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Posted by McElroy Metal ● Oct 6, 2020 8:00 AM

What is the cost difference between standard Kynar®️ color, Premium Kynar®️ Color, and Metallics for metal roofing and siding?

The paint used to coat metal roofing and siding panels has three basic components: pigment which creates the color; solvent which helps to dissolve the pigment and binder or resin which acts like the glue to hold everything together.

Due to differences in both pigment cost and the amount of pigment required, most metal panel manufacturers segment their PVDF (Kynar 500®) offering into three different pricing tiers.

Standard PVDF (Kynar® 500) Colors

The first and lowest priced group are often referred to as standard colors. These colors represent the bulk of the metal roof and wall panel industry. Given the basic laws of economics (the more you buy the cheaper it is), most people expect this color offering to be the least expensive. And they’re right. But what many folks don’t realize is that these colors require less pigment so their lower cost is actually reflective of the fact that they are less expensive for paint manufacturers, like our partner Sherwin Williams, to produce.

While most of the colors in these groups fall in the white, beige or earth tone family, dark bronzes and blacks are also commonly included.

Premium PVDF (Kynar® 500) Colors

While the Standard colors work for most projects, there are times where something a little more spectacular is desired for the color of a metal roof or wall system. Often the decision stems from a desire to match a corporate brand or perhaps a designer or owner wants all or part of a building to make a bigger statement. In those cases, Premium colors are often considered.

While there are many variables in the equation, a good rule of thumb is to allow 8-10% additional for colors in the Premium Kynar® 500 family. The additional cost stems from several different factors.

First, the pigments used to produce these dramatic colors are more expensive than their standard color counterparts.

Secondly, Premium colors typically require more pigment (and less filler) than standard colors which also makes them more expensive. As a side note, some of the colors in this family also carry a reduced paint warranty due to the performance of the pigments used in the process. So if warranty length is important, always check with a reputable manufacturer during the color selection process.

It’s important to note that the 8-10% upcharge for the premium colors “typically” applies only to panels and doesn’t impact labor, trims and accessories. Consequently, the total upcharge to move from a Standard to Premium color is often less than expected. As an example for a 20,000 sq. ft. standing seam roof, the cost difference to go from Standard to a Premium color might cost an additional $3,000-5,000 total on the project. So while it is a higher price, the cost difference is pretty negligible, especially if it’s critical to the brand or building owner.

Colors in this family fall more into what you might call the exotics and include things like oranges, reds, vibrant blues and greens.

Metallic PVDF (Kynar® 500) Colors

Moving our discussion onto metallics, it’s important to note that we’re referring to metallic “colors” in this article. Metallic colors are completely different from an unpainted product like Galvalume or Galvanized which have an actual metallic coating.

When comparing Standard, Premium, and Metallic finishes, Metallic Kynar® 500 colors are the most expensive and normally carry a 10-12% upcharge over the standard Kynar® 500 colors.

Like premium colors, some of the higher cost can be attributed to higher pigment cost. In some cases, the coating lines which apply the paint to the steel are also required to run at slower speeds for metallic paints which can increase cost.

It’s also important to note that metallic finishes can also be directional which means they must be installed in the same direction to prevent perceived shade differences. Consequently, installers are required to take more care in the layout and installation of materials so installation costs are often higher for metallic coatings than either standard or premium colors. And while it may not impact cost, metallic colors tend to be “batch sensitive” which means there may be slight differences between paint produced at different times. Using products from several different batches on the same project can create aesthetic issues and should be avoided whenever possible.

Colors in this family tend to be things like coppers, silvers, bronzes and champagnes.


The table below summarizes average cost differences between standard, premium and metallic finishes:

Color Family Material Cost Labor Cost
Standard Kynar® 500 Colors Baseline Baseline
Standard Kynar® 500 Colors +8-10% over Standard colors Baseline typically
Metallic Kynar® 500 Colors +10-12% over Standard colors Impacted-contact local installer for an estimate


Keep in mind that the upcharge percentages outlined here are simply for budget purposes. If you have color or budget questions for an upcoming project or even want to chat more about the possibility of custom colors, Contact Us, we would love to help.



Color Chart
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About McElroy Metal

Since 1963, McElroy Metal has served the construction industry with quality products and excellent customer service. The employee-owned components manufacturer is headquartered in Bossier City, La., and has 14 manufacturing facilities across the United States. Quality, service and performance have been the cornerstone of McElroy Metal’s business philosophy and have contributed to the success of the company through the years. As a preferred service provider, these values will continue to be at the forefront of McElroy Metal’s model along with a strong focus on the customer.

Topics: Architecture, Substrates and Coatings, Architect Resources, Color, Cost

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