How to Paint Vinyl Shutters for the Perfect Curb Appeal

A person wearing gloves is painting a blue grate with vinyl paint.

Ready to boost your home’s curb appeal with a fresh coat of paint for vinyl shutters? The good news is that it’s easier than you might think! This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing the right paint, preparing your shutters, selecting the perfect color, and maintaining your newly painted shutters for years to come. Let’s dive in!

Short Summary

  • Choose the right paint for your vinyl shutters to achieve a long-lasting, successful paint job.

  • Preparing your shutters with sanding and priming is essential for an eye-catching finish.

  • Select vinyl safe colors and use proper maintenance to enjoy vibrant painted shutters up to 10 years!

Choosing the Right Paint for Vinyl Shutters

A person is painting a wooden wall.
A person painting vinyl shutters with a brush

Selecting the right paint for your vinyl shutters is a crucial step in ensuring a successful and long-lasting paint job. You have a few options to choose from: exterior latex paints, acrylic paints, and vinyl-specific spray paints. Each type offers unique advantages and can help you achieve the desired results.

But, how do you know which paint is best for your shutters? Let’s explore the different types of paint and their benefits.

Exterior Latex Paints

exterior latex paints, a type of exterior paint, are an excellent choice for exterior vinyl shutters due to their durability and flexibility. These paints can withstand harsh weather conditions and maintain their vibrant color for years. When selecting the perfect exterior latex paint, consider your shutters’ material, the climate in your area, and the desired finish.

To achieve the best results, use a soft-bristle brush when applying the paint. Before painting, ensure proper preparation by cleaning the shutters, sanding the surface, and optionally priming. Exterior latex paint is ideal for painting not only vinyl shutters, but also wood shutters, offering a versatile and durable finish.

Acrylic Paints

Acrylic paints are another great option for painting vinyl shutters as well as painting plastic shutters, as they offer superior adhesion and flexibility. These paints are easy to clean and maintain, and they resist fading and cracking, ensuring your shutters look fantastic for a long time. If you live in a mold and mildew-prone area, consider using Emerald (acrylic) from Sherwin Williams for a mildew-resistant paint job.

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You can also use exterior latex paint, such as Duration, on your metal front door to match your shutters, ensuring a consistent and cohesive look for your home’s exterior. Just make sure to prime the door first if it is unpainted.

Vinyl-Specific Spray Paints

Using spray paint vinyl shutters can be an effective way to refresh their appearance. Spray painting vinyl shutters with vinyl-specific spray paints, like Rust-Oleum Vinyl Spray Paint, are specially designed for use on spray vinyl shutters and provide a smooth, professional finish. These paints offer the following benefits:

  • Easy application and coverage

  • Ensures your shutters look brand new

  • Any-angle spray feature, allowing you to spray in all directions, even upside down

  • Covers up to 7 square feet per can

When using Rust-Oleum Vinyl Spray Paint, be sure to apply thin coats to avoid a thick, uneven finish. Generally, two or three coats of spray paint should be enough to achieve the desired results.

After spray painting your shutters, allow them to dry for a few days before setting them up to ensure a strong, long-lasting color.

Preparing Your Vinyl Shutters for Painting

Proper preparation is essential for a successful and enduring paint job on your vinyl shutters. This process involves cleaning, sanding, and optionally priming plastic surfaces, which will ensure a smooth and professional finish.

By taking the time to properly prepare and paint shutters, you can guarantee that your paint job will not only look amazing, but also last for years.

Cleaning the Shutters

Before you start painting, it’s crucial to clean your shutters to remove dirt, grime, and mildew. A great way to clean vinyl shutters is to:

  1. Use soapy warm water and a coarse scrubbing pad.

  2. No harsh chemicals are required, but if there are mildew stains, a little bleach can be added to the mix to help remove them.

  3. After cleaning, wipe off any remaining residue with a tack cloth for a clean finish.

If using a TSP-based cleaner for a thorough clean, be sure to wear heavy-duty nitrile gloves and safety glasses for optimal protection.

Sanding the Surface

Sanding the surface of your shutters is an important step to improve paint adhesion and achieve a more professional finish. To get the best results, begin sanding the shutters with medium-grit sandpaper, then switch to finer-grit sandpaper to smooth the surface.

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Don’t forget to vacuum the shutters afterward to remove any dust, and wear a dust mask, safety glasses, and gloves for safety.

Priming (Optional)

While priming is an optional step, it can help improve paint adhesion and coverage, especially if you’re changing colors or dealing with peeling paint. If you choose to prime your shutters, use a latex primer for the best results when painting with acrylic latex paint.

Be sure to power wash and scrape the shutters until no loose paint chips remain before applying primer for a flawless finish.

Painting Techniques for Vinyl Shutters

A person painting a bench.

