Choosing the right color for your home is the all-important first step to painting your shutters. The traditionalist approach is to match your shutters to your roof color. If you have a dark gray or black roof, then black shutters will most likely look nice; if you have a brown roof, then dark brown shutters are a great choice. If your home has small windows, a lighter color that blends with the house color might work better.
The material of your shutters is the key to selecting the best type of paint for the job. Acrylic paint that contains urethane resins works best with vinyl, and exterior latex paint works best with wood.
Find a good work area outside in the shade that's protected from wind gusts. Lay a drop cloth under your work area to avoid staining plants, grass, patio or the garage. Once you have your work area ready, remove the shutters from the windows.
Remove existing paint from the shutters with a paint scraper. If you cannot remove all of the old paint with the scraper, use a liquid paint stripper. Just as for paint selection, find a paint stripper that works best with your shutters' material. Use a paintbrush to apply a light coat of the liquid to the shutters. Allow at least 30 or 40 minutes for the paint stripper to work on the old paint, and then scrape the shutters once again.
Using a scrub brush, thoroughly wash the shutters with hot water and soap to remove dirt, debris and residual paint stripper. Rinse the shutters with a garden hose. Place vinyl shutters on the drop cloth and allow to air dry. To avoid damage to wood shutters, towel dry immediately after cleaning.
This is the last step before painting. Lightly roughen the surface of the shutters with sandpaper so the paint will adhere evenly. Wipe away debris with a tack cloth, and then prime with a spray can or paint gun to ensure a light, even coat.
Apply at least two coats, and allow plenty of dry time between each coat. Make sure that the final coat of paint is completely dry before you return the shutters to their windows to avoid smudging, chipping or smearing.
Now, all that's left to do is to kick back and relax as your neighbors stand in awe of your home's renewed beauty.
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