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Roof Replacement

Planning Your Home's Exterior Makeover: Roof vs. Paint First?

December , 2023 | 9 min. read

By Mitch Owens

RoofCrafters truck in front of a new construction home

Deciding between a new roof or a fresh coat of paint for your home first? It’s like trying to choose the best part of breakfast - it all seems essential! But when it comes to upgrading your home’s exterior, this choice can get a bit more complex.

Do you go for that vibrant new paint job first and follow up with a roof replacement? Or is it better to start with the roof and then add a splash of color to the walls? What are the factors you need to weigh in this decision?

We know that planning exterior home renovations can feel daunting. Don’t worry, though – RoofCrafters is here to make it easier. With over three decades in the business (that's a lot of roofs and paint cans!), we’ve got the experience and the know-how. Think of us as your guide to home exterior upgrades.

In this guide, we’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of painting your home before installing a new roof, and vice versa. We’ll also delve into important considerations to help you decide which project to focus on. By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clearer idea of the best starting point for your home’s makeover.

So, let’s get started on this exterior transformation journey.

To Paint or Not to Paint: The Pros and Cons of Painting Your Home's Exterior Before Installing a New Roof


Ah, painting. It's like the makeup of the home improvement world, hiding flaws and enhancing beauty with just a few brush strokes. But just like makeup, painting can be a bit of a pain in the you-know-what. Especially when you're faced with the prospect of climbing a ladder and wrestling with a roller brush. 

Lowcountry home with a red metal roof

So, should you paint your home's exterior before installing a new roof, or should you put down the paint can and focus on your roofing project first? Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of painting before installing a new roof, and see if we can shed some light on this age-old question.

Pros of Painting First:

  1. Easier access: Painting your home's exterior before installing a new roof can give you better access to hard-to-reach areas. Such as dormers or gables, which may be more difficult to access once a new roof is installed.
  2. Protection: Painting your home's exterior before installing a new roof can help protect your new roof. Overspray or paint accidentally getting on the new roof.
  3. Lower costs: Depending on the scope of your painting project. Painting your home's exterior before installing a new roof may be less expensive. When painting after the new roof is installed, you may not need to cover or mask off areas.
  4. Time savings: If you're planning to paint your home's exterior anyway. Completing the project before the roofing installation can save you time. You won't need to worry about protecting the new roof during the painting process.


Cons of Painting First:

  1. Potential damage to the new paint: Installing a new roof after painting your home's exterior can increase the risk of damage to the new paint job. Tearing a roof off gets messy! 
  2. Flashings left unpainted: Flashings are the metal pieces that help seal the roof against water intrusion. If they're not painted along with the rest of your home's exterior, they may stand out or detract from your home's appearance.
  3. Fascia not painted due to the eave drip covering the fascia: The eave drip is a metal piece that helps direct water away from the fascia. If the new eave drip is a different size it may leave an unsightly gap or detract from your home's appearance.
  4. More difficult for your roofers: Installing a new roof after painting your home can make the roof replacement more difficult. The roofers will need to take extra care to avoid damaging the new paint job. They may need to spend extra time tarping off or protecting areas that were freshly painted.

Now let's discuss the pros and cons of roofing first.

Roof First, Paint Later: The Pros and Cons of Installing a New Roof Before Painting Your Home's Exterior


Whether you're planning to sell your home, improve its curb appeal, or simply maintain its value. Installing a new roof and painting your home's exterior are both important home improvement projects. Both can have a significant impact on your home's appearance and value. 

4 man shingle crew installing a roof

But with limited time and resources, it's important to prioritize these projects and figure out which one to tackle first. Making the right decision can help you save money, avoid headaches, and ensure that your home looks its best for years to come. So, before you call to schedule your roofing installation, let's explore the pros and cons of each approach. Let's see which one makes the most sense for your home and your budget.

