Article by: Jeremy Kelsey

Spring will be here before we know it, and many homeowners are more than ready to get out in the fresh air and get some things crossed off their spring to-do list. One popular spring home maintenance task is exterior painting. This can entail not only painting a home’s exterior but the gutters as well. There are a number of different types of gutters, but many homeowners favor galvanized steel gutters because they’re affordable, durable and resistant to rust and corrosion. They can be tricky to paint, though, so if this is the type you have, be sure to take the following tips into account before starting your painting project.

Why Are Galvanized Steel Gutters So Hard to Paint?

Galvanized steel gutters have both a layer of zinc to prevent corrosion and a layer of oil to prevent white rust, a combination which makes them difficult to paint. Either the paint won’t adhere or it quickly cracks, chips and peels off. There are some things you can do, however, to achieve long-lasting results when painting these gutters. You just need the right tools and know-how!

The Necessary Tools

Here is a list of all the tools and products you’ll need in order to successfully prep and paint your galvanized steel gutters:

  • Wire brush
  • Scouring pad
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Turpentine, ammonia or naphtha
  • Metal primer & paint (of the same brand, preferably)

The Painting Process

As you begin the process of painting galvanized gutters, be sure to carefully follow the steps outlined below:

  1. For previously painted gutters, use the wire brush to carefully remove any loose paint, being careful not to scratch through the protective layer of zinc.
  2. If you notice spots of rust, use a plastic scouring pad to remove them.
  3. Use hot water and mild dish detergent to wash off pollen, dust and grime, then rinse the gutters and let them dry completely.
  4. While wearing gloves to protect your hands, use a lint-free cloth to wipe down the entire surface of the gutters with turpentine, ammonia or naphtha. This will remove any remaining oil and ensure the gutters are completely clean.
  5. Apply a coat of metal primer, then allow it to dry completely. Be sure the primer you use is specifically for metal — not just any primer will do when it comes to galvanized gutters.
  6. Now it’s time to paint! Apply a coat of high-quality exterior latex paint, preferably of the same brand as the primer. After it has dried fully, apply a second coat if needed.

Protect Your Gutters With Gutter Helmet® Gutter Guards

Though it is difficult and time-consuming, if you take the time to do things right, you’ll end up with a beautiful, long-lasting finish on your gutters. To further protect them, you may want to consider installing Gutter Helmet® rain gutter guards. To find out more about this extraordinary product, give us a call today at (800) 824-3772 or contact us via our online form.