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Can I Paint Exterior Vinyl Shutters?

If you’re wondering how to paint vinyl shutters then this guide is for you!

vinyl shutters


Most people choose vinyl shutters because they more durable, easy to install, are inexpensive and even offer a choice of style over wood shutters.

But after a few years, the color might start to wear out to something you are not really proud of.

Compare to wood shutter, they lack in this department. So the next question that will naturally come to mind is… Can I paint exterior vinyl shutters? Yes definitely, you can paint your vinyl shutters.

When you have paintable vinyl shutters, they actually hold paint very well.

If your vinyl shutters are weathered and flaking off, the next step is to sand it with a coarse grit sandpaper and repaint.

In the next few paragraphs, you will be learning how to paint your vinyl shutters yourself so you can save some money.

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Overview of Painting Vinyl Shutters

Most savvy painters know that painting vinyl shutters is not only a hassle but can also be extremely messy.

Most homeowners are inclined towards using a paint brush for this but that can be extremely time consuming and if you are not lucky you are likely to be left with drips, streaks, and runs.

But yes, you can still do it, you can repaint plastic or your vinyl shutters.

The first step is to determine if they are new or not and then asking the manufacturer is there is going to be a special cleaning that is you’ll do after which you follow their painting instructions.

However, if they are not new and have been taking dust for some time, you have to do a good cleaning because you start to paint it.

Preparing To Paint Vinyl Shutters

Here are some general guidelines and tips for painting vinyl shutters:

Before you start painting, make sure there are no insects on the shutters. If it not uncommon to find wasps resting behind the shutters so it’s not a bad idea to check them out.

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Step 1:

If there are loose shutters, ensure you attach them properly.

If there is peeling or loose paint, don’t paint on them. Instead, just sand them away for a smooth surface and repaint.

When painting, make sure it is done in the shade because your vinyl shutters can easily get warm if you paint them under sunlight.

You should aim to paint your vinyl shutters at a temperature ranging from 60 to 900 F. Another great thing you can do is to clean the shutter with water and ammonia using one cup per gallon.

The shutters must be completely dried out after you clean it before you attempt to paint.

Step 2:

After painting, you can have them go under the sun so they can dry out. If you are painting a story shutter, you can use a ladder stabilizer to hold an extension ladder from the walls. This will give you easy access to the shutter.

You can kill mildew or mold with a mixture of one part bleach to four parts water in a pump up garden sprayer or spray bottle.

You then have to rinse completely with a hose. This extra step is needed when they are present. And if they are not present, then you don’t need to do this at all.

When working with bleach, make sure you have a protective cover to prevent contact with your eyes, skin, and plants that may be around.

Step 4:

The next step is to clean out dirt or chalking on the shutters by scrubbing with detergent and water. After it’s clean, rinse off with a hose and allow them to dry completely before you paint.

You have to ensure you use high-quality exterior or acrylic latex when painting your vinyl shutters. Or if you are painting plastic, you should go with a paint that is only for painting plastic.

You can also increase the adhesion and allow better coverage by the top coat when you prime the shutters with a latex primer.

This is optional and you don’t really need it to paint vinyl shutters. But if I were you, I would do it since it will have a long-lasting effect and you will be proud of the job and result.

One thing you should avoid totally is painting the shutters darker colors that they were originally painted.

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The reason for this is that the surface is going to absorb more heat this way and since it is not primarily for this, it might quickly warp and that is not what you want.

Additional Tips on Painting Your Vinyl Shutters

  • Make sure you purchase paintable vinyl shutters if you don’t already have an old one and are just planning to purchase a new one. Most of the vinyl shutters from big-box retailers as well as those sold on the shelf are often made from a vinyl material known as polypropylene and paint doesn’t adhere to the surface of this material well compared to metal or wood. If possible, ask the manufacturer to supply you with one that is paintable and is great for adhesion.
  • What if you have polypropylene shutters? Well, there is a solution. You can use the Krylon Fushion in painting this kind of shutter. Sherwin Williams is the manufacturer of this paint. Because it’s a high-quality paint, it might be more expensive than generic paints too. You can first apply the Krylon Fusion since it’s a primer and then apply a coat of paint with any exterior-grade latex based paint. The product is available in a can so that you can easily prevent runs, dips, etc.
  • You should use exterior-grade latex-based primer and paint if your shutters are from polystyrene. For optimum result, you can use one coat of primer and two coats of paint. If it’s possible for you to spray the paint, it will be better because with that you will be able to prevent drips, runs, and streaks. Don’t use a vinyl based primer or paint though.
  • Make sure to expose your vinyl shutters to direct sunlight. If you can do that before or during the painting session, better. But you must do that after the painting is over.

Final Words on Painting Vinyl Shutters

If wondering how to paint vinyl shutters when your old shutters are old and faded or you just want to get them to have a new look.

You may also be planning to purchase new vinyl shutters and want to paint them so you can get that specific color that may not be available as a standard color directly from the manufacturer.

In either case, this is a great article that will help you learn the process to get the best results when painting vinyl shutters.