In early 2022, there are already some color trends in the architectural metal roofing industry that are worth noting. Some of the design and color trends have been in the market for a while, but there are a few newer ones that might surprise you.
So if you’re an architect looking to specify a trendy color on your project or a home/property owner who is buying a new metal roof – it’s critical to choose the right color, especially because the panel system will last for several decades.
At Sheffield Metals, we’re constantly monitoring color trends and tracking which metal sheet and coil colors are most frequently purchased. Plus, with a full-time Architectural Department composed of individuals who have an extensive background in the architectural metals industry, we frequently provide design and color recommendations for various project applications.
So, what colors and paint options are popular for metal roofing in 2022? Let’s go through some of the choices dominating the market right now.
2022 Color Trend #1: Matte Black
One of the most prevalent requests from home/property owners, architects, and other design professionals is a metal roof or wall system in the color matte black. For reference, the Sherwin-Williams coil color Matte Black has experienced an average growth of over 20% in the past five years.
So why matte black? What makes it such a widely purchased coil color? Here is a little background on why matte black is on our list in 2022.
Benefits of Choosing Matte Black
Modern & Comforting
Black by itself offers a sleek and modern aesthetic. Plus, it’s a color that will virtually never go out of style in the interior and exterior architectural industry. According to Sherwin-Williams, black combined with a matte finish creates a softer, comforting, and more welcoming feeling while maintaining its modern and contemporary edge.
One of the most appealing parts about matte black is that it offers a dramatic look without being too bright or flashy. Matte black is dark and often eye-catching, making it an excellent choice for exterior architectural projects.
Complementary to Most Colors
Black complements many other commonly used exterior colors, including whites, grays, greens, blues, and browns. Black is a neutral color, so you can pair it with any other outer element, such as landscaping, building elements, etc., without worrying about color-matching anything. Plus, a matte black metal roof or wall system can provide much-needed contrast against lighter colors, which helps draw the eye in and create a more profound visual interest.
Black is versatile and can be used in several styles of architecture for both residential and commercial applications.
Like 2021, the modern farmhouse style dominates the residential design and construction market in 2022. This decor style has been popular since the mid-2010s, but has become more mainstream due to its comforting aesthetic, ability to blend well with other styles, and frequent use in home renovation television. Many modern farmhouse exteriors feature white walls/siding and a black roof.
Besides the modern farmhouse, matte black is a good roofing and wall color option for several other architectural building styles, including:
- Cape Cod
Glossy roofs reflect more light and can show any visual imperfections that could be taking place in the flat of the panel — especially oil canning. If you’re concerned about oil canning on your metal roof, one of the ways to minimize its appearance is to install a system in a low-gloss or matte finish.
Matte finishes also make it a little easier to hide any minor scuffing or scratches during the shipping or installation of a metal panel system.
2022 Color Trend #2: Metal Tones (Bronze, Steel, Etc.)
Sherwin Williams publishes architectural color trends every year; this year, one of the trending color palettes revolves around accessible and durable luxury. According to the 2022 exterior color trends report, “Luxury is coaxed from the raw elements, everyday materials that are processed in new ways and given luxurious finishes. Precious metals are reinvented for superior performance and strength. This is Future Lux. Elegant, minimalist, and fully relevant to our lives.”
In other words, this trend in the exterior metals market will focus on shades that look similar to earth minerals and natural metals.
Sheffield Metals has offered colors that resemble metal tones for decades. For example, Medium Bronze and Dark Bronze have been two of our best sellers year after year. There are many other options on our color card that are similar to metal finishes, such as:
- Colors/finishes similar to steel: Pre-Weathered Galvalume (Metallic), Acrylic-Coated Galvalume
- Colors/finishes similar to bronze: Dark Bronze, Medium Bronze, Mansard Brown, Cor-Ten AZP® Raw, Vintage
- Colors/finishes similar to copper and gold: Copper Metallic, Copper-Ten™ Raw
- Colors/finishes similar to silver: Silver Metallic, Champagne Metallic, Galv-Ten™ Raw, Dove Gray
- Colors/finishes similar to natural zinc: Slate Gray, Charcoal Gray, Pre-Weathered Galvalume
So, why are metal tones experiencing a boom in metal roofing? Let’s discuss.
