Tips when painting shutters

Published 2:00 pm Thursday, April 25, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

There are many ways to give a home’s exterior a new look. Though it might not be as grand as replacing siding, repainting shutters allows homeowners to try a bold new color or simply replace fading colors, and each option can make a home more appealing.
Homeowners who have never before painted shutters can consider these tips as they prepare to begin the project.
• Don’t go it alone. The most important step homeowners can take before beginning a shutter painting project is to enlist the help of a friend or family member. Someone to hold the ladder can make the project safer. Enlisting a third individual, working on the ground, who can take the shutters from the person on the ladder may also be wise.
• Remove the shutters. When painting shutters, homeowners want to remove them from the house. It might seem easier to leave the shutters on and then paint them carefully with a brush, but that’s both time-consuming and a potential safety risk. Some shutters are installed with fasteners that look like screws, but that appearance is misleading, and shutters installed in this way cannot be removed with a drill or screwdriver. Homeowners should determine which material their shutters are made from, and then look for a corresponding removal tutorial on YouTube. Homeowners who can’t find one can contact the manufacturer or a contractor to determine the best way to remove the shutters.
• Clean the shutters prior to painting them. It’s likely been years since the shutters were last painted, and over that time they’ve no doubt accumulated a lot of dirt and mildew. Homeowners can try a garden hose to clean them; if that doesn’t work, a power washer may be needed. If using a power washer with wooden shutters, be especially careful, as the force of the power washer may damage the wood. Vinyl shutters, like vinyl siding, can typically handle a strong power washing without being damaged. Wooden shutters must also have old paint removed before they can be repainted. The experts at TrueValue® note that paint can be removed from wooden shutters with a sander or by applying a chemical paint stripper.
• Prime wooden shutters before painting. Though vinyl shutters won’t need to be primed unless the old paint is peeling, wooden shutters must be primed before they’re painted. Priming can be tedious, so homeowners should leave ample time for this part of the project.
• Rent an airless sprayer to paint the shutters. Many hardware or paint stores rent airless sprayers, which can be the quickest way to paint shutters. Professionals typically apply two coats of paint, and the first coat should be allowed to dry fully before the second coat is applied.
• Re-hang the shutters after they have fully dried. Only after the shutters have fully dried should they be placed back on the house. Employ the same buddy system when re-hanging the shutters, having one person hold the ladder and another pass each one up one at a time.