Painting Vinyl Shutters: Expert Tips and Techniques

Updating the appearance of your home can be as simple as giving its exterior fixtures, such as shutters, a fresh coat of paint. Painting vinyl shutters can breathe new life into your home’s facade, boosting curb appeal and potentially increasing the overall value of your property. This task, while seemingly straightforward, requires specific consideration to materials and techniques to ensure a lasting and pleasing result. By understanding how to paint shutters, you can accomplish a home improvement project that stands the test of time.

Window Shutters

This article will guide you through the entire process of painting vinyl shutters. From the initial preparation, to the reinstallation and final touches. You will learn why opting to paint your vinyl shutters can be a wise choice for renewing their appearance. We’ll also discuss the specific steps needed to prepare your shutters for painting. Subsequently, we go over the details of choosing the right paint, the best application techniques for a smooth finish, and how to paint window shutters properly to achieve professional-looking results. Finally, we’ll cover the reinstallation of your freshly painted shutters and how to add those finishing touches that make all the difference.

Why Stain or Paint Vinyl Shutters?

Painting or staining vinyl shutters is not just about aesthetics; it also extends their durability and enhances your home’s curb appeal. Wood shutters offer natural beauty. In comparison, Vinyl shutters provide a low-maintenance alternative that can mimic this look or introduce new colors to your home’s exterior. Opting for paint offers a vast array of color choices, allowing you to match or contrast with your home’s existing palette. Moreover, painting helps protect against weathering, fading, and discoloration caused by exposure to the elements. Using the right products, such as exterior latex paint or specialized sprays for vinyl, ensures better adhesion and longevity compared to standard paints, which might peel or crack over time.

Preparation Steps

Cleaning the Shutters

Before painting, ensure your vinyl shutters are free from dirt and grime. Use a mild detergent and a soft-bristle brush to thoroughly scrub the shutters. Rinse them with clean water and allow them to dry completely. If dealing with stubborn residues like factory oils or old paint, a solution of trisodium phosphate (TSP) can be applied to degrease and prepare the surface for a better paint bond.

Removing the Shutters (Optional)

For a more detailed painting job, especially if the shutters are heavily soiled or damaged, consider removing them from the house. Carefully unscrew or cut through the mounting hardware, and label each shutter to ensure they are reinstalled in the correct position. This step provides easier access to all surfaces, promoting an even and thorough application of paint.

Priming the Shutters

Once clean and dry, assess whether your shutters need a primer layer. If the vinyl surface is smooth and in good condition, you might skip priming. However, for shutters showing signs of wear or severe weathering, apply a high-quality bonding primer suitable for vinyl. This helps in making the paint last and stick to it’s surface better. Use a brush or roller to apply the primer, ensuring it reaches into all cracks and corners and dries according to the manufacturer’s instructions before painting.

Staining or Painting the Shutters

Materials and Tools Needed

For painting, you will need exterior latex paint, a paintbrush, and optionally, a ladder for ease of access. If you choose to stain, gather gel stain (such as Minwax in Walnut), a paintbrush, and an old towel or rag for potential drips.

Step-by-Step Painting Process

  1. Clean the Shutters: Ensure the shutters are free from dust and grime. A mild detergent or a household cleaner can be used for thorough cleaning.
  2. Apply Primer: If the shutters show signs of wear, apply a bonding primer to enhance paint adhesion.
  3. Painting: Use a paintbrush to apply exterior latex paint. Begin from one end and move to the other, ensuring even coverage without drips.

Applying the Stain (If Chosen)

If staining, apply the gel stain with a brush, working it into the vinyl to mimic a wood grain effect. Depending on the desired look, two to three coats may be necessary. Allow significant drying time between coats as recommended by the stain manufacturer.

Reinstallation and Final Touches

Reattaching the Shutters

Once the paint has fully dried, align the shutters with the mounting brackets on your home’s exterior. Slide the shutters gently into place, ensuring they are level and secure. If needed, tighten the screws with a screwdriver or drill, but be cautious not to overtighten as this could damage the shutters or brackets.

Window Shutters

Applying Final Coats

After the initial paint layers have dried, apply the final coats to achieve a smooth, even finish and enhance protection. Use a high-quality paint roller or brush for these coats, covering any uneven spots or missed areas. Allow each layer to dry completely before applying the next.

Maintenance Tips

To maintain your freshly painted shutters, regularly clean them with a mild soap solution. This will help to remove dirt and debris that builds up over time. Inspect your shutters for any signs of damage, such as; peeling paint or loose screws, and apply touch-up paint as needed. Consider a clear sealant every few years to extend the paint’s life and keep your shutters looking great.


Throughout this article, we’ve explored the process of painting vinyl shutters. We’ve highlighted the importance of preparation, choosing the right materials, and using proper techniques. These steps, from cleaning to the final touches, ensure that your shutters enhance the curb appeal of your home & boost their durability against the elements. The decision to paint or stain your vinyl shutters contributes significantly to maintaining your property’s aesthetics. It can even influence its overall value.

Lastly, remember that the journey to revitalizing your home’s exterior with beautifully painted shutters is one of thoughtful consideration and execution. If you are in need of new shutters and aren’t sure where to start, get a free quote today. You can also call us at 866-4FELDCO to speak with a customer delight representative today! By using the insights and recommendations we’ve shared, you’re well on your way to achieving amazing results!

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