Painting Shutters


We loved our house pretty much right away, but there were definitely things about it that I wanted to change. The shutters used to be crimson. At first I didn’t hate it, but then we did some landscaping and added some white rocks, and then it was like every day that went by I hated them more and more. They clashed with the white and were just plain ugly. We looked into replacing the shutters entirely with wooden ones like this, but it just seemed too expensive and since this isn’t going to be our forever home we don’t want to dump too much money into it.

So I figured painting them would be the easiest and cheapest way to go. It only took a few days (mainly because I had to allow the paint to dry) and it gave our whole house a makeover.

Our house before.


  • screwdriver
  • spray paint
  • sponge
  • soap
  • step stool

What I Did:

We have plain vinyl shutters, nothing fancy. First, I took off all of our shutters. I really think that they weren’t originally put on correctly because they were all just screwed in between the bricks with screws and had no shutter fasteners. But, again, since this isn’t our forever home and since it looked fine how it was, I decided to just go with it. Taking them down really required some manpower, especially since some of the screws had been painted over in that same ugly crimson.

All washed and sitting out to dry!

Next, I took the shutters out back and washed them well with soap and water. I used Murphy’s soap because it’s just what we had. Make sure you scrub them with a sponge to really get the dirt off-just hosing them down won’t clean them properly. I focused on washing the side with paint and took less care washing the side that faces the house. I left them outside to dry.

I found this paint at Target and Home Depot for about $5 a can. I used 4 cans, and part of a 5th.

The next day, I spray painted them. You could also probably paint them with regular paint and a brush, but spray paint is much quicker, and you don’t have to worry about brush strokes. I covered my step stool (also used to help me reach the shutters while taking them down) with an old blanket and set a shutter on top of it. I put the paint about 6 inches from the shutters and made sure to get around all the sides and in each direction so that it had full coverage.

Something to take note of with paint: don’t paint your shutters any color that’s darker than the original color. If it’s too dark then it will naturally draw more heat than the plastic was intended in it’s original color and it could warp.

The directions said to paint the second coat within an hour or after 24 hours, so I threw on two coats within an hour. Two of our shutters had cracks in them. I chose not to replace them because they aren’t that noticeable and we just wanted a quick, cheap, way to brighten our house. After I painted the second coat I let them dry for a full day before putting them back up.

We decided to just put up the shutters the way they were originally, instead of getting shutter fasteners. If you do have shutter fasteners, or decide to get some, here are instructions on how to install them. Some of the originally screws were broken, and they were all painted crimson, so we went to Home Depot and picked up the same size screws to use. I thought about painting them white as well, but decided against it once the shutters were up-they looked fine how they were.

And there you have it! This really was a quick and easy project. The hardest part for me was screwing and unscrewing the shutters. I think this was mainly due to them not being installed properly, but I recruited my husband to help and he was able to get them off and then back up again. They definitely give our house a more cohesive look and add to the curb appeal. I love how they match our landscaping and stand out distinctively against the gray brick. Good luck in your shutter painting endeavors!


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