Can You Paint Lintels? A Complete Guide to Painting Lintels

Have you ever looked at your home’s lintels and thought to yourself, “Can you paint lintels?” The answer, my friend, is yes! Painting lintels is a great way to give your home a fresh new look. Whether you’re looking to update the appearance of your home or simply cover up unsightly marks and blemishes, painting your lintels can be a quick, easy, and affordable DIY project.

Before you dive headfirst into painting your lintels, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure that your lintels are clean and free of any dirt, debris, or rust. This will ensure that your paint adheres properly and lasts for years to come. Additionally, you’ll want to choose the right type of paint for the job. While certain paints may work well on walls and other surfaces, they may not be suitable for lintels and could end up peeling or flaking over time.

So, can you paint lintels? Absolutely! With a little bit of elbow grease and some careful planning, painting your lintels can be a fun and rewarding DIY project that can transform the look of your home. Just be sure to do your research, choose the right materials, and take your time to ensure a beautiful, long-lasting finish.

Types of paint for lintels

If you’re thinking about painting your lintels, it is important to choose the right type of paint for the job. Here are some of the most common types of paint that you can use to paint your lintels:

  • Oil-based paint: This type of paint is known for its durability and ability to resist moisture, making it a great choice for lintels that are exposed to the elements. However, it can be difficult to work with and requires a longer drying time compared to other types of paint.
  • Water-based paint: Also known as latex paint, this type of paint dries faster than oil-based paint and is easier to clean up with soap and water. However, it may not be as durable as oil-based paint, especially when it comes to resisting moisture.
  • Enamel paint: This type of paint is known for its glossy finish and ability to resist scratches and dents, making it a great choice for lintels that are subject to wear and tear. However, it can be more expensive than other types of paint and may require multiple coats to achieve the desired finish.

When choosing a paint for your lintels, it is important to consider the location and condition of the lintels, as well as your personal preference for finish and durability. It’s also a good idea to consult with a professional if you’re unsure about which type of paint to use.

Steps to prepare lintels for painting

Lintels are an important structural member that needs to be maintained to avoid any damage to your property. Painting your lintels can not only make them look aesthetically pleasing but also protect them from corrosion and rust. Follow the below steps to prepare your lintels for painting:

Clean the lintels

  • Use a wire brush to clean the lintel surface and remove any flaking paint, rust, or dirt.
  • Wipe the surface with a damp cloth to remove any dust, debris, or loose paint particles.
  • If there are any stubborn stains or marks, use a heavy-duty cleaner and a scrub brush to remove them.

Repair the Lintels

After cleaning the lintel, inspect it for any damages or cracks. Repair any damages following the below guidelines:

  • Fill any cracks in the lintel with a lintel filler or epoxy filler. Apply the filler and allow it to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If there is any deterioration to the lintel’s concrete or brickwork, it’s important to repair this first.
  • If the lintels are made of steel, check for any signs of rust. Use a wire brush and sandpaper to remove any rust to prevent it from spreading.
  • For deeper rust damage or severe corrosion, it may be necessary to replace the lintel altogether.

Apply a Primer

After repairing any damaged lintels, it’s important to apply a primer before painting. This will provide a suitable base that will help the paint to adhere to the lintel surface and extend the life of the paint job. Follow the below guidelines:

  • Choose an appropriate primer for the lintel’s surface, whether it’s concrete, brick, or steel.
  • Prime the lintel according to the instructions on the paint can.
  • Allow the primer to dry completely before applying the topcoat.


Painting lintels can be a daunting task, but with proper preparation, it can be an achievable one. Before painting, thoroughly clean and repair the lintels. Once the surface is clean and free of damage, apply a suitable primer to extend the life of the paint job.

Tools Required: Protective Gear:
Wire brush Work gloves
Heavy-duty cleaner Safety glasses
Scrub brush Dust mask
Lintel filler or epoxy filler

Ensure you wear protective gear such as work gloves, safety glasses, and a dust mask while preparing and painting your lintels.

Tips for Painting Lintels

Lintels are an essential part of any building’s structure. They are the horizontal beams that support the weight of the structure above the window and door frames. Painting lintels can give your building an instant facelift and make it look more appealing. However, painting lintels can be a tricky task due to their location and shape. In this article, we will discuss some tips for painting lintels.


  • Clean the surface: Before painting, make sure the surface is clean from any dirt, dust, or debris. You can use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove any loose paint or rust.
  • Masking tape: Cover the edges of the lintel with masking tape to avoid getting paint on the adjacent wall surfaces or window frames.
  • Primer: Apply a coat of primer to the surface to ensure that the new paint adheres correctly.

