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terracotta roof tiles

Terracotta Roof Tiles: Can They Be Painted?

Terracotta roof tiles are made from natural clay and kiln-fired at very high temperatures in order to produce their characteristic color. This makes them much more durable than painted metal or concrete tiles, which can chip and fade with time. The glazing process for terracotta tiles also makes them far less porous than regular clay, which means they are less susceptible to dirt and mold build-up due to rainwater run-off.

Because of the aforementioned properties, painting terracotta roof tiles would defeat the purpose of using natural clay in the first place, as you would be covering up the distinctive color of your terracotta roof. Terracotta tiles are famous for their earthy tones and do not need any painting to stand out and add character to your home.

In addition, roofing experts consider painting a terracotta roof unsafe, as it can lead to chips on the paint surface when you walk across the roof during maintenance checks or roof repairs. Over time, these chips will allow moisture into the cracks and cause structural damage to your terracotta tile roof.

How will glazing aid in terracotta tile painting?

The most commonly asked question is ‘can you paint terracotta roof tiles?’.

Well, to understand it better, let’s understand what is glazing.

Glazing is a multi-step process that involves applying a wash of color to the piece, letting it dry, and then applying another layer of paint.

If you have not sealed the tile before painting, you can apply the glaze over the first layer of paint or apply it between subsequent layers of paint. You must apply a final layer of glaze after all of the painting is complete. If you are using acrylic paints, you should use an acrylic glaze; if you are using oil-based paints, you should use an oil-based glaze.

Unsealed terracotta tiles are porous and absorbent; they will absorb some of the colors from each layer of paint. Glazing seals in the previous layers so that each subsequent layer has less effect on the overall tone of the tile. As a result, glazing allows you to create subtle shifts in color and tone on your roof tiles.

What to ensure before getting started with roof painting?

Most homeowners think that painting their home is an easy DIY project. But unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Painting your roof requires a lot of effort and time. You need to carefully plan things carefully to avoid any issues later on.

Here are some things you need to ensure before getting started with roof painting:

  • Cleaning

The first thing that must be done before starting with the painting is cleaning the roof. Use a pressure washer or a broom to clean away any loose dirt, dust, sand, and other debris from the surface of the roof. You can use water, a mild detergent, and a scrubbing brush to remove stubborn stains like algae or moss from the surface of the roof. Let it dry completely before you start painting.

  • Repairing

The next step is to repair any damage present on the roof. Paint will stick properly only if there are no holes or cracks on the surface of the roof. Fill in any such damages with an appropriate material like cement or sand and let it dry completely before starting with painting.

  • The condition of the roof

Before you start painting your roof, it is very important to estimate its condition. If there is some damage to your roof, it will have to be repaired first before applying any kind of paint to it.

Why should you avoid DIY roof painting?

The roof is the most important part of your home, besides the wall and flooring. One of the most common problems that most homeowners face is keeping their roofs in good shape. When you’re talking about roof maintenance, painting is one of the most important jobs. However, it’s not advisable to DIY terracotta roof tiles painting.

Reasons for Not Painting It Yourself

If you are a DIY enthusiast, then you might want to try to paint your roof yourself. The fact is that it’s not something you can do without proper knowledge and training. Here are some reasons why you should not attempt to terracotta roof tiles paint your roof yourself:

It’s Dangerous: If you don’t know how to paint roofs, one of the biggest reasons you shouldn’t try it yourself is that it can be dangerous. Nowadays, numerous safety measures are available, such as safety harnesses and safety nets, but even those cannot ensure complete safety when working on a sloping surface like a roof. It’s far better if you let professionals handle it because they have experience with climbing up ladders and working at heights.

It’s Complicated: Painting roofs can be very complicated because there are other things associated with it apart from just painting the red tiles. A single mistake can be very costly.

Why should you hire roofing professionals for terracotta roof painting?

  • It’s safer

Terracotta roofs are quite steep and very slippery, especially when they are wet. This can cause you to slip and fall off the roof if you are not used to working at that height. This means that you may have to use ladders or scaffolding to reach them, which can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Even if you have done this before, this is not advisable because there will always be an element of risk involved.

  • It’s cleaner

The process of painting a roof generally involves a lot of preparation steps, such as cleaning and priming the surface. It also involves spraying paint instead of brushing or rolling it on the surface. This can produce quite a mess if you don’t have the right equipment.

  • It’s more convenient

You don’t have to do anything but schedule an appointment with your contractor when you hire professionals for terracotta roof tiles maintenance. You won’t have to spend time cleaning up after them because they typically clean up after themselves.


Terracotta roofs are a popular feature in many homes today. The rich color and texture create a beautiful feeling of warmth and security.

But as time passes, terracotta tiles can become dull, weathered, and stained.

When painting terracotta tiles, the job goes quicker and easier with a little preparation. A good all-purpose cleaner will remove dirt and chemicals, leaving the surface ready to accept paint better. Use an oil-based primer—it sticks best to the natural surface of the terracotta. And good general rules like ventilation, thorough surface cure, and proper tools and materials go a long way toward getting a quality result.