires that you are comfortable with heights and able to perform a great deal of physical labor. You will either need to paint your gutters from the top of the ladder after removing them or be prepared to ascend and descend often to paint your downspouts and gutters on the ground and go back up to rehang them.

Overall, I believe it’s best practice to leave your aluminum gutters attached to your home’s roof and paint them while on a ladder in most cases.


Clean Your Gutters Before Painting Them

It’s not a good idea to paint gutters filled with leaves, mildew, and grime. To get an even coat of paint, you need to strip down the gutters and clean them.

I don’t recommend using a pressure washer for gutter cleaning. Instead, use a mixture of liquid dish detergent and warm water and scrub down your gutters with a large sponge or a bristled scrub brush. Use the brush to loosen dirt and grime from the gutters and then scrub the remaining debris off with the sponge. To make this process easier, I recommend doing maintenance and keeping your gutters clean through the seasons so that this step isn’t as time-consuming.

Today’s Homeowner Tips

After you’ve finished scrubbing the gutters, inspect them for any scratches or nicks that could affect the paint job. Sand these spots down with silicon carbide or aluminum oxide sandpaper to smooth them down and ensure all old paint is removed.


How to Paint Gutters

The first step to painting your gutters is checking the weather and making sure it is a good day to take on a large home renovation project. You don’t want rain or high winds to interfere with your painting, and these conditions can also make working on your roof unsafe. For this reason, doing a paint refresh of your gutters is done in the late spring or early summer, when it is warm but not wet outside.

Start by prepping the surfaces around your gutters with painter’s tape and other protective materials to create clear, clean lines and protect your house’s exterior. From our years of experience at Today’s Homeowner, we also recommend placing a large canvas drop cloth over any nearby roof shingles to prevent any mess.

You will then need to decide if you want to use an airless sprayer or a traditional paintbrush. An airless sprayer allows you to get the job done quickly but can result in a bigger mess. Painting by hand is slower but is a good technique to use for just small sections.

I recommend a high-quality, clear acrylic bonding primer for painting your gutters, to create a smooth base. Then, apply an oil-based high-gloss enamel to your gutters within the first two days of applying the coat of primer. Oil-based enamel paint will also help improve the flow of rainwater through your house’s drainage system. I recommend applying a second coat for best results.

After the final coat of enamel has dried, start painting your gutters. I recommend using a 100% acrylic ammonia-free paint, as this will not react negatively with aluminum surfaces.   UV-protected paint is ideal for minimizing the risk of sun damage over time. Prep the surfaces around your gutters with painter’s tape and other protective materials to make sure they stay paint-free. Regardless of what method you choose, plan on giving your gutters at least two coats of paint and plenty of time to dry.


Final Thoughts

Painting your gutters is a great way to boost the curb appeal of your home without having to spend money on completely replacing your home’s drainage system. However, this job isn’t a good one to do yourself if you are not comfortable with heights or if your gutters show other signs of damage, such as sagging, breakage, or water damage. In these cases, a full replacement of your downspouts and drainage system may be best.

While I encourage DIY projects to save money, it is always best to hire an experienced professional to handle difficult projects. If you aren’t comfortable with heights, spending the money to work with a contractor is always a good call.

Frequently Asked Questions About Painting Gutters

What type of paint should I use on gutters?

I and the experienced team at Today’s Homeowner recommends a high-quality exterior latex or acrylic paint specifically formulated for metal surfaces. These paints are flexible and can withstand the expansion and contraction of metal gutters.


Do I need to prime the gutters before painting?

Yes, priming is recommended for proper adhesion and lifespan of the paint job. Use an exterior metal primer or an etching primer designed for galvanized surfaces.


How do I prepare the gutters for painting?

I recommend thoroughly cleaning the gutters to remove dirt, debris, and any loose or peeling paint. Sand or use a degreaser to remove any chalking or oxidation on the surface.


Can I paint gutters while they are still installed?

Yes, you can paint gutters while they are installed, but it may be easier to remove them and paint them on the ground or a work surface.


How long does gutter paint typically last?

With proper preparation and quality paint, the typical lifespan of a gutter paint job is 5–10 years.


Article Update Log
6/2/2024
Reviewed for accuracy, cost data, industry best practices, and expert advice by Nikki Stavile.
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Sam Wasson

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Sam Wasson graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Film and Media Arts with an Emphasis in Entertainment Arts and Engineering. Sam brings over four years of content writing and media production experience to the Today’s Homeowner content team. He specializes in the pest control, landscaping, and moving categories. Sam aims to answer homeowners’ difficult questions by providing well-researched, accurate, transparent, and entertaining content to Today’s Homeowner readers.

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Nikki Stavile

Nikki Stavile is a writer based in Tucson, Arizona. As an avid backpacker and passionate environmentalist, her work often focuses on sustainable movements at the personal and societal level.

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