Painting Technique

When painting lintels, it is essential to pay attention to the technique to achieve the best results.

  • Brush: Use a high-quality brush that can reach the nooks and crannies of the lintel’s surface.
  • Roller: A small roller can also be an excellent tool to paint larger surfaces of the lintel.
  • Thin Coats: Apply thin coats of paint to avoid drips and ensure that the paint dries evenly.

Paint Types

The type of paint you select for your lintels depends on the lintels’ material and the weather conditions in your area.

For metal lintels, use oil-based paint or rust-preventative paint.

For wooden lintels, use weather-resistant paint that can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Type of Lintel Paint Type
Metal Lintel Oil-based paint or rust preventive paint
Wooden Lintel Weather-resistant paint

Painting lintels may seem like a small task, but it can significantly improve the overall aesthetic of any building. Follow the above tips to ensure that your lintels look great and last longer.

Colors that work well on lintels

When it comes to choosing the perfect color for your lintels, you may be wondering what hues work best. The color you choose for your lintels will ultimately depend on personal preference, the style of your home, and the surrounding paint colors. Below, we will explore some colors that work particularly well on lintels.

  • Black: Black is a classic color that works well on lintels, particularly for those with a modern or industrial style. It pairs well with white or neutral colored walls and can make a bold statement.
  • White: If you’re looking for a more traditional or understated look, white may be the way to go. It’s a timeless color that works with any other color scheme and is easy to touch up if it starts to show wear over time.
  • Gray: A gray lintel works well with a variety of paint colors and can add a subtle touch of color to your exterior without being too bold.

When choosing a color for your lintel, it’s important to consider the surrounding colors and the overall feel you’re going for. If you have a bold, colorful exterior, a neutral colored lintel might be the best option to help balance out the look. On the other hand, if your exterior colors are neutral, a brightly colored lintel could add a pop of personality.

Below is a table outlining some popular lintel colors and the styles they work well with:

Color Style
Black Modern, industrial
White Traditional, classic
Gray Neutral, subtle

Ultimately, the color you choose for your lintels should make you happy when you pull up to your home. Consider your personal style and the surrounding colors before making a decision, and don’t be afraid to try something bold if it feels right for you.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Lintels

Lintels are horizontal beams that support the weight of the layers above an opening such as doors and windows in a building. They are usually made of steel, concrete, or stone, and play a crucial role in the structural integrity of a building. Painting lintels not only enhances their appearance but also protects them from corrosion, moisture, and other environmental factors that can cause damage over time.

However, painting lintels can be tricky if not done correctly. Here are the common mistakes you should avoid when painting lintels:

Mistake #1: Not Cleaning the Surface Adequately

  • Skipping the cleaning stage leads to poor adhesion of the paint to the surface of the lintel.
  • Debris, dust, and grease must be removed from the surface before painting to allow the paint to adhere properly.
  • Use a wire brush, sandpaper, and a detergent solution to remove all the dirt from the surface before painting.

Mistake #2: Using the Wrong Type of Paint

  • Choosing the wrong type of paint can lead to poor adhesion, peeling, and fading.
  • For lintels, you should use a high-quality metal or masonry paint that is specifically formulated for use on metal, concrete, or stone surfaces.
  • Avoid using water-based paints or oil-based paints as they may not be suitable for all types of lintels.

Mistake #3: Not Using a Primer

Primer is an essential part of any painting job and should not be skipped, especially when painting lintels.

  • A primer helps to seal the surface and create a smooth and stable base for the paint to adhere to.
  • It also helps to prevent rust and other forms of corrosion from forming under the coat of paint.
  • Apply the primer according to the manufacturer’s instructions and allow it to dry completely before applying the topcoat.

Mistake #4: Rushing the Drying Process

Allowing the paint to dry thoroughly before applying the second coat is crucial to achieving a good finish.

  • Applying a second coat of paint before the first one is completely dry leads to peeling, cracking, and an uneven finish.
  • Allow the first coat to dry completely, usually overnight, before applying the second coat.
  • It is also essential to allow the final coat to dry completely before using the newly painted lintels.

Mistake #5: Not Using Protective Gear

Painting lintels can be hazardous because of the chemicals and fumes involved. It is essential to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from harm.

Protective Gear Purpose
Eye goggles Protect your eyes from paint and chemical splashes.
Respirator mask Prevent the inhalation of paint fumes and chemicals.
Gloves Protect your hands from paint and chemical spills.

Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the equipment and that you dispose of any hazardous waste materials safely.

Painting lintels may seem easy, but it requires careful preparation, the right materials, and protective gear. Avoid these common mistakes, and you’ll be able to paint your lintels like a pro and extend their lifespan in the process.

