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How to Paint Exterior Shutters for an Updated Look

Are your exterior shutters looking worn out or in need of a refresh? Painting your exterior shutters is a cost-effective way to enhance the curb appeal of your home. Whether you have wooden, vinyl, or metal shutters, learning how to paint them can give your home a fresh and updated look. In this guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of painting exterior shutters.

Materials You’ll Need

Before you begin painting, gather the following materials:

  1. Exterior paint: Choose a high-quality exterior paint suitable for the material of your shutters (wood, vinyl, or metal).
  2. Primer: If your shutters are bare wood or have an existing paint color that differs greatly from your desired shade, a primer is essential.
  3. Paintbrushes: Different sizes for precision and large areas.
  4. Painter’s tape: To protect surrounding surfaces or areas you don’t want to paint.
  5. Drop cloth or newspaper: To protect the ground or any nearby items from paint spills.
  6. Sandpaper: To smooth any rough surfaces or remove old paint.
  7. Tack cloth: To remove dust and debris before painting.
  8. Screwdriver: To remove shutters if needed.
  9. Clean water and soap: To clean the shutters before painting.
  10. Optional: Paint sprayer if you prefer using one instead of brushes.

Step-by-Step Guide

Now, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of painting your exterior shutters:

  1. Prepare the area: Start by removing any existing shutters or securing them in place. Lay down the drop cloth or newspaper to protect the ground and nearby surfaces. Use painter’s tape to cover any areas you don’t want to paint, such as windows or siding.

  2. Clean the shutters: Ensure that your shutters are clean and free of dirt, grime, and dust. Use a combination of water and soap to wash them thoroughly. Rinse well and allow them to dry completely before moving on to the next step.

  3. Sand the shutters: If your shutters have rough surfaces or peeling paint, sand them lightly using sandpaper. This step will create a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. After sanding, wipe away any dust with a tack cloth.

  4. Apply primer (if needed): If you’re changing the color of your shutters or they have bare wood, it’s important to apply a primer. The primer will help the paint adhere better and create a more even finish. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific primer you’re using and allow it to dry completely.

  5. Stir the paint: Before you start painting, thoroughly stir the paint to ensure an even consistency. This step is particularly important if you’re using paint that has been sitting for a while.

  6. Paint the shutters: Using a paintbrush or paint sprayer, apply a thin and even coat of paint to the shutters. Start with the edges and corners, working your way towards the middle. Take your time and pay attention to any drips or uneven areas.

  7. Allow to dry: Let the first coat of paint dry completely before applying a second coat. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the drying time. It’s essential to allow each coat to dry before adding another to achieve a professional-looking finish.

  8. Apply additional coats (if necessary): Depending on the color and material of your shutters, you may need to apply additional coats of paint. Repeat step 6 and 7 until you achieve the desired color and coverage.

  9. Inspect and touch up: Once the final coat of paint is dry, inspect the shutters for any touch-ups or areas that might need additional paint. Use a small brush to fix any imperfections and ensure a flawless finish.

  10. Reinstall or secure the shutters: If you removed the shutters, reattach them once the paint is dry. Make sure to use the appropriate screws or fasteners to secure them properly.


Q: How often should I paint my exterior shutters?\\
A: The frequency of painting your exterior shutters depends on the material, exposure to the elements, and the quality of the previous paint job. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to repaint them every 5-7 years.

Q: Can I paint my vinyl shutters?\\
A: Yes, vinyl shutters can be painted. However, it’s important to choose a paint specifically designed for vinyl surfaces and prepare the shutters properly to ensure proper adhesion.

Q: Do I need to strip the old paint before repainting?\\
A: Stripping old paint is not always necessary. If the existing paint is in good condition, you can sand it lightly and apply a fresh coat of paint. However, if the paint is cracking or peeling, it’s best to remove it completely before painting.

Q: Can I paint my shutters a different color?\\
A: Absolutely! Painting your shutters a different color is an excellent way to give your home a new look and enhance its curb appeal. Just make sure to choose a color that complements the overall aesthetic of your home.


Painting your exterior shutters is a fantastic DIY project that can transform the look of your home. With the right materials, proper preparation, and a little patience, you can easily achieve professional-looking results. Remember to clean and prepare the shutters, apply a primer if necessary, apply thin and even coats of paint, and allow each coat to dry fully before adding another. So, go ahead and give your exterior shutters a fresh coat of paint to enhance the beauty of your home.

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