How to Paint Metal Sheeted Roof

IBR (Inverted Box Rib) Sheeting is galvanized sheet metal that is “the sheet” when it comes to cladding or roofing. The galvanising process makes the metal more resistant to rusting.

Over time all steel can become susceptible to rust, so it is important that the IBR surface is clean and well prepared before it is painted. This will ensure that you get a beautiful smooth finish that lasts.

Alternatively, you can stop reading now, do your own thing and redo it every few months. The gospel according to St. Paint is simple, “If thou wanteth a long-lasting perfect finish, thou shalt do the hard work upfront”.

Step 1: Cleaning

If you have just installed new, unpainted IBR sheets (congrats!), make sure that all dust and dirt has been removed from the surface you are going to paint (Correct, you don’t have to paint both sides). You can use “galvanized iron cleaner” or sugar soap. Rinse the surface off properly with water and allow it to dry completely.

If you are repainting previously painted IBR, then follow this process:

Remove any flaky paint with a scraper or a wire brush (you don’t have to remove all the paint, just the areas that are pealing).

Remove any rusty patches with a scraper or wire brush.

Clean the entire surface with a sugar soap solution to remove all remaining dust, grime, or oils. Using a broom will make the cleaning job a lot easier.

Rinse the whole surface properly with water and allow it to dry completely.

Step 2: Priming

Before painting any metal surface, you’ll need to use a primer before the paint is applied. A primer will prevent any rust from “bleeding” through the paint (not a great look) and it also helps the paint to adhere to the metal surface.

On previously painted IBR you will only need to apply primer to the raw metal exposed during the cleaning process.

Step 3: Painting

Speak to your local paint store about which paint is going to work best for your project. Water- or oil-based acrylic paint or specialist roof paint is often what is recommended.

The final word

If you follow these basic steps and use high-quality paint and applicators, you should end up with a Perfect Finish that will last for years.

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