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Can You Paint Vinyl Shutters?

People typically install decorative and convenient shutters on windows placed on either home side for practical and aesthetic reasons. Painting them is an affordable and quick way to increase their houses’ value without spending too much money.

You know that painting is the best way to beautify shutters made of wood and an effortless way to solve the problem with their faded and peeled surfaces. However, you are probably unsure when it comes to the question, can you paint vinyl shutters. Let’s see.


Window Vinyl Shutters

In the past, shutters were a crucial part of every home as the only way to control light inside a house, protect its interior, and increase its security.

Nowadays, their primary purpose is aesthetic, plus they add character and elegance to the exterior. Shutters also increase the home’s energy efficiency and lower electricity bills.

Many owners choose vinyl shutters as an inexpensive option with low maintenance. They are also durable and easy to install. The crucial downside of this solution is a high tendency to fade on the sun over time.

The reason is the quality of each type available on the market. For instance, vinyl manufacturers produce various vinyl shutter models with a quality that depends on the ingredients they use.

For instance, high-quality products contain titanium dioxide as a primary ingredient that prevents vinyl fading and degradation under UV rays. Low-quality shutters don’t include this compound, leading to fast fading.

Once vinyl window shutters fade, it is time to replace or paint them. Since you need to pay $40 to $100 for a two-pack of plastic window shutters, replacing all those installed on the house can be expensive.

Therefore, you can quickly beautify your home by painting them. It is an effortless DIY project requiring adequate equipment, moderate skill, and time.

Painting shutters yourself is a cheap alternative to replacing them, but it is not an acceptable solution for severely warped or cracked ones.


Reasons to Paint Vinyl Shutters

As I have already said, once your old shutters fade due to long-term exposure to strong sunlight and bad weather, it is time to replace or paint them. Your goal is to renew the original house look and increase its value.

If shutters are not damaged or warped, changing their color is an effortless DIY project most people can finish on their own. If you decide to paint your vinyl shutters yourself, you have two options at your disposal. You can restore their original color or repaint them in any shade you like.

When it comes to the paint type, you can pick out high-quality exterior latex paint or specifically designed paint for this purpose. The less complicated version is to paint shutters with a soft-bristle paintbrush.

However, you can also use spray paint if you plan to remove shutters from the wall and install them again after finishing the job. As I have already said, it is not a too demanding job, but you can also ask a local house painter to do it for you.

The advantage of this option is in modern tools most professionals have. For instance, an airless paint sprayer is a convenient piece of equipment that produces a fine paint finish quicker and more precisely than a traditional brushwork.


Ways to Paint Vinyl Shutters

Even though vinyl shutters are long-lasting and almost maintenance-free products, you can expect them to fade over time badly. Then, it is time to paint them, but there is a trick! You can paint only shutters made of paintable vinyl.

Determine vinyl shutters type

You can find two vinyl shutters types on the current market:

Polypropylene vinyl shutters – It can be challenging to paint shutters made of this vinyl type since ordinary paint can’t adhere well to this material. The only option is to purchase special vinyl primer and exterior latex-based paint capable of adhering to such a surface.

Polystyrene vinyl shutters – Since this widely available vinyl shutter type comes with better paint adhesion, you can repaint them without much effort. You can use practically any exterior latex-based primer and paint to beautify shutters made of this material.

Old vinyl shutters were typically designed from low-lasting, hardly-paintable polypropylene. Nowadays, manufacturers more and more often produce paintable and more durable polystyrene vinyl shutters.

Choose the vinyl safe paint color

Picking out the right paint is crucial whether you want to repaint faded vinyl shutters or change the new ones’ color. The rule of thumb is that water-based latex paints are the best option for vinyl shutters you can find on the market nowadays.

However, many professionals recommend a mix of urethane resins and chemical-based acrylic. Since urethanes are sticky, they tightly adhere to the surface and won’t peel off from the vinyl shutters.