The Benefits of Painting Lintels

When it comes to maintaining your property, painting the exterior may not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, neglecting the lintels – the horizontal structural beams above doors and windows – can lead to more serious problems and complications later on. Below are some of the benefits of painting lintels:

  • Protection against moisture and corrosion: When lintels are left unpainted, they are vulnerable to moisture and corrosion, which can weaken their structure. Painting them with a quality outdoor paint will create a protective barrier that will keep moisture out and prevent corrosion. This will extend the life of your lintels and save you from costly repairs in the future.
  • Improved curb appeal: Painting your lintels is a quick and easy way to improve the appearance of your property. Freshly painted lintels will give your home or building a polished, finished look, and they can even be painted in a contrasting color to make a statement.
  • Increase property value: Improving the exterior of your property can add value to your home or building. Potential buyers will be impressed with freshly painted lintels, and it can make your property stand out from others on the market.

Additionally, it’s important to note that painting lintels is not a difficult or time-consuming task. It can be easily added to your routine maintenance list, and hiring a professional to complete the job may not be necessary. All you need is some quality outdoor paint, a brush, and a ladder.

Don’t overlook the importance of painting your lintels. It’s a simple step that can have significant benefits for the structure and appearance of your property.

Benefits Explanation
Protection against moisture and corrosion Painting creates a barrier against moisture and prevents corrosion from weakening the structure of the lintel.
Improved curb appeal A freshly painted lintel adds a polished and finished look to the exterior of your property and can be painted to make a statement.
Increase property value Updating the exterior and making improvements like painting lintels adds value to your property and makes it stand out on the market.

Improved structure, appearance, and value – the benefits of painting lintels are clear, so why not add it to your routine maintenance checklist today?

Alternatives to Painting Lintels

While painting your lintels can be a great way to freshen up the exterior of your home, it may not always be the best solution. Here are some alternative options to consider:

  • Replace the lintels: If your lintels are severely chipped or corroded, it may be best to replace them altogether. This will ensure that your home is structurally sound and visually appealing.
  • Polish the metal: For older buildings with wrought-iron lintels, polishing the metal may be a better option than painting. This can bring out the natural shine of the metal and add a unique touch to your home’s exterior.
  • Apply a protective coating: If you’re concerned about rust or corrosion, consider applying a protective coating to your lintels. This can help prolong their lifespan and prevent any further damage.

Before making any decisions about your lintels, it’s important to consult with a professional to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.

Benefits of Alternatives to Painting Lintels

While painting your lintels may seem like the easiest and quickest solution, opting for an alternative option can offer several benefits:

  • Longer lifespan: When you replace lintels or apply a protective coating, you’re investing in the longevity of your home’s exterior. This can save you money and prevent the need for frequent maintenance in the future.
  • Unique style: Polishing your metal lintels can create a one-of-a-kind look for your home. This can set your property apart from others in your neighborhood and make a statement.
  • Better for the environment: When you avoid painting your lintels, you’re also avoiding the potential harm that can come from the chemicals in the paint and the spray itself.

Lintel Protection Comparison

Here’s a comparison of the different coating options for your lintels:

Option Pros Cons
Clear coating Allows natural metal shine to show through, long-lasting May yellow over time, can be difficult to apply
Epoxy coating Durable and long-lasting, prevents rust and corrosion May alter the appearance of metal, can be expensive
Rust converter Converts rust into inert material, easy to apply May require multiple applications, doesn’t protect against future rust

Consider these options when choosing how to protect your lintels against the elements.

Can You Paint Lintels?

FAQ 1: What are lintels?
Lintels are load-bearing structures that support weight over openings such as doors and windows.

FAQ 2: Do lintels need painting?
Yes, lintels need painting to protect them from rust, corrosion, and other forms of damage.

FAQ 3: What type of paint should I use for lintels?
Use a metal primer and high-quality exterior paint suitable for the lintel’s material.

FAQ 4: How often do I need to paint my lintels?
It depends on the material, but most lintels need painting every 3-5 years or as needed.

FAQ 5: Can I paint rusty lintels?
Yes, but you need to remove the rust with a wire brush and apply a rust inhibitor before painting.

FAQ 6: Is it safe to paint lintels myself?
Yes, but it’s best to hire a professional if you’re not experienced or confident in painting metal structures.

FAQ 7: How long does it take to paint lintels?
It depends on the number and size of the lintels, but it usually takes a few hours to a day to paint each lintel.

Closing Thoughts

Thank you for reading this article on painting lintels. By painting your lintels, you can protect them from damage and extend their longevity. We hope this article has answered your questions and provided helpful information. If you have any additional questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us. Don’t forget to come back and visit us for more helpful tips in the future!