Benefits of Choosing a Metal Color
More Economical Than the Real Metal
Using Galvalume or aluminum coated in a PVDF or SMP paint system with a color similar to a metal tone is much less expensive than using the actual metal. Plus, many raw metals, like gold, silver, and bronze, are not recommended or available to use as a standing seam roof or wall system.
Luckily, you can get a similar look of a natural metal roof at a better price by buying painted or coated metal sheets and coils, which won’t break the bank as much as raw metals.
Also, even though some natural metals are used to fabricate metal roofs, such as copper and zinc, coated steel/aluminum products come in similar colors and are significantly less expensive. For example, a real copper roof costs about $600 to $1,100 per roofing square (100 square feet), while a painted Galvalume roof with a copper color paint system costs anywhere from $150 to $350 per roofing square (100 square feet).
Neutral & Easy to Incorporate in Designs
Metal tones are typically used as accents in decor and designs, whether interior or exterior spaces. So, incorporating a metal accent on your roof or even as the entire roof is simple and aesthetically appealing.
Most metal shades are neutrals, so they can be used in nearly every color palette to complement any exterior feature. If your project has stones or bricks, wood accents, trees/plants, or other elements in the design, a metal color will fit in well with the property.
Special Finishes & Effects (Vintage®)
There are special finishes, such as metallic, sparkle, and color-shift, available in a wide variety of colors. These effects make metal tones stand out even more, as metals are designed to be shiny and add visual interest. Additionally, one of the colors experiencing a popularity boom at Sheffield Metals is Vintage® (by Steelscape), a finish that offers a warm and classic aged metal appearance. This color provides visual depth and a metallic sheen, making it a great choice for many architectural metal roofing projects.
Stands Out in the Crowd
Both warm and cool metal tones are designed to stand out, especially when in contrast to white or a darker color, like gray or black. This is another reason a metal color on the roof or wall can complement a home or building and make it noticeable and aesthetically pleasing.
Natural & Raw
The idea of these color palettes is to provide architects, designers, and property owners with a more realistic metal finish intended to mirror how these metals look in their natural state. As the trend of unprocessed/raw yet durable products continues, it makes sense that natural metal colors on a long-lasting standing seam metal roof or wall will continue to be a focus in 2022.
2022 Color Trend #3: Grays & Charcoal Gray
In line with the trend of neutrals is our third 2022 metal roofing color trend: grays, predominantly charcoal gray. A few shades lighter than Matte Black, our Charcoal Gray color has steadily increased in popularity over the last decade.
What makes charcoal gray a good choice for your metal roof or wall? Let’s run through some of the benefits.
Benefits of Choosing Gray or Charcoal Gray
Warm & Cool Gray Options
One of the benefits of gray colors is that they can come in cool and warm shades. Cooler grays have blue, green, and purple undertones, while warmer grays might have red, orange, or brown undertones. On top of that, there are also neutral grays, which are simple mixtures of white and black.
For reference, our most popular gray is Charcoal Gray, which is a cool shade of gray. Dove Gray is also on the cooler side. Conversely, Ash Gray and Slate Gray are paint options that are a little on the warmer side.
Warm, cool, and neutral grays can all fit in as a metal roof or wall; it’s solely dependent on your style, surroundings, and what you envision working best on your business or home.
Neutral & Versatile
For many years, beige was the most used neutral color, but in the 2000s, gray became the new neutral cornerstone. Due to its warm and cool shades, you can pair gray with about any color. One of the reasons property owners choose a Charcoal Gray (or another gray option) roof color is that it’s so versatile and can fit into nearly every design.
