Before you paint your old shutters, read this guide! The Best Way to Paint Vinyl Shutters: with steps, video, & which paint to use on vinyl!
Best Way To Paint Vinyl Shutters
Hi again! We’ve made a big, big change around here. We finally gave our dated looking brick home a huge makeover by painting the brick white. And, I’m LOVING it.
I guess, technically I didn’t do it.
I usually DIY all of the things around here, but even I know that painting a 2-story house by myself would have taken forever. And, nerves of steel when it comes to painting our 30′ high fireplace chimney. 😉
I hired out the house painting, while I handled ordering and painting our new vinyl shutters. I went with PAINTABLE raised panel vinyl shutters I found for a deal on Amazon.
BUT, did you know, you can now PAINT OLD vinyl shutters too. I have all of the details you need to know about the best way to paint vinyl shutters – old and new, in this post.
This is actually a PRETTY EASY DIY, guys. You just need to know which products to use for a long lasting paint finish on vinyl.
Some links on this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
And, of course I’ll be sharing all of the details and before and after pictures behind our whole house makeover soon.
Now, let’s get to the Best Way To Paint Vinyl Shutters!
Table of contents
- What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Vinyl Shutters?
- What Is The Best Way To Paint Vinyl Shutters?
- Is It Better To Paint Or Replace Vinyl Shutters?
- Can You Paint Vinyl Shutters That Say Do Not Paint?
- How Do You Paint Vinyl Shutters With A Brush?
- What Do You Clean Vinyl Shutters With Before Painting?
What Kind Of Paint Do You Use On Vinyl Shutters?
I did a lot of research before painting vinyl shutters. And, I had a few conversations with some very knowledgeable and helpful Sherwin Williams employees.
That’s where I learned about the VinylSafe additive that Sherwin Williams makes for their exterior paints. I think you should use Sherwin Williams VinylSafe paints on vinyl shutters, siding, doors, and trim.
Sherwin Williams can make exterior paint from their Emerald, Duration, Resilience, and SuperPaint lines with the VinylSafe additive. This paint seems to be highly recommended by professional painters as the best way to paint vinyl shutters.
The Vinyl Safe additive will make those paints safe for vinyl. Even with dark colored paints. In the past, dark colored paints over vinyl would warp, buckle, bubble, or fail. Read more about it on the Sherwin Williams website here.
BE SURE to tell the Sherwin Williams representative that you will be using the paint on vinyl. From what I understand, the paint doesn’t come up the additive be default. You have to ask for it.
The Sherwin Williams representatives assured me repeatedly that this paint will work on older vinyl shutters and vinyl shutters that weren’t specified as PAINTABLE when ordered.
I used Sherwin Williams Resilience paint in the color Functional Grey. The sheen I used is Satin.
What Is The Best Way To Paint Vinyl Shutters?
I ordered PAINTABLE vinyl shutters. Most companies that make vinyl shutters will sell a PAINTABLE option. And, generally they will come with the same easy instructions for painting your vinyl shutters.
You can also follow these instructions for painting other vinyl shutters that are still in a good condition. Just be sure to use the VinylSafe paint mentioned in the painting section above. Or, the paint may fail.
The best way to paint vinyl shutters is to start with a TSP based cleaner followed by a 100% Acrylic Exterior Paint specifically made for vinyl. Let’s go over the details.
The best way to paint vinyl shutters is to start by cleaning the shutters. Even new from the factory vinyl shutters will need to be cleaned.
You should clean the shutters with a TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) based cleaner prior to painting. Follow the instructions on the container of TSP to get the best results.
AND, don’t forget to wear Heavy Duty nitrile gloves and safety glasses when using TSP. This is a chemical that isn’t safe for skin or eyes. But, it’s great at cleaning and degreasing surfaces before painting.
After your TSP has been wiped off the shutters and they are dry, you can start painting.
Check the instructions that come with your PAINTABLE shutters to make sure you’re following the manufacturer’s recommendations. My new shutters came with this line on the painting instructions.
For best results, use a high quality 100% acrylic paint or a paint that is formulated to bond to plastic and PVC.
The Sherwin Williams VinylSafe paints are both! Each of the paints that can be mixed with the VinylSafe additive are 100% acrylic AND that vinyl safe additive means that it has been formulated to bond with vinyl (a type of plastic PVC).
