How to prepare downspouts and gutters for paint?
The first step is to remove the grooves for cleaning and painting. You can paint them while attached to the house, but it’s much easier to tear them down. Grooves accumulate dirt and mold which should always be washed off before applying paint.
I clean the outer metal with a surface cleaner like Jomax, letting the chemical soak in for five to ten minutes. If your pressure washer doesn’t have a chemical reservoir or the ability to vacuum cleaner directly from a separate container, you can use an inexpensive garden sprayer.
Wash thoroughly to wash away the detergent and dirt residue. If the surface is horribly exposed to the air and stained with dirt, scrub it with a coarse wash pad.
Allow the surface to dry completely. An extension ladder is required to wash the gutters. Jomax works well for removing mold stains, but a mix of bleach and water also works. There are also gutter cleaning applicators that attach to an extension rod to make cleaning easier.
Do the gutters need to be grafted?
The answer depends on the condition of the surface. Factory-painted aluminum gutters, with no exposed bare metal, should not be primed. It is enough to use two coats of high-quality acrylic paint. Gutters with exposed bare metal should be primed with an external acrylic primer.
Gutters that have already been painted to the factory finish may or may not need to be primed. If the paint peels off, it is preferable to apply a bonding primer, after the loose paint has been carefully removed through automatic washing and scraping. Gutters in good condition can be re-painted without primer.
Gutters and downspouts for spray painting
Place canvas tarps on the grass to protect the ground from excessive splashing. Lay your downspouts on empty buckets to spray them.
I recommend using a Graco or Titan airless sprayer. Both are great, but I am a longtime user of Graco sprayers. You can usually rent them from the paint shop. The airless sprayer I use for most of my painting projects is the Graco Ultra Max 495. I have used this sprayer for several years, spraying everything from gutters to cabinets.
Use an airless sprayer, equipped with a 211 nozzle. A 211 spray tip produces a 4-inch fan, perfect for most gutters and downspouts, and the smaller size reduces excessive spray.
Spray two coats of paint on one side of the grooves. Let the paint dry completely before turning it over to spray the other side. To prevent paint from getting into the funnels when spraying with an airless sprayer, never pull or release the gun trigger directly on the surface you are painting.
Careful masking is required before spray painting gutters. The fascia and windows near the gutters must all be covered with plastic and masking paper. The easiest and fastest way to do spray masking is to use the 3M manual masker. Masking without this tool takes too long.
Lay 4×12 canvas sheets over the tile portion of the roof directly above the eaves to protect them from excessive splashing. Fill the ends of the drop sheets into the gutter and place a couple of stones on top to hold them in place.
Spray the gutters from side to side, keeping a wet edge all the time. Spray two coats of paint. Tear off all masking paper and plastic when the paint is dry.
The best gutter paint
Acrylic paint is best for aluminum gutters and two coats are recommended. In colder or wetter climates, Sherwin Williams Resilience is a good paint meant for this type of weather. The paint is very durable and will not be affected by sudden rain a few hours after painting.
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