Also, you can do a lot more with your exterior elements if you have neutral colors as the key building pieces — including your roof and siding. For example, if you have a Charcoal Gray metal roof and white siding, you can easily style your property’s exterior by applying various textures and colors to your trim, front door, fencing, etc.
Suitable for Numerous Architectural Styles
Like Matte Black, Charcoal Gray works well with several different building styles, including Modern, Contemporary, Craftsman, and more. You can commonly find darker grays in exterior color palettes, as this family of colors resembles similar grays found in nature (think stones, mountains, etc.).
Subtle, Yet Modern & Sophisticated
Gray is a color that doesn’t jump out to the eye and blends in well, especially on homes and buildings. Despite their subtle nature, charcoal grays are often considered modern, sophisticated, and generally comforting, which might make them a good choice for your roof or wall system.
2022 Metal Roof & Wall Color Honorable Mentions
Matte black, metal tones, and charcoal gray are popular in standing seam metal roofing right now, but a couple of other trending colors are also worth mentioning:
- Timeless and classic
- Clean and crisp
- Easy color to use as a primary element
- Higher SRI value and therefore more energy-efficient (cool metal roofing)
- Less chalking and fading concerns
- A pop of color, but not too bright
- Fits in well with nature
- Calming color
- Easy to match
Tips to Help You Choose the Best Metal Roof or Wall Color
Explore Color Palettes & Photo Galleries
Exploring different exterior color palettes online is easily one of the best first steps you can take when choosing a color. Sherwin-Williams offers home and building owners various resources, including exterior color inspiration.
Beyond palettes, look up metal suppliers and check out their photo galleries to get inspiration. You might come across a color you never considered before that might look and function great for your project.
Look at Color Choices From Manufacturers
Once you have an idea of the color palette that you like or believe would work well with the building, it’s time to look at the colors and coatings offered by different manufacturers.
Reputable manufacturers should have their colors listed on their website, which may also be available as a downloadable color card. Most suppliers tend to have similar standard colors, primarily if they use one of the prominent paint suppliers, such as Sherwin-Williams or PPG. If you want a color that is more vibrant, unique, or specific to a branding style, there’s also the option for custom colors.
Additionally, you’ll want to verify that the manufacturer you’re using or specifying offers the best paint system (PVDF vs. SMP) for your requirements and has adequate cool metal roofing properties (SRI, emissivity, LEED, etc.) suitable for your location.
Use a Visualizing Tool and/or Upload Photo of the Structure
The ability to see different colors on a structure makes a difference, especially if you’re deciding between two or more colors. Roof and wall color visualizers can help.
Sheffield Metals has a free Color Visualizer tool where you can upload a photo of your project and see what each of our colors would look like on the roof, wall, and trim areas. Or, if you don’t want to take a picture of the structure or don’t have one, there are also standard building photos available to choose from if you just want a better idea of how colors differ when seen on a physical property.
Request Metal Color Chips from the Manufacturer
While the Color Visualizer is an excellent tool for some, we understand that not everyone wants to rely on a digital mockup of their project. That’s why you can request color samples to be shipped directly to you, which can help to provide the most realistic representation of a color.
Once you receive the colors you requested samples of, you can compare the colors with the other elements of the building and environment. That way, you have a better idea of the final product and can easily pick the best color.
Final Thoughts on the Best Metal Roof Colors of 2022
While the colors discussed above are the ones dominating the architectural metals industry, it doesn’t mean that they will fit every project or design. You should always choose a color that you love for your metal roof or wall project. Or, if you represent a client, they should always have a say in the final color choice.
If your color choice is matte black, a metal tone, a charcoal gray, or something not included in this list of 2022 color trends — the project will still turn out looking great and lasting for decades to come.
In other words: There’s not a wrong color choice.
Need some help with your architectural project or design? Our team at Sheffield Metals has put an emphasis on assisting architects and even homeowners during the design phase of their metal roof or wall project. We’re happy to take a look at your plans!
Contact our Architectural Department today to discuss color options, engineering requirements, and any other critical component of your standing seam design!