What Kind of Paint and Primer Is Best for Aluminum Shutters?

Aluminum shutters’ rising popularity is attributed to their durability and resistance to harsh weather conditions. To maintain their appearance and performance, proper painting and priming are crucial, just like any other exterior component of your home.

Enamel paint is the best choice for painting aluminum shutters. This paint will protect your shutters from fading in the sun and other elements. A primer specifically designed for use on aluminum is also recommended, as it will give the paint a better bond and help protect against corrosion.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 3 factors to consider when choosing paint for aluminum shutters
  • What type of paint to use
  • What paint finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for aluminum shutters

The 3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Aluminum Shutters

1. Environment

The first factor to consider when choosing paint for your aluminum shutters is the environment in which they will be installed.

If your shutters are exposed to harsh weather conditions such as hot sun or salty ocean air, you’ll want to choose a paint that can withstand the elements.

Look for high-quality paint with UV resistance and anti-corrosion properties to protect against these environmental factors.

2. Application

Before selecting paint for aluminum shutters, consider the application method. Some paints may require more layers than others, while others are self-priming, so they do not require a separate primer coat.

Choose paints that are easy to apply and are compatible with your preferred application method.

3. Quality

Another important factor to consider when choosing paint for your aluminum shutters is the quality of the paint. High-quality paint will last longer, resist fading, and protect your shutters from damage.

While it may be tempting to choose a cheaper option, investing in high-quality paint will save you money in the long run by preventing premature wear and tear.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Water-based Paint

Water-based paint, or latex or acrylic paint, is a type of paint where the binder and carrier are primarily water. Exterior-grade water-based paint is a great choice for aluminum shutters as it is highly durable.


  • Low VOCs: Water-based paints have fewer volatile organic compounds (VOCs), making them better for the environment and healthier to use.
  • Quick Drying: They dry quickly, allowing for faster project completion.
  • Easy Clean-up: Clean-up is easier with water-based paints, requiring only soap and water.
  • Less Flammable: These paints are less flammable, making them safer to use in confined spaces.
  • Resistant to Cracking: Water-based paints are more elastic, making them less likely to crack over time.
  • Mildew Resistant: Some water-based paints are resistant to mildew, which is ideal for exterior applications like shutters.


  • May Require Multiple Coats: Water-based paints may require more coats for full coverage.
  • Durability: They aren’t as durable as oil-based paints.
  • Surface Preparation: Aluminum surfaces must often be properly prepared with a primer for water-based paint to adhere properly.

Oil-based Paint (Enamel)

Oil-based paint, or enamel, is made with an oil binder and solvent. It is typically used for high-traffic or exterior surfaces like aluminum shutters because of its hard finish and long-lasting durability.


  • Durability: Oil-based paints are incredibly durable and can withstand weather and heavy wear and tear.
  • High Gloss Finish: These paints provide a high gloss finish, making them ideal for aluminum shutters exposed to the elements.
  • Adhesion: Oil-based paints have excellent adhesion properties, so they can stick to any surface without needing a primer or undercoat.


  • Slow Drying: Oil-based paints take longer to dry than water-based paints, making it a time-consuming option.
  • Flammable: These paints are very flammable and should only be used in well-ventilated areas.
  • Clean-up: Solvents like turpentine and mineral spirits are required for clean-up, which can be hazardous if not disposed of properly.

What Paint Finish Is Best?

The three most common paint finishes are gloss, semi-gloss, and satin. A gloss finish is the most reflective and durable option. However, it may not be the best choice for aluminum shutters as they can be too shiny and create a glare.

Additionally, glossy finishes highlight imperfections in the surface, making any scratches or dents more visible.

On the other hand, semi-gloss is a slightly less reflective option that still provides durability. Semi-gloss is a great choice for aluminum shutters as it does not create a strong glare like gloss finishes and is more forgiving of surface imperfections.

A satin finish is the most subdued of the three options and perhaps the best choice for aluminum shutters if a more low-key look is desired. This finish is still durable but has a subtle sheen that adds visual interest without being too prominent.

The Best Paint and Primer for Aluminum Shutters

Best Paint

Rust-Oleum Stops Rust Enamel Spray is the best paint for aluminum shutters. Its formula provides long-lasting protection against rust, abrasion, fading, chipping, and dulling.

With this product, you can be sure your aluminum shutters will remain in great condition, even after exposure to harsh weather conditions and frequent use.

Its exceptional coverage and drying time set it apart from other paints. The spray applies evenly and smoothly, leaving no streaks or blotches on the surface.

Moreover, it dries rapidly to a tough and attractive finish that will enhance the appearance of your shutters.

Using it is also a breeze, thanks to its comfort tip and any-angle tip. The comfort tip features a wider finger pad that reduces hand fatigue when spraying for extended periods.

The any-angle tip allows you to spray from any direction, making accessing every nook and cranny on your aluminum shutters easy.

Best Primer

Rust-Oleum Professional Aluminum Primer Spray is the pinnacle of aluminum primers and the best primer for aluminum shutters.

Its durability and corrosion resistance ensures that your shutters will stay immaculate for years, regardless of whether they are used indoors or outdoors.

This professional-grade primer features a spray-on application that ensures a tight-binding top coat surface. This eliminates the peeling, blistering, and flaking issues that can plague other primers and lead to unsightly and costly touch-ups.

One significant advantage of Rust-Oleum Professional Aluminum Primer is its ability to add twice the protection to your aluminum shutters.

This means that not only will your shutters look better longer, but they’ll also withstand the elements and environmental factors. This dual protection makes it a powerful choice and ensures your investment will not go to waste.

Joshua Milton

Joshua Milton is a passionate DIY and home improvement enthusiast. With his expertise in various projects, he provides practical tips, step-by-step guides, and creative ideas for transforming your living space.

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