PAINTING VINYL SHUTTERS


When it comes to painting vinyl shutters there are a few tips and techniques one should follow to get the job done in as quick a manner as possible.


Virtually everything can be painted or coated in some form or another.

With that said, vinyl is one of those surfaces that requires a little extra help.

By using the proper products and procedures you will insure that your paint is going to stick to the surface in which it's applied to.

Below you will find how to help for getting those shutters looking brand new in no time at all.


PREPARATION FOR PAINTING VINYL SHUTTERS


In most cases removing your shutters is recommended. Once the shutters are removed clean the siding/shutters then make any repairs. Be sure to paint the siding if necessary. Keep in mind that throughly cleaning the shutters (by hand with soap and water) then rinsing off the cleaning residue, is a very important part of your project.

I like to remove the shutters so that I can see what's going on behind them (ie. water damage) and a removed shutter is a lot easier to paint. Painting vinyl shutters when they are laying on a flat level surface tends to let the applied coating flow out nicer, having less chance of incurring runs and sags.

If you find that the shutter is damaged, now is the time to glue, caulk or fill any holes and cracks you might see. Also, use only repair products that are made from paint-able formulations. Sand and spot prime as needed.


PRODUCTS FOR PAINTING VINYL SHUTTERS


Vinyls, like other hard to paint surfaces are not porous in the same way wood is. So having a coating stick to it can prove to be a challenge especially under extreme weather conditions. I will admit, when painting vinyl shutters in the past I have used regular exterior latex paint and the coating still looks good even after years of temperature swings.

With that said, it's always best not to take the chance of having to scrape and re-coat, so be sure to use the proper product in the first place.

Urethanes are, in most cases, the paint of choice when coating a vinyl surface. Your local paint supplier will help with product selection and how to painting vinyl shutters advice.


VINYL SHUTTER COLORS


Virtually any color can be used for your painting vinyl shutters project. Do try and have your shutter color complement the other features on your home though.

Another thing to keep in mind when selecting colors is, if your shutters have been painted a certain color in the past, it's best to stick with the same shade. As an example, re-coat a light color with a light color and a dark color with a dark color.

Otherwise you may end up with pealing or cracking problems due to heat build up under the top coat. Your paint supplier can give you exterior color brochures and samples, along with color selection and application advice to get the job done properly.


BRUSHING VINYL SHUTTERS


Brushing when painting a vinyl shutter is definitely not the most efficient way of getting the job done. Spraying is by far the best choice. Of course not everyone wishes to spray their shutters so brushing is definitely do-able. It will just takes more time to get the work completed. When you are brushing your shutters use a smaller sized sash brush.

A one inch wide angle brush for example will allow you to get into all those hard to reach nooks and crannies. Start by brushing the back first, at the sides in between the slats, then paint the parts of the slats that you won't be able to get at once you turn the shutter over.

Keep applying thinner coats of paint and sanding between coats until you get the desired look that your going for. After the shutter is coated and dry turn it over and brush the front in the same fashion as the back. I like to paint the inside rails where the slats attach to the sides.

Then the slats themselves followed by the front and outside rails. You will need to turn the shutter in different directions trying to get at all those hidden spots. Don't use to much paint on the brush and watch for sags and runs.

Apply long continuous brush strokes, starting and stopping at parts of the shutter where one piece of a shutter attached to the other. IE. the area where the slats are attached to the side rails.


SPRAYING VINYL SHUTTERS


Spraying when painting vinyl shutters has the best finish and is by far the fastest and easiest way to get the job done. By using a spray bomb (can) or an electric paint sprayer, you will easily be able to get into those hard to reach places.

Start spraying the back first at the sides in between the slats then coat the parts of the rails and slats that you won't be able to do once you turn the shutter over. Keep applying thin coats of paint, let the paint dry, then sand between coats.

Keep applying coats of paint until you get the desired look that your going for. After the shutter is painted and dry turn it over and spray the front in the same fashion as the back. I like to spray the inside rails where the slats attach the sides first then the slats themselves, followed by the outside and fronts of the rails. You will need to turn the shutter in different directions trying to get at all those hidden spots.

Don't spray on to much paint at once and watch for sags and runs. Be sure to spray in long continuous motions starting and stopping just on the far side of the shutter where one piece of a shutter attached to the other. IE. the area where the slats are attached to the side rails.

When spraying don't start or stop on the shutter itself. Also, three or four thin coats as oppose to one or two thick ones will work best. Use this spraying page if you feel the need to learn more about improving your skills when painting vinyl shutters.


SUMMARY


Screwing on four six inch long by one inch wide wood cleats or feet (lath) to the tops and bottoms of the shutter will give you the ability to spray or brush both sides of the shutter at the same time. Your cleats will need to be attached to the surface they are standing on so that they don't fall over when being painted.

Let your paint dry then turn the shutter onto the other cleats and apply the next coat. Cut the paint between the cleat and shutter with a sharp utility knife before you remove the cleats.

If you do use a spray bomb attach a hand held trigger to the top of the spray can. A trigger can be purchased from your paint supplier. Using a trigger will give you less finger strain and more control over your painting technique.

Last but not least, runs and sags are a problem when shutter painting due to all the ins and outs that a shutter has. Because of the possibility of a run, it's better to brush or spray on four thin coats of paint as oppose to one or two thick ones.

Also, for those not use to spraying paint, be sure to practise on a throw away piece of wood prior to coating the shutters. Your local paint supplier will assist you with how to advice, and product information for cleaning, repairing, priming and painting all your vinyl surfaces.


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