What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Roof Shingles?

While painting roof shingles is not common, it can prove beneficial in enhancing the appearance of your home and increasing the longevity of your roof. You may be curious about the ideal paint and primer options suitable for roof shingles.

For roof shingles, use high-quality acrylic exterior paint. The formula allows the paint to release moisture and prevent mold and mildew build-up. Also, acrylic paints tend to be more durable and fade-resistant. An acrylic primer should also be used before painting to ensure the paint adheres properly. 

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 5 factors to consider when choosing paint for roof shingles
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for roof shingles

The 5 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Roof Shingles

1. Type of Roof Shingles

Before deciding on the type of paint, you should know what kind of shingles you have on your roof. Different materials absorb paint differently, and not all paints work with all materials.

For instance, steel shingles require special paint that can withstand harsh weather conditions, while asphalt shingles require flexible paint that can bend with the movement of the roof.

2. Climate

Another important factor to consider when choosing paint for your roof shingles is the climate you live in. If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, you’ll need paint to withstand those conditions.

In addition, if your roof is prone to high moisture levels, you’ll want paint resistant to mildew, algae, and other types of fungal growth.

3. Color

The color of your roof shingle paint is also an important consideration. While choosing a color based solely on your preferences may be tempting, it’s important to remember that different colors absorb and reflect varying amounts of heat.

Dark colors, for example, can absorb more heat and cause your home to feel warmer. On the other hand, lighter colors reflect more heat and can help lower your cooling costs.

4. Quality of Paint

The quality of the paint you choose is an important factor in determining how long it will last and how well it will protect your shingles. Cheaper paints may seem attractive but may not adhere properly to your shingles. They may fade quickly and be susceptible to weather damage.

High-quality paint may be more expensive, but it will last longer, won’t fade as quickly, and will provide better protection for your roof shingles.

5. Application Method

Finally, it’s important to consider the application method when choosing paint for your roof shingles. If you plan on applying the paint yourself, choose a product that is easy to work with and appropriate for your skill level. If you’re hiring a professional to do the job, ensure they have experience working with the type of paint you choose.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic paint is a water-based type of paint that can be used on various surfaces, including roof shingles. It is made from acrylic resin and water and is known for its durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.


  • Resistance to fading from sunlight exposure
  • High resistance to water and moisture, preventing water damage to the shingles
  • Quick drying time, allowing for faster completion of the painting project
  • Easy clean-up with just soap and water
  • Low odor compared to oil-based paints


  • Less flexibility than oil-based paints, which could cause cracking or peeling in extreme weather conditions
  • Lower level of adhesion to glossy or smooth surfaces

Latex Paint

Latex paint is a water-based paint that consists of synthetic polymers. This type of paint is widely used for roof shingles due to its durability, ease of application, and ability to resist harsh weather conditions.


  • Dries quickly, which makes for an efficient painting process
  • Can be cleaned up easily with just soap and water
  • Low odor and emits fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs)
  • Creates a uniform finish that can be easily touched up if needed
  • Available in a wide range of colors and finishes, allowing for customization based on personal preference


  • Tends to fade over time, especially when exposed to direct sunlight
  • Not suitable for all types of surfaces, including certain metal roofs or those with existing oil-based paint
  • Areas with high humidity or moisture can cause the paint to blister and peel over time

What Paint Finish Is Best?

The best finish to go for is an enamel gloss finish or a specially-formulated, durable flat finish. Glossy finishes are highly durable and resistant to wear and tear, making them ideal for withstanding harsh external elements.

In addition to their durability, gloss finishes are water-resistant, which helps keep your roof shingles in top condition for longer.

That being said, there are also flat finishes that are as durable as gloss finishes. These flat finishes usually have a matte appearance, which some homeowners find more visually appealing on their roofs.

When selecting a paint finish for your roof shingles, it is important to consider factors such as your area’s climate and weather patterns.

For example, if you live in an area that experiences heavy rainfall or snowfall, it may be best to opt for a gloss finish as it will provide more protection against moisture.

The Best Paint and Primer for Roof Shingles

Best Paint

When selecting the right paint for your roofing shingles, you want a product that can withstand harsh outdoor elements while maintaining its color and durability for a long period. And that’s where Behr Multi-Surface Roof Paint comes in as the best choice on the market.

This premium quality, 100% acrylic latex flat finish coating is engineered to perform at the highest level on any roofing material. Whether you have asphalt, wood, concrete, or metal shingles on your roof, this paint will provide exceptional adhesion and long-lasting protection.

One of the standout features of this paint is its resistance to mildew and algae. These common problems for outdoor surfaces can cause unsightly discoloration and damage, but this paint’s unique formula prevents them from taking hold and compromising the integrity of your roof.

In addition, this paint won’t yellow or discolor even when exposed to high temperatures, so you can trust that your shingles will maintain their original color and appearance for years.

Behr Multi-Surface Roof Paint is also highly customizable, as it is available in a range of custom colors that can be tinted to match the exact look you want for your home or building’s roof.

Best Primer

Behr Multi-Surface Stain-Blocking Primer & Sealer is an excellent choice for interior/exterior surfaces and the best primer for painting roof shingles.

This 100% styrene acrylic formula is designed to resist medium to heavy stains and can be used on various surfaces, including metal and aluminum. Its versatility makes it perfect for roof shingles, providing exceptional adhesion and sealing properties.

This paint is tintable, making it suitable for use when changing the color of your roof shingles. It dries to a non-reflective sheen, minimizing the appearance of minor surface imperfections.

What sets this primer apart is its low odor and low VOC formula, which is good for the environment and your health. With coverage of 250-400 square feet per gallon (6-10m² per liter), you’ll be getting the most value for your money, which makes this primer a cost-effective option for painting your roof shingles.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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