coloured stripe

Painting, decorating and home improvement tips blog

Lead flashing

Posted by admin
July 24th, 2010

Why not to paint lead flashing

I’ve been working on exterior houses over the past few weeks and I thought I would share this tip with you.

Whilst painting the exterior of a house, many jobs include the painting of the lead flashing, because the paint on the lead has started to peel. Many houses have lead flashing either under the windows or maybe along the roof of a conservatory.
Graphic of lead flashing, a paint kettle and brush

One of the reasons why the paint peels off of lead is because the lead oxidises, this means the lead has a chemical reaction with the oxygen in the air, this lifts the paint and leaves a white powder on the surface of the lead. Another reason for paint peeling is the lead expands and contracts with the heat, this can crack the paint allowing moisture or water in and lifting the paint.

If your lead flashing has been painted it can be a long job cleaning it all off which is why most people re-paint the lead.

If you do repaint the lead, remove all the loose flaky paint and any white powder substance, which is the oxidisation. Next use a flexible undercoat and topcoat, such as Dulux Weathershield undercoat and gloss, I have found this lasts OK, although not forever.

What you should do with lead flashing.

If you have new or unpainted lead please don’t start to paint it! The best solution is not to paint it and to use an oil to treat the lead; this will keep it supple and stop it from cracking.

The best oil’s to use are one of the following, Patination Oil, WD40 or 3in1 oil, all are widely available from hardware shops or builders merchants.

Simply take a cloth, tip some oil onto the cloth and then work it into the lead, you will notice the lead becomes darker as the lead absorbs some of the oil. Continue doing this until you’re happy with the result. Your lead will now look good, be able to breath and be supple to stop it from drying out and cracking.

You will need to re-apply the oil when the lead is starting to look a light grey or just a little bit weathered. If you stick with this method your lead will last for years and you don’t have to worry about paint peeling off it ever!

Tags: , , , , ,
Posted in Decorating Tips | 43 Comments »


My Paintbrush logo