Tempted to do a summer glow-up project for your home? Consider painting your shutters. Whether your shutters are vinyl, wood or plastic, there are a few ways you can execute a perfect paint job. This simple home improvement project will instantly ramp up your home’s curb appeal for sure.

Painting shutters: what you need to know

Prepare your shutters for paint

Wood shutters: Remove old layers of paint with a chemical stripper or a paint scraper. Remove as much of it as you can. Lightly sand using a medium sandpaper then spray or brush an exterior primer onto the wood and allow it to dry.

Vinyl Shutters: Clean and prime the shutters for paint. The best way to clean vinyl shutters is with either household bleach or a degreaser. You can also use lacquer thinner to remove old paint or stubborn stains. If you’ve opted for the same or a similar color, you can paint directly onto the shutters. If you’ve chosen a lighter color than the original, be sure to prime with a light gray or white beforehand.

Plastic shutters: Like vinyl shutters, plastic shutters also need to be cleaned and primed. Any plastic-safe household cleaner can be used to remove any dirt or mildew from the plastic. You can also choose to use a lacquer-thinner to clean the surface if the shutters are relatively new and unpainted. Keep in mind that latex paint will not adhere to bare plastic, so you’ll want to use a primer first. But know that not all primers are made equally. You don’t want to use metal-etching primer sold for cars and appliances as it will likely eat through the plastic.

Select the right paint

Oil-based paints, which should always be used with oil-based primers dry to a more durable finish. They’re less likely to stain the wood underneath and they adhere better to wood surfaces.

Water-based paints, which you might know as latex paints, are pretty easy to work with. The brands you know and recognize likely carry a formula designed for exterior use. They dry faster than oil paints and also create a flexible finish which is less likely to peel or crack if it gets damaged.

When it comes to painting plastic shutters, you’ll want to be certain you’re working with a plastic-safe paint.

Choose your method

When in doubt, use a wide, flat brush laying down thinner coats. You’ll want to allow each coat to dry entirely before moving on to the next. Don’t try to cover the entire shutter in one paint stroke.

We wouldn’t necessarily recommend using a roller when it comes to painting shutters. While they’re great for wide, flat surfaces, rollers can create drips and gaps on shutters.

Be mindful that spray painting can only work for certain shutter surfaces. You do not want to use spray paint on wooden shutters. But there are specific brands that make paints that bond really well to vinyl and other plastics. Rustoleum is one of those brands. Just be sure to spray in thin, even layers.

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