Be sure to follow the instructions on the paint you are using for proper application and dry times. Do not apply paint while it’s in direct sunlight, if possible.
The paint I used required 4 hours of dry time between coats. It feels dry to the touch within an hour, but if you recoat too soon it can take longer for the paint to fully cure (harden and dry).
Recently a painting company tried to apply primer and 2 coats of topcoat paint on our front door in less than 6 hours.
The next day, when the strong Texas sun hit that door all of that gummy paint that hadn’t cured bubbled up. The whole door had to be stripped and repainted properly.
HOW TO VIDEO
Seeing something done can help explain things better. Watch this short video for a quick overview of everything you need to know about the best way to paint vinyl shutters.
Is It Better To Paint Or Replace Vinyl Shutters?
If your shutters are still in good physical condition and you like the size and style, there’s no reason you can’t keep them.
It’s much cheaper to clean and paint vinyl shutters than it would be to buy all new shutters.
You should inspect all of your shutters to decide whether or not you need to replace your vinyl shutters.
If your vinyl shutters are cracked, chipped, or bent it’s nearly impossible to repair them in a way that makes them look nice.
But, if your vinyl shutters are just dirty and faded, or you’d like a new color, you can absolutely paint them.
You can also order vinyl shutters from Home Depot in lots of colors, sizes, and styles too.
Can You Paint Vinyl Shutters That Say Do Not Paint?
According to the Sherwin Williams representatives I talked to, the answer is YES!
Yes, you can paint vinyl shutters that say do not paint. And, you can paint old shutters that need painting, as long as they are still in good condition.
But you HAVE TO USE paint with the VinylSafe additive that helps it stick to vinyl without buckling, warping, or even bubbling.
And, before painting, you need to use TSP to prep the surface for paint.
I’m only familiar with the Sherwin William vinyl safe paint. Other companies might make a similar paint that works just as well. Be sure to talk to their representatives and read those user reviews before buying.
How Do You Paint Vinyl Shutters With A Brush?
If you want to paint vinyl shutters with a brush, pick a good quality nylon paint brush. I like to use a paint brush with an angled end whenever I’m painting something with lots of angles and inside corners.
Use a vinyl safe paint and light, even layers of paint to apply the paint with a brush. That will help you avoid brush marks and drips.
You can see how I used a brush to apply the paint on my shutters in the Best Way to Paint Vinyl Shutters video above.
What Do You Clean Vinyl Shutters With Before Painting?
You should clean the shutters with a TSP (Trisodium Phosphate) based cleaner prior to painting. That will degrease the vinyl, getting it ready for paint.
If you have older shutters that have years of built up bird poo and dead bugs. You can always start with a mild soapy water (Dawn dish soap works) and scrub brush.
Be sure to not damage the shutters by pressing too hard. After scrubbing everything off with soapy water. Rinse the shutters, let dry, and apply the TSP to degrease the surface.
You could scrub with the TSP instead of soapy water. Just be sure to wear protective gloves, clothing and eyewear when using TSP or Similar to TSP products.
You don’t want that chemical on your skin or in your eyes. It is not safe.
That’s it for the Best Way to Paint Vinyl Shutters. Check out those recommended posts below for more easy DIY’s.
Looking for another Easy Home Maintenance Project? Here’s how I caulked the backsplash along our kitchen counters too.
Looking for another DIY project with results you’ll love? Check out my steps for How to Whiten Grout.
This DIY saved my car seats! Check out How to Clean Car Seats at Home here.
And, here’s the 1-Step Fix for a Sun-Damaged, Dry Wood Front Door. I love this DIY!
Here’s how to paint rusty metal furniture. I love this DIY for saving outdoor furniture.
Feeling inspired? Now you know the Best Way To Paint Vinyl Shutters. You can do it too!
Have fun and let me know if you have questions. Don’t forget to sign up for the Abbotts At Home email newsletter to get DIY, Remodeling, and Crafty ideas in your inbox.
Stephanie Abbott has been remodeling homes, updating & building furniture, and working on DIY home maintenance and cleaning tips for over 20 years. Her remodeling has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. And, her DIY YouTube channel has had more than 8 million views.
Most of the DIY tutorials and videos on this site focus on beginner to intermediate level DIY Projects that can be done in an affordable way without high-end, expensive tools. All of the cleaning tips on this website have been tested in her home.