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Can You Paint Terracotta Roof Tiles?

Can you paint terracotta roof tiles? Before answering this question, you need to learn about terracotta roof tiles and the task required before painting your roof. Terracotta roof tiles are made of natural clay that is by nature, a moist material. For this reason, they last for quite a long time as they’re a naturally porous substance that can withstand several years of weather exposure.

A common question we get asked is How do I paint terracotta roof tiles?

Unfortunately, terracotta roof tiles cannot be painted for a number of reasons.

If your roof has had no maintenance since the home was built we recommend you consult a terracotta roof restoration specialist to view your home and give consultation on cleaning and restoring your roof & tiles along with valleys.

Most types of roofs are usually painted effortlessly or with hardly any trouble like in the case of Colorbond roof painting.

Unglazed Terracotta Roof Tiles

Terracotta clay tiles are porous, and that makes them vulnerable to damages due to salt, wind and erosion. This is particularly valid for unglazed terracotta tiles. Many people prefer unglazed terracotta tiles because of the natural look and appeal. They’ll need regular maintenance and cleaning because they lack the glazed coating that gives additional protection.


Glazed Terracotta Roof Tiles

While others love the original look and appeal of unglazed terracotta roof tiles, several home-owners will ultimately have their roofs glazed. this is the case because the glaze will help protect the roof tiles from weather conditions, thus increase their longevity and enhance their functions.


Clay Roof Tiles
Unmaintained Clay Roof Tiles


Dulux AcraTex terracotta

An observation on Painting Terracotta roofs from Dulux’s Website:

Dulux is used by many roof painters, mostly the AcraTex range of products. There are a few common Dulux products used for roof painting and restoration which are:

1. The Dulux AcraTex PrepTreatLink Here., Which is algae and fungal treatment for the roof that is applied before sealers, primers or paint. Noted on Dulux’s application guide is the following line:

DULUX AcraTex Prep Treat is designed for pre-treatment of concrete roof tiles as part of the DULUX AcraTex Next Generation Roof Membrane system

2. Dulux AcraTex Roof SealerLink Here. This roof sealer is applied after the prep treat to provide a protective coating over the tiles. All roofs that will be painted need a sealer before the final paint/membrane is applied. Dulux’s datasheet for AcraTex Roof Sealer contains the following line:

DULUX AcraTex 962 Roof Membrane is recommended for recoating of weathered concrete roof tiles. It is NOT recommended for coating of terracotta tiles.

Dulux has been internationally manufacturing paints since 1904, they have many architectural coatings that go beyond what you see in a Bunnings store. If Dulux doesn’t recommend using their product on a Terracotta roof then its advisable not to. Also to mention that any product guarantee will be lost. If painter claims they can paint a terracotta roof then ask for manufacturers data sheet and double check the product is suitable and guaranteed for terracotta coverage.

Since you cannot paint Terracotta roof tiles, here is the Terracotta Restoration process:

Change all broken tiles:

Change all cracked and broken tiles. Even when they are fractured they will need to be replaced. This is the initial step in the terracotta roof restoration process.

Broken Clay Roof Tile
Broken Clay Roof Tiles

Moss & lichen Removal:

Lichen and moss are easily attracted to terracotta roofs. If left untreated, the moss and lichen can grow to a point where it restricts the flow of rainwater streaming to your gutters. The removal process should include an eco-friendly anti-fungal spray solution. This is the initial step in getting the roof looking like new!

Moss Lichen Removal
Moss & Lichen Removal

A high pressure clean:

The next phase involves a high-pressure cleaning procedure. The method involves using water along with a high-pressure nozzle to revive your roof’s natural looking colour again.

High Pressure Cleaning
Terracotta roof restoration

Re-bedding & re-pointing tiles:

If needed, the professionals will re-bed and re-point ridge cap tiles.


Gutter clean:

With this step, professionals will clean your gutters from roof grime and repair them if necessary. It will help to ensure there aren’t any obstructions for water to flow by your gutters.

Clean Gutters
Free Water-flow

Valley check:

Your valleys will be inspected and of course, if rusted they’ll be replaced to be ensure the longevity of the roof.



Maintained Clay Roof Tiles
Example of Maintained Clay Roof Tiles


The Answer To Your Question

Can you paint a Terracotta Roof ?

Based on Vivify Roof restoration’s experience there’s no proper way to paint terracotta tiles, and unless you’re planning on maintaining your roof every 6 months it is strongly advised against as the coating will ultimately peal over time like PVA glue and appear flaky as it does not adhere to surface.

Concrete Roof Tiles:

Unlike terracotta, Concrete roof tiles are able to be painted.

The precess of preparing concrete tiles for roof painting is similar to the above process for terracotta but with one additional step, instead of a sealer the paint is applied.

Colour paint application: Once the roof is cleaned and the surface has been prepared, you can decide on a choice of paint colours for your roof.

Get a Free Terracotta Restoration Quote Now

Thinking of getting your Terracotta roof cleaned, glazed or restored? Complete the below form to discuss your project and get a free quote.

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