On the other hand, oil paints can’t bond well to the vinyl surface, so you can quickly face its cracking and peeling due to shutters shrinking or expanding in different seasons.

Even though spray paints are an excellent option for vinyl shutters, they require deinstallation before painting and reinstallation after finishing. It can be complicated for a DIY project and often require professional help. Plus, generic enamel spray paints crack and peel under direct sunlight over time.

You should think about one more thing. Dark colors absorb too much heat, resulting in shutter warping. Luckily, you can find colors containing different pigment blends that prevent absorbing heat nowadays.

Thanks to this innovation, you can pick out any color you like without worrying about the negative consequences of such a decision. If you want to spend money on a high-quality product, you should consider the one with titanium dioxide.


Luckily, you don’t need to have any fancy tools to paint vinyl shutters, making a DIY project uncomplicated and available option.

Remember that the tool list is comprehensive, but it doesn’t mean you need all the listed pieces to finish your project. For instance, it is easier to use an airless sprayer, but it is possible to finish the job without spending money on this expensive equipment.

In most cases, you can paint your shutters with a paintbrush. The list of possibly necessary tools includes:

  • Bucket of 5 gallons (20 l) and bucket hook
  • Soft-bristle paintbrush of 2.5 inches (6.5 cm)
  • Power drill
  • Hacksaw and pliers
  • Plastic mounting nails
  • Caulking gun and silicone caulking
  • Painter’s tape and black marker
  • Garden hose and soap
  • Microfiber cloth and scrub pad
  • Fine-grit sanding sponges
  • Airless sprayer
  • Primer when necessary
  • Latex exterior paint
  • Step ladder
  • Shop vacuum

Safety considerations

Self-protection is crucial when you work with paint, so you should wear protective equipment while working.

  • Safety gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Protective mask

How to Paint Vinyl Shutters

Step 1. Remove shutters

Painting vinyl shutters with an airless sprayer or those on high floors requires deinstalling them before beginning. That is not too complicated if you have shutters attached with metal clips. In that case, you only need to lift them off of the clips.

If the model you have is installed with shutter loks, you need to cut through them with a hacksaw. Finally, some vinyl shutter types come with plastic, hard-to-remove buttons.

Therefore, you need to scrape them off before starting. If you decide to paint vinyl shutters without removing them, you can paint them either.

Step 2. Find the best working place

You don’t need any working place when painting vinyl shutters on the spot. It will be enough to protect the wall around the shutters with tape. Otherwise, you should find a flat raised working table placed away from direct sunlight to place shutters while working.

Take care to finish the painting process outdoors or in a well-ventilated shed or garage. Only that way, you won’t have problems with the effects of inhaling chemicals and harmful fumes.

Step 3. Cleaning

Cleaning the vinyl shutters before painting is crucial to avoid painting over dirt and mold, reducing the work quality and paint longevity.

Start with removing dirt with a detergent water solution and a soft cloth. Avoid harsh cleaning chemicals, but you can add a little bleach to the soapy water to remove mildew stains.

Properly clean shutters with a hose and soft-bristle brush, and rinse them thoroughly before using a clean microfiber cloth to dry them. Another option is power washing, which removes damaged vinyl pigments without negative consequences for the material.

Step 4. Apply a primer

It is an optional step that enables better paint adhesion to the vinyl surface. Scuff up the vinyl with a fine-grit sanding sponge and apply a primer that hides tiny imperfections and represents a base for the paint layer.

Step 5. Painting

The paint type and technique you want to use depend on your preferences. While spray paint saves time, traditional painting with a brush doesn’t require shutters’ deinstallation.

Also, renting an airless sprayer will cost you $50 to $75 daily. In any case, you should apply at least three thin paint layers to get the best result.



Painting vinyl shutters is a quick and practical way to beautify your house for comparatively little money. You can either choose the same color or change your home exterior by painting them in a new color.

This inexpensive DIY project can result in an excellent home appearance instead of spending hundreds of dollars for new shutters. Let’s do it!

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