December 11, 2023

How to Paint Plastic Exterior Shutters

8 min read
Learn how to give your home's exterior a fresh new look with our step-by-step guide on painting plastic exterior shutters.
A house with plastic exterior shutters being painted

A house with plastic exterior shutters being painted

If you are looking to refresh and update the look of your home’s exterior, painting your plastic exterior shutters is an easy and affordable way to achieve this. Not only will adding a fresh coat of paint to your shutters give your home a new look, but it will also protect them from weather damage and extend their lifespan. In this article, we will guide you through the process of painting your plastic exterior shutters, from why you should paint them to common mistakes to avoid. Read on to discover everything you need to know about painting plastic exterior shutters.

Why Should You Paint Your Plastic Exterior Shutters?

Painting your plastic exterior shutters has several advantages, including:

  • Giving your home a fresh look
  • Protecting your shutters from weather damage
  • Preventing fading, discoloration, and cracking
  • Extending their lifespan

By painting your plastic exterior shutters, you can enhance the curb appeal of your home and add value to it. Moreover, with the right materials and approach, painting them is easy, quick, and cost-effective, making it an excellent DIY project for weekend warriors.

It is important to note that not all types of paint are suitable for plastic shutters. You should use a paint that is specifically designed for plastic surfaces, such as vinyl spray paint or acrylic paint. Additionally, it is recommended to clean the shutters thoroughly before painting them to ensure that the paint adheres properly. By taking these precautions, you can ensure that your newly painted shutters will look great and last for years to come.

The Tools Required to Paint Your Plastic Exterior Shutters

To paint your plastic exterior shutters, you will need the following tools:

  • Paintbrushes and a roller
  • Drop cloths or tarps to protect your working area
  • Sandpaper or a sanding block
  • Clean rags or towels
  • Plastic cleaner or soap and water
  • Primer and paint (specifically formulated for plastic surfaces)
  • Painter’s tape and masking paper

It is important to use materials specifically formulated for painting plastic surfaces, as regular paint may not adhere properly and may peel or crack over time.

Before beginning the painting process, it is important to thoroughly clean the shutters to remove any dirt, grime, or debris. This can be done using a plastic cleaner or a mixture of soap and water. Allow the shutters to dry completely before proceeding with the painting process.

When applying the primer and paint, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Apply the primer in a thin, even coat and allow it to dry completely before applying the paint. Apply the paint in thin, even coats, allowing each coat to dry completely before applying the next. It is recommended to apply at least two coats of paint for optimal coverage and durability.

How to Choose the Right Paint for Your Plastic Exterior Shutters

When choosing paint for your plastic exterior shutters, look for a product that is formulated specifically for plastic surfaces. This type of paint will have special additives that help it adhere to plastic and provide long-lasting protection. Moreover, it should be resistant to fading, cracking, and peeling, and offer good coverage and durability.

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You can choose from a variety of colours and finishes, including matte, gloss, and satin, to match your home’s style and personal preference.

It is important to properly prepare the surface of your plastic exterior shutters before painting. Clean the shutters thoroughly with soap and water, and allow them to dry completely. If there are any cracks or holes, fill them with a plastic filler and sand the surface smooth. Applying a primer specifically designed for plastic surfaces can also help the paint adhere better and last longer.

The Preparation Process – Cleaning and Sanding Your Shutters

The key to achieving a beautiful and long-lasting finish is properly preparing your shutters before painting them. This begins with cleaning them thoroughly to remove dirt, grime, and any other surface contaminants that may affect adhesion. You can use a plastic cleaner or soap and water, but be sure to rinse them well and let them dry completely.

Next, you will need to sand your shutters lightly using fine-grit sandpaper or a sanding block. This will create a rough surface that the paint can adhere to and remove any gloss or shine on the surface. Be sure to remove any sanding dust with a clean cloth or tack cloth.

After cleaning and sanding your shutters, it’s important to inspect them for any damage or defects. Look for cracks, chips, or other imperfections that may need to be repaired before painting. If you find any issues, use a wood filler or putty to fill in the gaps and sand them smooth before proceeding with painting.

Additionally, if you are painting shutters that have been previously painted, you may need to remove the old paint before applying a new coat. This can be done using a paint stripper or by sanding the old paint off. Be sure to follow all safety precautions when using paint strippers and wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles.

How to Remove Old Paint from Your Plastic Exterior Shutters

If your shutters have peeling or flaking paint, you will need to remove it before painting them. You can use a paint stripper specifically designed for plastic surfaces, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Alternatively, you can sand the old paint off using a sanding block or a power sander. Be sure to wear protective gear such as goggles and a face mask, and keep your working area well-ventilated.

