How to Paint Asbestos Shingles

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Things You'll Need

  • Ladder

  • Paper face mask

  • Garden hose with spray attachment

  • Large stiff-bristle brush

  • Exterior primer

  • Experior paint and brushes

Paint Asbestos Shingles

Old asbestos shingles on your house aren't dangerous unless you start breaking, scraping or otherwise disturbing them. This presents a problem when it's time to repaint the exterior of the house. Normally, you'd scrap down the old paint from your siding, but doing that with asbestos can release dangerous particles into the air. Prepping your asbestos siding for repainting requires a lighter touch, one involving lots of water to prevent dust from wafting up around the shingles.


Step 1

Set your ladder to the highest point of the house. Put on your mask. Climb up with your scrub brush and hose, with sprayer set to a medium-hard spray.

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Step 2

Wet down the top portion of the shingles. With the water still running over it, scrub the area with your brush, removing all dirt, debris and loose paint. Keep flooding the area as you scrub. Do this for as much of the surface as you can reach, then move your ladder over and proceed across the face of the house.

Step 3

Let the surface dry for at least two days.

Step 4

Apply a thick coat of good acrylic exterior primer, again starting from the top of the house and working your way down. Make sure to completely cover all sides of all the shingles.

Step 5

Give the primer a day to dry, then paint with an exterior latex house paint.


Use caution when working on a ladder.


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