How To Paint Shutters Using an Airless Sprayer

Project Overview

Painting shutters with a handheld sprayer

Shutters are a great decorative way to highlight your home’s windows, but if they’re allowed to fade, they lose their curb appeal. Keep your shutters looking their best – and preserve and protect them from sun and weather damage – by staining or painting them.

Printer-friendly PDF

Safety Notice: Whenever operating spray equipment, take proper safety precautions, stay alert, and be mindful of potential hazards. Wear protective gear such as gloves, safety glasses/goggles, spray sock (hood), hat, proper footwear, dust masks and respirators. Make sure there is adequate ventilation. If you’re painting in the vicinity of appliances, turn them off. (See Safety Precautions in your Sprayer Operation Manual.) Always refer to the specific instructions and safety procedures for the spray equipment you are using.


Suggested Tools & Equipment

  • Graco, Magnum, or TrueCoat Paint Sprayer (see comparison chart or sprayer selector)
  • Paint/Stain
  • Spray tips – a wider spray pattern for large surfaces and narrow size for smaller surfaces (see tip selector)
  • Empty buckets for priming sprayer and cleanup (two needed)
  • Stir sticks
  • Paint strainer bag – helps prevent tip plugs and provides a better finish
  • Tarps, drop cloths, or plastic sheeting
  • Masking tape
  • Paint brush for touch-ups
  • Magnum tip extension/TrueCoat tip extension (optional) – for hard-to-reach areas that would otherwise require a ladder
  • Spray shield
  • Pump Armor storage fluid or TSL fluid (see pump protectant product details)
  • Pair of sawhorses
  • Scrubbing sponge and extra cleaning rags
  • Stiff nylon brushes for cleanup
  • Safety and protection equipment – safety glasses/goggles, dust mask/respirator, spray sock or hat to cover head

Getting Started/Prep

  1. Remove the shutters from the house. Some types are attached with special plastic push-to-hold fasteners that cannot easily be pulled out without damaging them. For those types of shutters, be prepared to buy replacement fasteners from your local home improvement center. Be particularly careful (especially when working on a ladder), as wasps and spiders like to make their homes behind shutters.

  2. Choose an open area away from other structures as your workspace. Protect the grass or pavement in that area with drop cloths, and because overspray can travel on the wind, cover any nearby shrubs or surfaces with plastic.

  3. Lay the shutters across a pair of sawhorses set atop the drop cloths; then use a scrubbing sponge and a cleaning agent (or a pressure washer outfitted with its low-power washing nozzle) to wash off any loose paint, dirt or animal/insect debris. Rinse thoroughly and allow the surface to dry.


Spraying

  1. Select the spray tip that’s best suited for the paint or stain you are using and the surface to be sprayed. For thinner material such as stain, a tip with a narrower 8-inch-wide spray pattern and a .013 hole size will give you the best control. Be sure the tip’s hole size does not exceed the maximum capacity of your sprayer (see spray tip info).

  2. If you’re using paint from multiple containers, mix it together in an empty 5-gallon container to ensure consistent color even if small color differences exist between individual paint cans. When spraying lighter materials like stains, select the lowest pressure setting that enables you to maintain a good spray pattern. Lower pressure settings will give you better control and a finer finish.

  3. Start by spraying the outer faces of the shutter’s edges; then spray the rest of the shutter. Work from the top down, keeping the spray tip approximately 12 inches from the shutter’s surface. Spray individual repeated passes until you’ve covered the entire shutter, overlapping each pass by 50%. In the case of louvered shutters, make sure to spray into each louver space, and don’t forget to spray any exposed hardware that needs to match the color of the shutter.

Visit How to Use a Paint Sprayer: Spray Techniques for more spraying pointers.


Clean-up

  1. Allow significant time for the paint or stain to dry; then remove all coverings from shrubs, bushes, plants and surfaces.

  2. Remount the shutters on the exterior walls.

  3. Clean your airless paint sprayer after each use. Follow the directions in your user’s manual for Power Flush cleaning with water based materials or use the bucket method of cleaning if applicable. For more information, see Power Flush Video or refer to your Sprayer Operation Manual.