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

Are your wooden shutters looking outdated or faded? Painting them can instantly transform the look of your home. But what kind of paint and primer should you use?

When painting wooden shutters, oil-based paint is the best option. Not only does an oil-based paint provide a durable, scratch-resistant finish, but it also prevents warping and cracking caused by temperature changes. Used with an oil-based primer, the finish will last for years.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The 4 factors to consider when choosing paint for wooden shutters
  • What type of paint to use
  • What finish is best
  • My top picks for the best paint and primer for wooden shutters

The 4 Factors to Consider When Choosing Paint for Wooden Shutters

1. Quality of Paint

The paint’s quality will determine its durability and longevity. You want to choose a paint that will protect the wood from weather elements such as rain, UV rays, and extreme temperatures.

High-quality paint also provides a smooth and even finish, which is important for wooden shutters. Consider using paints that are designed for exterior use.

2. Type of Wood

Different types of wood require different types of paint. Wood prone to tannin stains, such as cedar or redwood, requires special primers. For example, redwood requires an oil-based primer to help the paint adhere to the surface.

Some types of wood require special treatments before painting to ensure that the paint adheres and resists moisture and pests. Always check with the paint manufacturer for recommendations on specific types of wood.

3. Climate Conditions

Another factor to consider when choosing paint for your wooden shutters is the climate conditions in your area. If you live in an area with high humidity or frequent rain, your wooden shutters are susceptible to rot and decay. To prevent this, select a paint that is waterproof.

If you reside in a location characterized by intense sunlight or harsh winters, it might be necessary to opt for paint that exhibits excellent UV resistance and can withstand temperature fluctuations without experiencing cracks or peeling.

4. Application 

Finally, consider how you plan to apply the paint to your shutters. Some homeowners prefer a brush, while others use a spray gun. The application method can affect the coverage and durability of the paint.

The type of brush or spray gun you use can also affect the final result. Make sure to research the best application methods for your chosen paint to ensure that you get the best result possible.

What Type of Paint Is Best?

Oil-based Paint

Oil-based paint is a type of paint that uses oil as a binding agent. It is commonly used for painting wooden shutters due to its durability and resistance to moisture.


  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Resistant to moisture, making it ideal for outdoor applications
  • Provides a smooth and flawless finish
  • Requires fewer coats than water-based paint
  • Offers good adhesion to wood surfaces
  • Provides better flexibility and scratch resistance compared to other types of paint


  • Long drying time, which can range from 8 to 24 hours
  • Emits strong fumes during application
  • Requires solvents or other chemicals for cleanup
  • Can turn yellow over time, especially when exposed to sunlight
  • Hard to remove once applied

Exterior Latex Paint

Exterior latex paint is a type of water-based paint specifically designed for outdoor use. It is commonly used on wooden shutters, providing protection against the elements and an aesthetically pleasing finish.


  • Easy to clean up with soap and water
  • Dries quickly
  • Does not emit strong odors or fumes
  • Resistant to cracking, peeling, and fading
  • Can be applied to a variety of surfaces


  • Not as durable as oil-based paints
  • May require more coats for adequate coverage
  • Can be prone to chalking over time if exposed to direct sunlight
  • May not adhere well to certain surfaces without proper preparation

What Paint Finish Is Best?

Gloss is usually the ideal choice for painting wooden shutters. It provides a sleek and smooth appearance and is also the most durable option for wooden shutters. This type of finish can resist scratches, scuffs, and other wear and tear common in everyday use.

A gloss paint finish also protects the wood, providing an extra defense against moisture, insects, and rot. This means that opting for a gloss finish can ultimately extend the lifespan of your wooden shutters.

However, it is important to note that glossy finishes are also more prone to showing imperfections, such as bumps, dents, or uneven textures.

The Best Paint and Primer for Wooden Shutters

Best Paint

Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover is the ultimate choice for painting wooden shutters. This premium general-purpose spray paint’s breakthrough Double Cover Technology provides unmatched coverage, making your painting project twice as fast with two times the coverage.

This incredible technology ensures you achieve coverage with just one spray, saving you time and effort. Its indoor and outdoor durability lets you rest assured that your shutters will last with a smooth gloss finish in a wide selection of on-trend colors. 

Applying this paint to your wooden shutters is a breeze, thanks to its any-angle spray system allowing you to easily cover those hard-to-reach areas.

Its comfort spray tip helps eliminate finger fatigue while completing larger projects, ensuring that you achieve a flawless finish.

Moreover, Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch 2X Ultra Cover is fast drying, allowing you to complete your project quickly and efficiently. This feature is particularly crucial when you need to paint wooden shutters, which can take longer to dry than other materials.

Best Primer

Zinsser Cover-Stain Oil-Based Primer is the best primer for wooden shutters. Its primer-sealer formula is a favorite among professionals, providing ultimate hiding power for interior and exterior surfaces.

This oil-based primer-sealer is highly effective in blocking stains, hiding dark colors, preventing tannin bleed, and sealing exterior wood.

When it comes to wooden shutters, this primer-sealer is unrivaled. It blocks cedar and redwood bleed, seals water, smoke, and nicotine stains, and dries in just one hour.

What’s more, it sticks to all surfaces without sanding, saving time and ensuring that the shutters are perfectly coated with no bumps or uneven surfaces.

Zinsser Cover-Stain Oil-Based Primer is also highly durable and long-lasting, making it the best choice for wooden shutters that need to withstand the harsh elements of the outdoors.

Its excellent adhesion properties ensure the paint adheres to the surface properly and does not crack or peel off, making it the best primer for wooden shutters.

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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