How to Paint Vinyl Shutters – A Step-by-step Guide

In recent years, using vinyl shutters instead of other materials has become quite popular for homeowners to do.

Vinyl shutters are lightweight and easily portable. They are also cheaper than some other options. This makes them a very popular choice as they don’t cost a lot and are very easy to install onto your house. 

Another great benefit is that vinyl shutters can easily be painted. If you are looking for a good to paint your vinyl shutters, you have come to the right place. 

What are Vinyl Shutters?

Vinyl shutters are made out of a light, plastic-based material that makes them very lightweight.

They typically come in white when they are first installed onto your windows and they are a great way to block light from coming in and add some extra privacy. 

There are many benefits to vinyl shutters that have made them become as popular as they currently are. Not only are vinyl shutters lightweight and easily customizable, but they tend to be a lot more durable than wood shutters.

Vinyl shutters are much less likely to mold in the rain and can withstand a lot of damage. They don’t require that much maintenance and are weather resistant.

If you don’t like the white and plastic look that vinyl shutters come with, this can easily be solved by painting them with any color that you would like.  

How to Paint Vinyl Shutters

Painting vinyl shutters is a very easy task that won’t take you that much time to complete.

The common worry with vinyl shutters is that paint won’t easily adhere to the material. However, with some primer, this problem is solved.

Let’s get into the easy process of painting your vinyl shutters. 

1. Gather Your Materials

There are a collection of materials you should gather before getting started on this painting project. Gather the following items.

  • Paint primer 
  • Exterior latex paint in your color of choice
  • 5-gallon bucket (several)
  • Paint sprayer
  • Soap
  • Rags
  • Painters tape
  • Paintbrush
  • Safety materials
  • Drill (if taking your shutters down)
  • Ladder 

2. Be Safe!

Whenever you are doing a home improvement project, you must practice proper safety procedures before doing so. 

First, make sure that the space you are working in is well-ventilated. Shutters are either attached from the inside of the house or the outside. If you have outside shutters, you will already be working outside which is well-ventilated. 

However, if you are painting inside-attached shutters, make sure that your window is wide open and then any doors in the room are open. You don’t want to breathe in all the paint fumes, especially if you are spraying paint.  

You will also want to make sure that you are wearing gloves, closed-toe shoes, and a mask that can filter out paint fumes. If desired, you can also wear safety glasses to protect your eyes. 

You might like: A Brush with Elegance: How to Paint French Doors Like a Pro

3. Prepare Your Space and Clean the Shutters

Whether you are outside or inside, you will want to prepare your space before getting started.

While painting your vinyl shutters is an easy process, it can also be a messy process. If you are inside, place rags, newspaper, or a tarp on the floor to catch any paint splatter. 

If you are outside, still consider placing a tarp down to prevent paint from getting on the grass and to make cleanup easier.

For those planning on keeping the shutters attached throughout the process, use painter’s tape around the painting area to keep the paint from getting onto the wall behind the shutters. 

Now, you will remove your shutters if that would be easier for you. Take your ladder and get on level with your shutters.

Some shutters are attached with metal clips that you can easily take off and lift the shutter away from the window. However, if your shutters are attached by screws, use your power drill to take off the screws and lift the shutter away from the window. 

Place your shutters on your painting tarp to keep everything clean. 

Finally, your last step of preparation is to clean your shutters. Since shutters face the outdoor elements, they can get covered in dirt, dust, and other debris. All of this will make it harder for the paint to stick and can cause a lumpy appearance.

Clean shutter before painting
Clean the shutter before painting – Source: ACE Hardware

Taking some soapy water and a rag, give the shutters a good wipe-down. With another rag, dry off the moisture from the shutters so you have a clean surface to work with.  

4. Prime Your Shutters

If you are worried about paint sticking or if your shutters have any damage, you should use primer on them. Using your paintbrush, give your shutters a nice even layer of primer, and make sure to get both sides. 

Each primer is different and requires a different drying time. Look on the package to see how long you need to wait for your primer to dry and give it the complete time before spraying paint onto the shutters. 

5. Prepare and Paint

If you don’t have a paint sprayer, many hardware stores or paint shops will allow you to rent one for a reasonable price. Load your exterior latex paint into your paint sprayer, following the specific instructions that the sprayer comes with. 

a paint sprayer

Then, you will want to keep the nozzle of the spray about a foot away from the shutters while you spray.

You can either spray in lines from top down or you can spray the vinyl shutters by coating the perimeter and then filling in the space. Spraying your vinyl shutters should take no more than 10 minutes. 

Allow the layer of paint to completely dry and then flip the shutters around. You can place your shutters on a few buckets to keep them off of the ground and easily paint the shutter sides as well. 

Once you are completely done with the first layer, wait until the paint has completely dried before adding a second layer. 2 layers of paint are the best for having complete coverage. 

In total, the drying time for your paint can take from a few hours to a few days. Allowing the paint to completely dry will keep your shutters looking nice and clean. 

Courtesy of Ace Hardware

Note: This video is using Wooster Paint Brush

Cleanup and Reinstallation

Once the shutters are completely dry, they are ready to be reinstalled (if you took them off of the windows). You can also clean up your area at this point. 

Start by reattaching the vinyl shutters to the windows. If you had clips on your shutters, reinstalling them is just a matter of reclipping them to your windows. However, if there were screws, you will need to re-screw your shutters onto your windows. 

From there, you should empty your paint sprayer. Following the instructions given by the paint sprayer machine, you should empty the sprayer into one of the 5-gallon buckets that you have. Discard paint according to your city’s rules. 

Clean up any paint splatter that got onto spots where it shouldn’t have and take off any painter’s tape you put up. Take your ladder down and discard the tarp or put it away in storage. 

From there, you will have vinyl shutters of a completely different color that better matches the visual plan you have for your house.

Repeat this process for the other sets of vinyl shutters you have until you have the look for the house that you desire. 

2 Tips and Reminders for Painting Vinyl Shutters

Check for Damage Before Starting

Before painting your shutters, always check to see if the shutters have sustained any damage.

Look for mold, cracks, and chips. If the damage isn’t too bad, you will be able to solve the problem by applying a layer of primer before painting. 

For mold problems, use a bleach solution to scrub away the mold from your shutters before painting. 

Always Wait for the Paint/Primer to Completely Dry

Waiting for paint to dry is always the most boring part of the process, but it is also the most important.

If you move on to the next step before waiting for the paint to completely dry, then you will end up with smudging and your shutters won’t look as good by the end of the process. 

We know it’s time-consuming, but waiting for paint to completely dry is how you end up with beautiful shutters of your desired color by the end of the process.

It will keep your shutters of higher quality and protect them from getting messed up from improperly dried layers. 

Final Thoughts 

It is super easy to give your house a fresh look by painting your shutters. Even if your shutters are made from vinyl, you can still paint them a new color so your house can look how you want.

Follow the process above to make sure that your shutters stay high-quality and look brand new with just a few layers of paint. 

If you enjoyed reading this post, let us know in the comments. We are curious to know what color you are painting your shutters, so tell us that in the comments as well.

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