Metal Roof Coatings: Different Finishes Offer Exceptional Performance


Stone-coated metal roofing, left, offers the look of traditional shingles with the durability of metal. A painted metal roof provides a pop of color with long-lasting protection.

Interested in replacing your roof or looking to choose a roof for a new home? Stone-coated metal roofing offers the look of shingles with the benefit of metal’s superior protection.

Or do you want to add a pop of color with a durable finish? High-performance metal roofing paint systems add character and boost any home’s curb appeal.

Read on to learn more about these two coating options and decide which is best for your home.


A red painted metal roof
Painted metal roofs come in a wider variety of colors than any other type of material. (Photo by Aleksandr_Kendenkov/Getty Images)

To step up your home’s style and make a statement, high-performance metal roofing paint systems can provide a durable coating with improved gloss retention, superior weather resistance, and reduced color fading. In addition, they can substantially increase the roof’s energy efficiency and longevity.

Quality metal roofs come with a factory-applied, low-maintenance finish. Most manufacturers recommend just rinsing them with a hose and mixing gentle soap and water to clean them.

A quality, long-lasting painted finish should be applied to a metal substrate at 0.2 to 0.3 millimeters thick for the prime coat, and 0.7-1.2 millimeters thick for the topcoat. Style options also include sophisticated paint finishes that closely mimic the multi-toned appearance of natural stone, such as slate.

Whichever option you choose, a painted metal roof offers beautiful style matched with steel’s strength and lightweight benefits.


A metal roof with a stone finish
A stone-coated metal roof looks just like a shingle roof. (Photo courtesy Metal Roofing Alliance)

Stone-Coated Panels: The Traditional Look

If you love the look of a traditional shingled roof, yet want the longevity and performance benefits of metal, consider a stone-coated metal roof.

Stone-coated metal roofing can look like asphalt shingles, tiles or cedar shake and can be a great solution for homeowners who live in areas with certain design standards or face regional threats such as high winds and wildfire.

(Always check with your homeowners association before installing any roof).

These specially primed roofing panels — made of metal; often steel — are coated with an acrylic polymer adhesive before a granular stone coating is applied, bonding the two. Finally, a clear-coat sealer is applied over the top for extra protection.

This type of finish offers homeowners all the benefits of metal roofing, in addition to a unique curb appeal option.

No matter what your style preference, all quality metal roofs offer longer-lasting and increased protection and performance, especially when compared to asphalt. 


A stone-coated metal roof on the Audubon Sanctuary in Trabuco Canyon.
Modern stone-coated metal roofing can seamlessly match an older home’s architectural style. (Photo courtesy Metal Roofing Alliance member Unified Steel™, Westlake Royal Roofing)

Retrofitting Older Homes

Metal roofing is an ideal option, regardless of a home’s age, due to its long lifespan and low maintenance.

Style and performance benefits are key reasons why more homeowners and property owners are choosing metal roofing.

For example, at the Audubon Sanctuary in Trabuco Canyon, Calif., the organization chose to re-roof using a high-quality stone-coated metal roof to replace the 90-year-old building’s asphalt roof, which had suffered decades of wear and tear. Much of the damage came from woodpeckers that stored pounds of acorns in the deteriorating roof, compromising the building’s structure and making it vulnerable to seasonal wildfires.

The new metal roof met two key priorities by offering long-lasting, low maintenance performance and strong protection against wind and fire. Protection from the elements is particularly important in Trabuco Canyon, where dry Santa Ana winds create dangerous wildfire conditions. 

Unified Steel™, Westlake Royal Roofing and McCormack Roofing installed a stone-coated metal roof that checked off all the boxes. The replacement matched the historical building’s style and offered all the long-lasting, strong performance capabilities of quality metal roofing. Its Class A, fire-resistant rating — the highest possible — was especially important.

This new roof is lightweight, strong and impervious, installed tightly with few penetrations to prevent woodpeckers from using it for storage.

Plus, the stone-coating provides a beautiful complement to the structure’s historic, rustic feel, lending a natural charm.


A shingle metal roof on a home.
Quality metal roofing can last 50-plus years. (Photo courtesy Metal Roofing Alliance)

Benefits of Metal Roofing

If you’re looking to stretch your dollar and boost your home’s value, choosing a quality metal roof is a worthwhile investment as it can last 50+ years (up to three times longer than most asphalt roofs), offer strong performance and can help with energy efficiency. A properly installed quality metal roof can withstand severe weather such as wind, hail, and snow, providing you peace of mind.

Plus, having a metal roof can even lower your homeowner’s insurance premiums in some states.

(Check with your homeowners’ insurance company for specific policy information.)

To learn more about the benefits of metal roofing, visit the Metal Roofing Alliance website.


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