I have an attic that is pretty old. House was built in 1939. Here's a picture.

enter image description here

I want to:

  • clean it up (get rid of all the wood chips, etc. which I think was from roofing...I don't see chipping in the framing members)
  • get rid of left over junk from previous owner
  • get rid of all the dust
  • and then finally paint it

What are the pros/cons of painting the attic?

  • ... are there any pros to painting the attic as-is? Jul 3, 2016 at 12:13
  • @DanielGriscom Are you suggesting a title change? :)
    – milesmeow
    Jul 3, 2016 at 14:46
  • I'm just wondering why you'd do it, when clearly this won't be living space (right?). Jul 3, 2016 at 15:30
  • @DanielGriscom : so one con would be it's a waste of time? :) I basically want to seal the wood and surfaces.
    – milesmeow
    Jul 4, 2016 at 4:31
  • 1
    ... from what? If you keep the attic dry, the unfinished wood will last centuries. (Seems kind of like painting wall studs before putting up the drywall.) Jul 4, 2016 at 11:07

2 Answers 2


Cleaning up

Pro: Reduce fire risk from scrap kindling material.

Pro: reduce wildlife habitat internal to house.

Con: It's work. Not that much of a con.


Pro: easier to see (if you paint it white.)

Con - expense (money and time) .vs. amount of time you'll spend in it, since it does not appear to resemble living space or enough space to convert to living space, unless you are housing hobbits or leprechauns.

There is no real benefit to "sealing the wood" since there should never be weather in here. Kept dry, "unsealed" wood lasts for hundreds of years.


Recommend #1 Buy discarded paint from Home Depot/Lowes at serious deep discounts. Sometimes a high quality 5-gal can goes for just $5 bucks! Color doesn't really matter as long as it a light color.

Reccommend #2 Roof does not seem insulated. Recommend you doe that too. Where I live, Scal Gas has rebates for insulation.

Recommend #3 Add attic fan. Maybe solar one.

  • 1
    This doesn't really answer the asked question of "pros and cons of painting the attic".
    – JPhi1618
    Oct 24, 2017 at 18:59

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