The Lazy Girl’s Guide on How to Paint Shutters

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Learn how to paint shutters and easily improve your home’s curb appeal. This easy DIY tutorial will instantly make your home look more inviting.

Curb appeal updates can make such a difference and are usually simple, like painting a door, adding a fun doormat or changing out your doorbell.  

Do your shutters make you shudder? I know mine did. I had fantasies of ripping them off and throwing them away. However, when I went to remove them, I learned that the siding was faded so it looked different under the shutters, so painting them was my only solution.

Learn how to paint vinyl shutters.

I originally had plans to make new shutters out of wood. But you know, life happens and I still had those crappy vinyl shutters that I hated so much.

I’m happy to announce that I made my exterior shutters look good!

DecoArt provided me with paint for this project, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. I would never recommend products that I wouldn’t buy or use on my own. Your support helps me make more projects like this one!

Painting Vinyl Shutters FAQ

Can you paint shutters without taking them down?

There are easy ways to do things and hard ways. I almost always prefer the easy way. Most tutorials will tell you to remove the shutters.

Did you know that it’s possible to paint shutters without removing them? With DecoArt Curb Appeal paint, you can paint your vinyl shutters without the extra work!

DecoArt Curb Appeal is an exterior paint that comes in 21 colors that are formulated to withstand outdoor conditions.

Unlike latex paint, there’s no peeling or fading over time.

Plus, it’s so easy to find at your local Joann or Michael’s store! I’ve even seen it at Home Depot lately!

What color to paint shutters?

You can paint your shutters any color, but keep a few things in mind.

What color is your home? You don’t want the shutter color to look horrible with your house color. If in doubt, look on pinterest for inspiration. Keep your search simple, like “gray house exterior” or “brick exterior.”

No matter what color your house is, black is classic, which is why I chose to paint my vinyl shutters black. I want my front door to stand out (it’s bright yellow) and the shutters to be a supporting detail. If your front door is wood, go for color. Just think about all of the other colors of your home.

How much paint do I need?

I used almost a whole bottle for 8 shutters. Lighter paint colors may require more paint, especially if you’re painting over a dark color. 

How to Paint Shutters

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Supplies Needed

Note: Take extra caution while working on your shutters. I had several wasps fly out from under my shutters.

Cape Cod house before picture
Before

Clean Your Shutters

  1. Start by cleaning off your vinyl shutters. I used a broom to remove cobwebs and dirt, followed by wiping them down with a rag.
    Clean your shutters

How to Paint Shutters with a Brush

  1. Then I painted the recessed parts of the vinyl shutter (just like a door.) Pouring the paint into a handy pail makes it easy to paint. I painted the lower portions before going back with a stepladder for the upper portions.
    Start painting the inside of the shutters first.
  2. Then I painted the raised panels in the center of the shutters, before continuing onto the outer rails.
    painting shutters with a brush
  3. Like I said, I did not remove the shutters or tape them off. This is why an angled brush is so handy. I was able to cut in and get those edges without touching the siding.

Use painters tape if you feel less confident about your cutting in skills. Otherwise, just paint slowly and let the angled brush do the work.

(If you accidentally get paint on the siding or trim, wipe it away. If you see it after it dries, it can be removed with rubbing alcohol!)

Paint a Second Coat of Paint

  1. Although the coverage on this paint was amazing, a 2nd coat was needed. From far away, it looked amazing. But I gave it another coat anyways. 
    close up of first coat of paint

DecoArt Curb Appeal dries to a hard, glossy finish that looks amazing. My shutters looked old and cheap before, but with a new paint job, they look way less plastic. I love the black so much. It gives my house a classic, updated look.

Updated painted vinyl shutters on light gray siding
The light is making the shutters look weird, but they look nice and shiny in person.

This is the kind of project that made me wonder why it had taken me so long. The amount of work compared to the payoff in curb appeal made this project very worth it.

Painting the shutters and the door instantly updated my home. I can’t stop smiling when I look at the changes!

How to Paint a Front Door

Whole house update with painted vinyl shutters and painted front door.

I am so in love with these black shutters!!

painted black shutters
Updated curb appeal picture with yellow front door and black shutters


How have these painted shutters held up?

Added July 2018

I painted my shutters about 9 months ago and they still look great. There are no chips, no scratches and no fading. I live in Maryland, so they have survived freezing temps, snow, crazy, endless rain storms, and high summer temps.

July 2019

They still look great! I’m so glad I took the time to paint them! It has been worth the effort!

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20 thoughts on “The Lazy Girl’s Guide on How to Paint Shutters”

  1. This is JUST what I was looking for – thank you! We just bought a pale grey house (in NoVa) with only very slightly darker grey shutters and I already want to rip them off. This is precisely the DIY help I needed. Our door is dark wood but I too am thinking black (or maybe navy). So excited I don’t have to pull them down! (Because you just KNOW that would have required 17 more trips to the hardware store for SOMETHING!)

    Reply
  2. I have a cream colored house with black shutters. I want to paint my door a pretty color. Do you think the door and shutters should match?

    Reply
    • They *can* match, but they don’t have to. I love a bright, colorful door because it draws the eye to the front door. I’ve also seen colorful shutters with a black or wood door. It’s a matter of preference. (Personally, my windows are ugly, so I don’t want to draw any attention to them.)

      Reply
    • I am so interested in painting my shutters . At first I was thinking about buying a new wood shutters but I realized it’s cheaper to paint . The thing is my shutters are black . I wanted to paint it more wood color is it possible ?

      Reply
      • I’ve never done it, but I’ve seen tutorials where people use gel stain over white paint to get a wood look. The tutorials are usually for garage doors, but the technique is the same.

        Reply
  3. The description says this is for wood and metal … my shutters are vinyl (pretty sure you said yours are too). Are you saying this same paint adheres great on Vinyl also?

    Reply
  4. The description says this is for wood and metal … my shutters are vinyl (pretty sure you said yours are too). Are you saying this same paint adheres great on Vinyl also?

    Reply
    • Hi Amy, yes the paint works great on vinyl shutters. I painted mine 2 years ago and they still look amazing. The paint is made for outdoor use, so I never hesitated. I still highly recommend this paint.

      Reply
  5. I have a manufactured home with vinyl exterior doors. Can the same paint be used for this project. I would love to have a red door and refresh my shutters in black.

    Reply
    • There was a tiny gap between the siding and the shutter, so I used an angled brush and got as close as I could. You can tape the edges if you feel more comfortable with that. I probably left the tops and bottoms unpainted because they will never be seen.

      Reply
  6. Hi from the Eastern Shore of Maryland.👋 Did you have any problems with warping?
    I read that painting a lighter vinyl a darker color can cause warping from absorbing heat. My shutters are cranberry and I want to paint them dark grey.

    Reply
    • Hi there,
      So far, no warping. I painted my shutters a few years ago now. They were a light gray before. Cranberry and dark gray are pretty similar tonally, so I would go for it. I hated how my shutters looked, so it was a risk I was willing to take. Hope that helps!
      Emy

      Reply
  7. I was wondering if it has to be the Curb Appeal product specifically? Could you just use the DecoArt acrylic? I cant find the Curb Appeal anywhere. So disappointed.

    Reply

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