Painting over lead

by Alan Southworth- Contracts manager

We are renovating a church and part of the roof lead is old and dilapidated, but not damaged.

The church cannot afford to replace the lead because this would involve removing an old section of the slate roof and become very costly.

My question is can i use Elastomeric paint to cover the lead and therefore prolong its life span?

If any of you could help or have been faced with a similar problem please reply.


Hi Alan,

Even though some paint manufacturers recommend painting over lead I do not.

A better recommendation would be applying an oil such as 3-in-one or WD40 which causes the lead to last longer.

To do so dip a cloth in the oil then rub it on the lead until it turns darker in color. Keep rubbing the oil in until the lead has a nice uniform dark coloring.

Re-apply once the oil starts to lighten or loose its darkness.

You can paint lead (which might or might not last for a number of years) and Elastomeric is one of the recommended products.

The problem is after the paint lifts though, (one or ten years later) as moisture will get between the paint and the lead causing the lead to corrode (turn white).

Once corrosion starts then removing the old paint and re-painting (especially Elastomeric) tends to become an enormous project.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Ask a painting or decorating question..