How to Brighten the Color of Fading Exterior Shutters

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Things You'll Need

  • Scrub brush

  • Pail

  • Dish detergent

  • Bleach

  • OxiClean

  • Garden hose with spray nozzle

  • Vinyl scouring pad

  • De-greasing agent

  • Vinyl rejuvenating product such as Vinyl Renu or Shutter Renu, or Vivilon Envirolon

  • Product applicator (as advised by manufacturer)

Keeping your shutters in good condition enhances the appearance of your home.

The usual solution for brightening shutters that have faded from exposure to sun and weather is to take them down and paint them. If your shutters are vinyl, however, painting may require standard surface preparation such as sanding and priming, as well as expensive paints formulated for plastic since most paints will not adhere properly to plastic surfaces. Even wooden shutters must be taken down and old, flaking paint removed before repainting. If you prefer a less expensive and less tedious solution, try re-coating your shutters with a rejuvenating product designed to restore plastic and paint finishes without the mess and expense of painting.


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Step 1

Scrub the shutters with a scrub brush and a pail of ordinary dish detergent in warm water. If the shutters show signs of mold or mildew, add up to 1 part household bleach to 5 parts of warm water to aid in their removal.

Step 2

Use Oxiclean or other oxide remover containing sodium percarbonate as an alternative to the first step if your shutters exhibit a white or chalky appearance. Deoxidizers remove the chalky deposits and get rid of mold and mildew at the same time.


Step 3

Close your windows tightly, then rinse the shutters well with a fine spray from a garden hose equipped with a spray nozzle until there is no trace of soap left.

Step 4

Remove built-up dirt or soot with a vinyl scouring pad and a commercial de-greasing agent, or a mild solution of household ammonia in water if necessary, then rinse again.


Step 5

Allow the shutters to dry completely.

Step 6

Apply a vinyl rejuvenating solution such as Vinyl Renu or Shutter Renu, Vivilon Envirolon or a similar product, using a paint sprayer or paintbrush as directed by the manufacturer in the product's instructions.


Please note that with some products, additional pre-application surface preparation may be necessary. Read all labels before purchasing or applying vinyl rejuvenating products.


Never mix bleach and ammonia! If you use these products, always rinse one solution off completely with clear water before using the other. Mixing bleach with ammonia creates toxic fumes that may be fatal.