Pros of Roofing First:

  1. Greater efficiency: Installing a new roof before painting your home's exterior can be a more efficient approach. Your roofers can work more efficiently when they're not trying to avoid damaging a new paint job.
  2. Improved protection: Installing a new roof before painting your home can help ensure that your home is protected. A new roof can help prevent leaks and other forms of water damage that could potentially compromise your new paint job.
  3. More flexibility with colors: Having your new roof on before painting can give you more flexibility in choosing a paint color. You won't need to coordinate the paint color with the color of your existing roof.
  4. Increased curb appeal: Installing a new roof before painting your home's exterior can give your home an instant boost in curb appeal. A new roof can help make your home look fresher and more modern. This can be particularly important if you're planning to sell your home or simply want to improve its appearance.

Cons of Roofing First:

  1. Potential damage to the new roof: Installing a new roof before painting your home's exterior can increase the risk of damage to the new roof later. Debris or foot traffic on the roof could potentially scar the new roof. 
  2. More difficult to paint certain areas: Installing a new roof before could make it more difficult to paint certain areas. The fascia or soffits may require additional preparation. Like masking to ensure that they're not damaged during the roofing installation.
  3. More expensive: Installing a new roof before painting your home's exterior can be more expensive. You may need to pay extra to the painter to not damage or get overspray on the new roofing.
  4. Longer timeframe: Installing your roof before painting could prolong your home improvement project. 

Okay, let's be real here: deciding whether to install a new roof before painting your home is about as fun and exciting as watching paint dry (pun intended). But here's the deal. Both approaches have their pros and cons, and the right decision for you will depend on your specific situation and priorities. 

RoofCrafters roofer doing a roof installation along a rake edge

If you have a new roof installed before painting, you'll get better protection against the elements. you'll have more flexibility with paint colors, and potentially greater efficiency and curb appeal. But you'll also risk making it harder to paint certain areas, pay more, and wait longer. 

RoofCrafters supervisor inspecting crews work

On the other hand, if you paint your home first you'll have an easier time painting certain areas, potentially pay less, and have a shorter timeframe. But you'll also risk compromising your new paint job and limiting your flexibility with roof color choices. So, which one is better? 

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General Rules of Thumb for Painting and Roofing


Okay, we've explored the pros and cons of installing a new roof before painting your home, but what if you're still not sure which approach is best for you? Well, fear not, because we've got some general rules of thumb that can help you make a more informed decision. 

First off, if your roof is old, damaged, or in need of repairs, it's probably a good idea to install a new roof before painting your home's exterior. This will help ensure that your home is protected against any water. Ensuring that any potential roofing issues are addressed before you invest in a new paint job. 

Here's what we recommend to our clients when they ask us:


Victorian style home with red shinglesIf the roof is steep and the home has many levels. Or if your roof has dormers, walls, and chimneys that'll need painting. Paint First. (it'll be safer and easier on the painters)


ranch-style stucco home with a hip shingle roof If the roof is a hip roof, ask your painter if it'll help their painters or save you money. By not having to protect the roofing or worry about the overspray getting on your old roof. It could potentially cost you less and save time. (because you're about to replace the roof)

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Final Thoughts: Balancing Roof and Paint Projects


Well, we've come to the end of our journey through the roofing versus painting dilemma. It's a bit like the chicken and the egg conundrum – not an easy choice! After considering the pros and cons, weigh each option carefully. This will help you make an informed decision that suits your home's needs.

Still feeling undecided? Don't worry, RoofCrafters is a call away. We have 30 years of experience. Our skilled team is dedicated to superior craftsmanship. We're here to guide you through your exterior home improvements. Whether you start with the roof or the paint, we're committed to making sure your project is a triumph.

Thank you for joining us on this exploration. Here's to a successful home makeover, whether that begins with a new roof, a fresh coat of paint, or perhaps even cooking up breakfast! Whichever you choose, we're here to support you every step of the way!

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Mitch Owens

My name is Mitch, and I have over 10 years of roofing experience. I enjoy my career in the service industry because I love helping others take care of their homes and businesses. With over 10 years in the roofing industry, my success comes from my honesty and integrity during my roof inspections. I do my best to listen to the needs of my clients and strive to provide an awesome client experience.