Now that your shutters are prepared, it’s time to choose the best painting technique for your project. There are two primary techniques for painting vinyl shutters: brush painting and spray painting. Each method has its advantages and drawbacks, so let’s explore both options to help you decide which one is right for you.

Brush painting is the most common method for painting vinyl shutters. It is relatively easy.

Brush Painting

Brush painting is a popular method for painting vinyl shutters due to the greater control and precision it offers. Although it may take more time and effort compared to spray painting, the results can be rewarding. To achieve the best results, apply the paint using light, even layers. Work in small sections to ensure that the paint is applied evenly and without any unwanted drips.

Some essential tools and materials for brush painting vinyl shutters include:

  • A wide, flat brush

  • Paint

  • Primer (optional)

  • Sandpaper

  • Cleaning supplies

By using even strokes and allowing the paint to dry completely between coats, you can achieve a smooth and professional finish.

Spray Painting

Spray painting is another technique you can use for painting vinyl shutters. This method is faster than brush painting and can provide a smooth finish if done correctly. To ensure a successful spray painting, follow these steps:

  1. Apply thin, even layers of paint.

  2. Follow the recoat times printed on the spray paint can.

  3. For extra safety, wear a respirator if you’re spray painting in an unventilated space.

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Spray painting is an efficient way to cover a large area in a shorter amount of time, and it’s perfect for those who want to complete their project quickly. However, it’s essential to use proper technique and have sufficient ventilation to achieve the desired results.

Color Selection and Vinyl Safe Colors

How to choose paint colors for vinyl shutters.

Choosing the right color for your vinyl shutters is an important decision. The color you select should complement your home’s exterior and enhance its curb appeal. While you may be tempted to choose a bold, eye-catching color, it’s crucial to opt for vinyl-safe colors to avoid warping and damage to your shutters.

Vinyl-safe colors are specially designed to be used on vinyl surfaces without causing any harm. Sherwin Williams offers an array of vinyl-safe colors to choose from, ensuring you find the perfect hue for your home’s exterior.

By selecting vinyl-safe colors for your plastic shutters, you can ensure they look great and remain in excellent condition for years to come.

Maintenance and Longevity of Painted Vinyl Shutters

Proper maintenance and care of your painted vinyl shutters can extend their lifespan and keep them looking vibrant for years. With good quality paint, you can expect your shutters to last anywhere from 5 to 10 years.

Regular cleaning and inspection for signs of damage can help you address any issues promptly and maintain your shutters’ appearance and functionality for an extended period.

Troubleshooting Common Painting Issues

When painting vinyl shutters, you may encounter some common painting issues, such as peeling, cracking, or fading. Troubleshooting these problems can help ensure a successful and long-lasting paint job. It’s essential to be aware of potential issues and take the necessary steps to address them before they escalate.

To achieve a successful paint job, inspect your shutters for signs of damage and repair them before painting. Additionally, use the right type of paint and painting techniques to ensure a professional result. By taking these steps, you can avoid common painting issues and enjoy beautiful, long-lasting vinyl shutters.

DIY vs. Hiring Professionals

Deciding between a DIY approach or hiring professionals to paint your vinyl shutters depends on several factors, such as your skill level, budget, and desired results. Hiring professionals may offer faster and finer finishes, but it can also be more expensive, with costs often exceeding $2,000. On the other hand, DIY can be more cost-effective and allows you to take pride in your handiwork.

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Ultimately, the choice between DIY and hiring professionals is a personal decision based on your preferences and resources. By understanding the benefits and challenges of each option, you can make an informed decision and achieve the desired results for your vinyl shutters.


In conclusion, painting your vinyl shutters can be an effective way to enhance your home’s curb appeal and protect your shutters from the elements. By selecting the right paint, preparing the shutters properly, and using the appropriate painting techniques, you can achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish. Whether you decide to tackle the project yourself or hire professionals, the key to success lies in careful planning and execution. Happy painting!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of paint do you use to paint vinyl shutters?

For best results, use exterior latex paint to paint your vinyl shutters. It has high UV resistance, good adhesion and dries quickly to the touch.

Use a brush to get a thick, even coating for beautiful, long-lasting results.

Is it worth painting vinyl shutters?

Painting vinyl shutters is worth it if they are in good shape and feel rigid when taking them off the house. Broken or fragile vinyl shutters should be replaced with new shutters for a more cost-effective solution.

What is the best paint for vinyl shutters Sherwin Williams?

Sherwin Williams Emerald, Duration, Resilience or SuperPaint with VinylSafe additive are the best paints for vinyl shutters. This paint is highly recommended by professional painters and it will not damage the shutters when exposed to direct sunlight.

How long does painted vinyl last?

With proper maintenance, painted vinyl can last up to 5-10 years, making it a great option for long-term use.

Do I need to prime my vinyl shutters before painting?

Priming is an important step to consider if you’re painting vinyl shutters as it can improve paint adhesion and coverage.

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