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Question DetailsAsked on 2/5/2018

Housepainter oversprayed brown metal roof. Roof is 16 months old; spray 8 months old. Best way to remove?

Pressure washing didn't work to remove paint. Painter is suggesting using gasoline, which doesn't seem a good idea. Overspray is extensive, and established landscaping around house is a concern.

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1 Answer


This is an incredibly common event - VERY, VERY few house painters mask against overspray hitting the roof when they are painting the soffits or fascia/rake board. Quality painters, in my opinion, will not even try to spray fascia - they will hand paint that.

With spray 8 months old, I can't see it likely coming off without damaging the underlying paint job, so I would say only way to make it look right is to chemically (and NOT with gasoline or diesel, which are both flammable and leave an oily residue) remove the overspray (likely a latex or acrylic latex) and then clean and repaint the roof - or at least that side.

If a latex it is "possible" - I would not say at all certain, that cleaning with a latex remover (which is similar to laquer thinner but does not affect oil paints as much) might remove the overspray enough that a good cleaning and polishing of the underlying surface might make it look acceptable. DuPont and International Paint (IPG) make ones for that - names slip my mind right now. There is also one I have not seen used called Motsenbockers or something close to that which I have heard good and bad things about - some said it worked fine on factory painted metal roofing and metasl fascia covers, others said it lifted the underlying paint. Likely has to do with soak time and whether the underlying paint on the roofing was a heat-cured or metal deposition paint, or just a spray-on.

I would say if there is any chance of getting it right, a professional painter who regularly repaint metal roofs is what you should require - not letting the house painter run amok. And document the heck out of the condition before and after any cleanup.

There are recent court decisions that if a repair like that is made under a claim for dmages or insurance, that the repair has to be a "match" for the existing adjacent area, to the extent a reasonable person would consider them a match - so sometimes this means repainting the entire affected surface (entire roof in this case).

Here are a couple of similar previous questions with answers too FYI:

Answered 2 years ago by LCD

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