Painting is an easy way of refreshing the look and appearance of vinyl shutters and other fixtures around the home. It is also a great way of getting shutters to match the general decor of a room. Therefore, if you already own vinyl shutters, you may be asking yourself whether it is okay to paint over them.
Yes, it is okay to paint over vinyl shutters. With the right paint, surface preparation, and painting techniques, you can refresh the look of vinyl shutters without having to replace them. And since painting creates an additional protective layer over your shutters, it is also an easy way of enhancing their lifespan.
Here is what you should know about painting vinyl shutters.
When painting vinyl shutters, you should use acrylic-based paints. These paints expand and contract comfortably with the vinyl surface. They are also the best in terms of the ability to stick to vinyl surfaces. Therefore, using them will give you a long-lasting and great-looking paint finish. And if you have urethane-modified paint, it too will work.
However, you should stay away from oil-based or latex paints as they do not bond well with vinyl surfaces. As a result, they tend to chip and crack prematurely.
How do I prepare the vinyl service to paint?
To prepare the vinyl surface for painting, you will need to get rid of any dust, dirt, or debris that is on the vinyl surface. This is because dirt and pieces of debris normally come in between the vinyl and the paint, and this typically leads to paintwork that chips or cracks prematurely. There is also the fact that the presence of debris on the vinyl surface leads to ugly bumps that may compromise the look and feel of the vinyl.
Cleaning vinyl shutters with soapy water and a soft piece of clothing is usually enough to clean the vinyl surface. And after you are done, making sure that you rinse it with fresh water, and then letting it dry, before applying any paint will lead to a longer-lasting paint finish.
While priming is not mandatory, it can enhance the painting results that you get. This is because using a good latex primer will even out the vinyl surface. It will also enhance the bonds between the paint and the shutters. Both of these things will lead to paintwork that is long-lasting and which looks great.
Do I need to remove the vinyl shutters before painting?
No, you don’t need to remove the vinyl shutters before painting. You can still get great painting results without having to go through the trouble of uninstalling, and thereafter re-installing, the shutters. The only thing that you have to worry about is getting paint on the siding, windows, and other fixtures around the shutters. In such cases, using masking tape and thin sheets of plastic to cover these areas in order to protect them, is advisable.
However, removing the shutters is advisable in most cases mainly because it will make your work easier. This is so especially if your shutters are located in such a way that you have to use a ladder in order to reach them, or if you don’t want to take the extra steps of covering everything near the shutters.
It will allow you to get through the job faster. It will also increase the odds of ending up with high-quality work since you will be more comfortable reaching every section of the shutters when they are removed.
Should I use a brush or spray to paint vinyl shutters?
Spray painting is recommended for vinyl shutters. This is so mainly because it allows for thinner coats, which are great when it comes to painting vinyl surfaces. Furthermore, with a spray, you will get a much smoother finish since you won’t have to worry about dealing with brush marks.
Generally, using a spray will allow you to get through your work faster. It will also minimize the risks of ending up with skipped spots, and thus increasing your odds of ending up with high-quality paintwork.
However, this does not mean that a paintbrush cannot get the job done. It may take longer, and it may also involve more work, but you can still get great results. Using a brush may in fact be preferable if you want to minimize the risk of spraying or splashing paint on siding, glass, or other fixtures that are next to the shutters.
What kind of paint sticks to vinyl?
High-quality acrylic-based paints are usually recommended for vinyl painting since they are the best as far as sticking to vinyl is concerned. Paints that contain a mixture of acrylic resins and urethane are also good at sticking to vinyl surfaces. Unlike oil-based paints, these paints do not chip or crack easily when applied on vinyl because they expand and contract appropriately, relative to the vinyl.
Is it better to replace or paint shutters?
As a homeowner, as soon as your vinyl shutters start to fade, you will be faced with the question of whether to replace them or to simply refresh their look by painting them. To arrive at the right answer, you will have to consider the cost of each option, the warranty of the shutters, and the extent of their wear and tear.
In the short term, painting vinyl shutters make the most sense since it is a cheaper option. This is so mainly because these shutters typically cost between $50 and $100 and replacing them soon after purchasing them will not be financially prudent.
Furthermore, vinyl shutters are typically durable. The degree of damage that they can suffer in the short term is rarely enough to warrant a full replacement. Since the degree of wear is likely to be minimal, you can easily restore the aesthetic appeal of your shutters by painting them.
However, it is important to note that some vinyl shutters come with warranties that prohibit painting. In such cases, if the shutters are worn out, and if the specific damage is covered under the warranty, replacing the shutters may be financially prudent.
Over time, vinyl shutters can become significantly warped. They can also warp and become structurally compromised. In such cases, no amount of paint can restore their aesthetic appeal.
Furthermore, since you will have already gotten enough value over the lifespan of the shutters, replacing them may not be as financially taxing. This is so especially when you spread the cost of purchasing the shutters over their lifespan.
If you have already gotten a good number of years from your vinyl shutters, and if they are already showing signs of significant warping and cracking, replacing them is a good idea. At that point, trying to restore them through painting will be more trouble than it is worth.
Vinyl shutters cost between $80 to $300 per window, depending on the style and size of the window. When you add the cost of expert installation and installation hardware, in addition to considering the fact that the average home has multiple windows, completely replacing vinyl shutters in a home can get very expensive.
It only makes sense to completely replace them if you can spread these costs over an extended period of time. Therefore, in the short term, painting vinyl shutters are the most prudent option. However, in the long-term, the cost of replacing the shutters can be justified especially when aesthetic considerations are taken into account.
Painting is a cheaper option. This is because you can do the spray painting yourself. You can also rent the spray gun from a local store for as low as $50. And considering that the cost of materials used in painting a shutter can be less than$20, painting is an ideal short-term solution that is incredibly cost-effective.
Should I use satin or gloss for painting vinyl shutters?
You should use gloss for painting vinyl shutters mainly because they are easier to wipe down and maintain. They tend to be more durable than satin finishes and are thus ideal for use on vinyl window shutters.
What about semi-gloss or flat?
Semi-gloss finishes are better for vinyl shutters. They are more resistant to staining, and they generally have a better aesthetic appeal.
How long does paint vinyl shutters last?
Vinyl shutters are long-lasting and typically last for up to 25 years. When you give a vinyl shutter a fresh coat of paint, the paint can last up to 5 years, and it will still look great provided you use a combination of the right paint and primer.