How to choose slate paint for reliable roof protection

The market for roofing materials is very diverse today. But most often, as before, there are houses covered with slate. Such a roof is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. And in order to improve its operational properties and give the gray material an attractive appearance, slate paint is used. How to approach this process and what is the best paint for slate – it’s worth talking about separately.


  • Paint is an effective slate protection
  • Classification of Slate Inks
  • How and when to paint slate roofing?
  • Summary

Paint is an effective slate protection

Slate is a classic version of the roof, its positive qualities are time-tested. It:

  • water resistance;
  • frost resistance;
  • low thermal conductivity;
  • incombustibility;
  • resistance to temperature changes.

But, like any other material, slate is not without some drawbacks: over time, it is covered with asbestos dust, harmful to health, as a result of exposure to climatic conditions, microcracks appear on its surface, on the north side it is often covered with moss, acquiring an unattractive “green” look.

Slate paint

After many years of operation, the slate roof is covered with an unpleasant grayish-greenish coating

These troubles can be avoided by providing reliable protection of the roofing material..

The most affordable and easiest way to save slate is with paint. Paint for slate will not only give the roof a more attractive appearance, but also increase the water-repellent properties of slate, eliminate the formation of harmful dust, thereby protecting the roof from premature destruction and prolonging its service life. Modern paints also contain additives from mold and fungi, which provide bacteriological and biological protection of the roof.

Slate paint

It looks like old slate before and after painting

If you plan to block the new building with slate, it is better to immediately think about painting it – in this case, the sheets can be painted on the ground, and only then laid on the crate, because it is much more difficult to paint an already constructed roof.

If the house is already old and you want to revive the roof, then first you need to make a small revision, and only then refine it. But all the work is worth talking in order. First you need to decide what to paint the slate with, to choose the right paint, given its basic characteristics and average consumption.

Slate paint

Painted slate roof ennobles the look of the house

Classification of Slate Inks

There are several types of inks for slate:

1.     Acrylic or water dispersion paint. It must be applied to a previously primed roof surface. Acrylic slate paint has the following advantages:

  • protects microcracks on the surface of the sheet from water;
  • water from slate painted with such a paint flows better, and this is a big plus for flat roofs;
  • in winter, snow falls better from such a roof, and this significantly reduces the load on the supports.

2.     Enamel for slate (quick-drying) also has a number of advantages and good reviews:

  • due to the high binder content, the paint film is smooth, characterized by high water-repellent properties and increased resistance to atmospheric influences;
  • the coating obtained by coloring has high strength;
  • the pigments that make up the paint protect the slate roof from ultraviolet rays.

3.     Liquid plastic –  synthetic material that is produced on a vinyl chloride, bitumen or polystyrene basis. Its main advantage is an attractive price. But in terms of weather resistance, liquid plastic is inferior to a large extent to acrylic paints on a slate, and in addition, it is very harmful to health.

The construction market today offers a wide range of colors for slate, both foreign manufacturers and domestic.

Slate paint

Special paints for slate are offered by both foreign and domestic manufacturers.

Among the main paints of foreign production can be noted:

Dachbeschichtung (Germany) – one of the most expensive imported paints. Differs in high technical indicators – adhesive properties, strength, durability of coatings.

Kilpi (Finland) – high-quality acrylic paint for almost any roofing material.

Eter Akva (Sweden-Finland) – water-soluble paint based on modified acrylate, characterized by increased resistance to aggressive alkaline environments.

Polifarb-Akrofarb (Poland) – quick-drying, base- acrylic dispersion, its distinguishing feature is the brightness and color saturation.

And here are some types of these products manufactured in the CIS countries:

Polyfan (Russia, Kolomna). Its main advantages are: color fastness, wear resistance, durability.

Akrilama-Slate (Ukraine) – acrylic water-dispersed slate paint.

Unisal (Belgorod, Russia). It is based on water-dispersed acrylic elements, high-quality coloring pigments. The paint is characterized by increased resistance to atmospheric phenomena and intense exposure to sunlight.

Butanite (Moscow). The basis of the paint is latex compositions with mineral-silicon additives. Slate painted with such a paint becomes resistant to frost, to various atmospheric influences.

When choosing slate paint, price plays an important role, for example, from foreign products, the most expensive option is Kilpi, and Eter Akva is half the price. But the paints of domestic manufacturers will cost about five times cheaper than imported analogues.

How and when to paint slate roofing?

If the question of what kind of paint to paint the slate has already been resolved and the material has been purchased, you can begin the preparatory work. First of all, you need to check each sheet for cracks and damage. If there are such sheets, they should be replaced. You must also ensure that all slate sheets are securely fastened..

The slate, which was originally laid unpainted, after some time becomes covered with a dark greenish coating, which is formed by fungi and lichens. The grown moss not only worsens the appearance of the roof, but also accumulates a large amount of moisture, increasing the load on its supports. Therefore, before starting the process of staining the slate, its surface should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

How to remove plaque from the roof? This can be done in several ways, depending on the thickness of the plaque layer:

  • using a brush with metal bristles on a dry or wet surface;
  • using a drill or grinder with a brush nozzle;
  • compact high pressure car wash.

The first two options are quite laborious, although with the help of a drill the process is slightly simplified. The third option – cleaning with a high pressure washer – is the most effective, especially if there is where to get a professional washing model.

After cleaning the surface of the slate from plaque, it is necessary to treat it with an antiseptic to prevent the re-emergence of fungi and lichens. Antiseptic solutions are usually sold in finished form and in the form of concentrates requiring dilution with water. Apply antiseptic with a roller, brush or spray.

Slate paint

It is convenient to paint the slate with a spray gun, but you can also use a brush or roller

In order for the slate paint to lie more evenly, primers are used. Penetrating into the pores of the material, the primer strengthens its surface, contributes to better adhesion of paint to slate, removes dust. In addition, it significantly reduces paint consumption for roofing.

Important! Before staining, the enamel should be well mixed and an organic solvent added for deeper penetration of the composition into the roof.

According to the rules, the slate is painted in two layers. The first layer – the starting one – is the main one and is applied after the primer is completely dried. The paint consumption for it is at least 2/3 of the norm. The second layer is the finish, you need to try to apply it evenly. This can be done with a brush, roller or spray.

Often people have a question: is it possible to paint slate in any weather? As experts advise, the slate should be painted in warm and dry weather..

Slate paint

It is recommended to paint the slate in dry, sunny weather

Practice shows that slate, painted in spring, has a stronger and more durable protective coating. This work should not be done on rainy or very hot days..


Slate paint improves the appearance of the roof and at the same time creates a protective coating that increases the life of the material. In addition, the paint layer prevents the formation of harmful asbestos dust on the roof surface. It is not difficult to buy paint for slate, the main thing is to study its main characteristics, average consumption, and then choose the right option for domestic or foreign production in the right amount.


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