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.
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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.
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 without a lot of work or money!
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.
Using an angled brush makes it easy to get around the edges without hitting the siding. You can also use painter’s tape.
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.
There is one color to probably avoid: red. Red seems to fade faster than any other color.
I like to watercolor paint in my spare time and I’m a bit obsessed with learning with paint pigments. In watercolor paint, most red pigments are not lightfast (meaning that they fade in the sunlight.)
Since pigments are used in everything, my theory is that it’s also true for house paint.
So unless you really love red, avoid it.
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.
What kind of paint should be used on shutters?
I used this specialty outdoor paint for this project and even after several years, the shutters have not faded.
You can also use latex paint, but make sure that it’s outdoor paint. Outdoor paint is formulated to not fade as much.
How to Paint Shutters
- Angled paint brush
- DecoArt Curb Appeal paint in Colonial Black
- HANDy paint pail
- Painters tape (if necessary)
If you can’t find the DecoArt Curb Appeal paint anymore, latex paint works fine. Just make sure that you get paint that is for exterior use, to prevent it from fading.
Note: Take extra caution while working on your shutters. I had several wasps fly out from under my shutters.
Clean Your Shutters
- Start by cleaning off your vinyl shutters. I used a broom to remove cobwebs and dirt, followed by wiping them down with a rag.
How to Paint Shutters with a Brush
- Start by painting the recessed parts of the vinyl shutter (just like a door.)
Pouring the paint into a handy pail makes it easy to paint, especially when climbing up and down a stepladder.
I painted the lower portions before going back with a stepladder for the upper portions.
- Painted the raised panels in the center of the shutters, before continuing onto the outer rails.
- As 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 painter’s 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
- Although the coverage on this paint was amazing, a 2nd coat was needed. Just repeat the steps above, making sure you let the paint dry between coats.
From far away, it looked amazing. But I gave it another coat anyways.
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 paint so much. It gives my house a classic, updated look.
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!
I am so in love with these 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 rainstorms, and high summer temps.
They still look great! I’m so glad I took the time to paint them! It has been worth the effort!
They still look great! Even after a crazy winter and a super hot summer last year.
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