How to Paint Plastic or Vinyl Exterior Shutters

Shutters on window

Can outdoor plastic window shutters be painted, and if so what kind of paint should be used? -Laurie

Hi Laurie,
Yes, you can repaint plastic or vinyl shutters. If they are new, check with the manufacturer to see if they need any special cleaning and follow their painting instructions.

If the shutters have been around a while, you’ll need to clean them before painting. If mildew or mold is present, kill it using a mixture of one part bleach to four parts water in a pump up garden sprayer or spray bottle, then rinse thoroughly with a hose. Be sure to protect your skin, eyes, and any plants when working with bleach. Next, scrub the shutters with detergent and water to remove any dirt or chalking. Rinse off the soap with a hose, and allow the shutters to dry before painting.

When painting plastic or vinyl, use a high quality, exterior, acrylic latex paint or a paint made specifically for plastic. While not required, priming the shutters with a latex primer before painting with acrylic latex paint can increase adhesion and allow better coverage by the top coat. Krylon Fusion paint is made to adhere to plastic, so plastic or vinyl surfaces shouldn’t be primed before painting.

Avoid painting the shutters a darker color than they were originally, since this can allow the surface to absorb more heat than it was designed for and may cause them to warp.

Good luck with your project,

Danny