Painting Wood Shutters

A Few Tips on How to Paint Wood Shutters

By Mark J. Donovan

If you have a home that has wood shutters, then you will most likely need to paint them when painting your home. The best way to paint wood shutters is to remove them from the house and paint them on the ground. In the end you will save time and obtain a better finished product, than trying to paint them while they are still fastened to the house.

Cleaning Wood Shutters Prior to Painting

Recently I had to paint wood shutters. The first thing I did after taking them down was lay them out on my driveway and clean them with a pressure washer.

I used a house siding detergent and power washed all six sides of each wood shutter.

Creating a Painting Work Station

After allowing the wood shutters to fully dry out, I then created a mini painting factory in my garage. I first laid out drop clothes over the garage floor. I then placed two large work horses in one bay of the garage for actually painting the wood shutters. Finally I stretched out an old ladder in the other garage bay to lay painted shutters on to dry.

Painting the Wood Shutters

It is important to make sure when painting wood shutters to paint all 6 sides of the shutters to prevent water from penetrating into the back of the non-exposed sides.

For paint, I used an exterior water based paint that included an additive to prevent mildew. For a paint brush, I used a 2.5” angular Purdy paint brush.

To actually paint the shutters, I started out by first painting around the top and bottom rails, followed by the divider rail and then the side stiles.

I then moved on to painting the fixed louvers. I found it to be quicker to start at the top of the shutter louvers and work downwards with the paint brush. I initially focused on applying paint to the main surface area of all the louvers. I then went back and inserted the paint brush in-between each space between adjacent louvers. This way I was able to use some of the paint on the main surface area of each louver to help supply paint to the corners of the specific louver and stile edges.

Painting wood shutters Painted Wood Shutters


I then applied paint to the sides of the wood shutter and placed the shutter on my ladder to dry.

After painting all of the wood shutters and allowing them to fully dry, I went back and painted the back sides of the shutters in the same way.

Once I completed painting the house clapboards I re-hung the wood shutters. The result was a much faster and more professional paint job. If I had left the shutters on the house to paint, I would have certainly spent an inordinate amount of time cutting around each shutter and inevitably doing a poor job.

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