Before starting the paint removal process, it’s important to clean your shutters thoroughly. Use a mild detergent and warm water to remove any dirt or grime that may be on the surface. Rinse the shutters with clean water and allow them to dry completely before proceeding.

If you choose to use a paint stripper, apply it evenly to the surface of the shutters using a brush or roller. Allow the stripper to sit for the recommended amount of time, usually around 15-30 minutes, before scraping off the old paint with a putty knife or scraper. Be sure to dispose of the old paint and stripper properly, following your local regulations.

See also  How to Remove Outdoor Shutters

Tips for Masking Off Areas Around Your Shutters Before Painting

Before painting your shutters, it is important to mask off any areas that you don’t want to paint, such as windows, door frames, and trim. You can use painter’s tape and masking paper to achieve clean and sharp lines. Be sure to press the tape down firmly to prevent paint from bleeding under it, and remove it carefully while the paint is still wet.

Another important tip is to clean the areas you plan to paint thoroughly before masking them off. This will ensure that the tape adheres properly and that there is no dirt or debris that could affect the quality of the paint job. Additionally, if you are painting shutters that are attached to your home, it is a good idea to cover the surrounding area with drop cloths or plastic sheeting to protect it from any paint splatters or drips.

When masking off areas, it is also important to consider the type of paint you are using. Some paints may require a different type of tape or masking material, so be sure to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. If you are unsure, it is always a good idea to test a small area first to ensure that the tape and masking paper are compatible with the paint you are using.

The Painting Process – Applying Primer and Paint to Your Plastic Exterior Shutters

Now that your shutters are clean, sanded, and masked off, it’s time to start painting them. Begin by applying a plastic primer using a brush or roller, following the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Primer will help the paint adhere properly, provide a smooth and even base, and fill any small imperfections or cracks.

Once the primer is dry, you can apply the paint using a brush or roller. Be sure to work in thin and even coats, overlapping each stroke slightly to ensure full coverage. Avoid overloading the brush or roller with too much paint, as it may run and create drip marks. If necessary, apply a second coat after the first one has dried.

It’s important to note that the type of paint you use on your plastic exterior shutters can make a big difference in the longevity and appearance of the finished product. Look for a high-quality exterior paint that is specifically designed for use on plastic surfaces. This will ensure that the paint is durable, fade-resistant, and able to withstand the elements. Additionally, consider choosing a color that complements the overall look of your home and enhances its curb appeal.

How Many Coats of Paint Do You Need for Your Plastic Exterior Shutters?

The number of coats of paint you need for your plastic exterior shutters depends on the quality and coverage of the paint you are using, as well as the colour and condition of the surface. Typically, one or two coats of primer and one or two coats of paint should be sufficient for most applications. However, if you are painting a brighter or darker colour than the original, you may need an extra coat to achieve full coverage.

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It is important to note that the drying time between coats is also a factor to consider. It is recommended to wait at least 24 hours between coats to ensure that the previous coat is fully dry and cured before applying the next one. Rushing the process can result in uneven coverage and a less durable finish. Additionally, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific paint and primer you are using, as they may have different recommendations for the number of coats and drying time.

How Long Does It Take for the Paint to Dry on Plastic Exterior Shutters?

The drying time of paint on plastic exterior shutters depends on several factors, including the type of paint, the temperature and humidity of your working area, and the thickness of each coat. Typically, it can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours for the paint to dry to the touch. However, it is important to wait for the paint to cure fully before handling or reinstalling your shutters, which can take up to 24-48 hours or more.

How to Care for and Maintain Your Newly Painted Plastic Exterior Shutters

Caring for your newly painted plastic exterior shutters is easy and will help them look their best for years to come. Here are some tips:

  • Wipe them clean with a damp cloth or sponge periodically to remove dirt and grime
  • Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads that may scratch or damage the surface
  • Inspect them regularly for signs of wear or damage, and touch up any areas that need it
  • Store them in a dry and cool place if you need to remove them temporarily

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Painting Plastic Exterior Shutters

To ensure a successful and satisfying outcome when painting your plastic exterior shutters, avoid these common mistakes:

  • Using regular paint instead of paint specifically formulated for plastic surfaces
  • Skipping the preparation process, such as cleaning and sanding
  • Not using enough primer, or using too much paint at once
  • Painting in humid or dusty conditions that may affect adhesion and drying
  • Touching or reinstalling your shutters before they are fully cured

By following these guidelines and taking your time, you can paint your plastic exterior shutters like a pro and achieve a beautiful and long-lasting finish that will enhance the beauty and value of your home.

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