DIY - Painting Shutters

For the past year, our shutters have needed attention.  I'm sure my neighbors were thinking, "We were wondering if you noticed!"  I definitely did - but, as we all know, life just seems to get in the way and the shutters never made it to the list.  Back in November I thought, it's now or never for this year.  So, we got busy.  
When we moved into this house, the shutters were stained, but in need of a refinish.  We hired a guy to do this for us.  It was expensive and took two weeks.  So, this time, I decided we just needed to paint them (the doors were still in great shape, so we just focused on the shutters).  
Since this was going to be a "quick" DIY job, I managed to talk my husband into helping me.  It was really not a difficult job.  In fact, Chris at Sherwin Williams in Homewood, gave me everything we needed and a lesson on how to do it.  

But, quick it was not.  We painted the entire weekend and still did not finish.  We took a break and finished up the following Saturday.  I know we saved some money, but my question is how valuable is your weekend time with your family?  I'm glad we did it, but not sure I would take it on again any time soon!  

For those who think it's worth your time, here's how we did it.

Step 1
Sand any loose chipping paint from the shutters and wipe them down with a clean damp cloth.
Step 2
Tape off the area to prepare for painting.  This step was crucial for us.  In fact, with the first swipe of my brush, it was all over the tape and I thought, "Wow . . . totally worth the extra time."
Step 3
Apply one coat of the proper primer (ask your paint specialist what you'll need).  Since our shutters were previously stained and varnished, we had to start with a primer that sealed them and allowed you to then go back over them with a latex paint.   
This stuff was as thick as fudge sauce and my arm was killing me when we finished.  But, an ibuprofen and glass of wine later, I was fine!
Step 4
Apply your paint color of choice.  Since the primer we had to use could not be tinted the same color as the paint, it took two coats to do the job.  

I really think we needed three, but realized the second Saturday that I would not be squeezing another coat out of the man, so I'm good with two!  Let's just pretend the pumpkins are not in the picture.  K? (After we finished this job, I got so busy with client projects that I did not have time to draft a post about it - thus the pumpkins in the picture.)  But you get the idea!  

I have a few DIY projects on the list for 2012 and will share them with you in the near future.  What about you?  What do you have on the list this year? M.


  1. Hey- I took your advice and bought those Real Simple hangers from BBB and redid my closet. I really wanted a custom closet, but after using those hangers, I am totally happy with it now! I will probably get my husband to do wooden shelves in the far future, but for now it is awesome! Thanks for the great idea:) Kimberly (Sarah's sis-in-law)

  2. Wow, I don't think I'd be brave enough to take that on, but you did a perfect job and it looks amazing!

  3. That's a perfect tutorial, very helpful when we feel that we can't handle this by ourselves!

  4. Wow, that looks great. It's like a facelift for your lovely home.

  5. good job! I have absolutely found myself in that situation, "oh, I can just do it" .....hours/days later I find my self saying..."is this worth it?" But it is, it's good to be able to figure out how to do these things; to be able to dig in and manage these details and to have that sense of accomplishment {every once in awhile}!


Thank you for thoughts on my post! M.