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Spring Cleaning Tips for Exterior Shutters

Mother Nature’s bugs, birds and weather can take a toll on the façade & exterior appointments on your home. The resulting unkempt look can diminish that good old home feeling. But, if you have shutters, there is something you can do about it. “Exposure to the elements is going to cause the exterior shutters to take a beating,” says Chris Peeples, president and founder of Vixen Hill. “Our shutters are made from the finest cedar wood to withstand years of weather abuse, but maintaining them properly will ensure they last even longer,” says Peeples.

Cleaning Enhances Curb Appeal and Lengthens Life of Shutter
Cleaning Enhances Curb Appeal and Lengthens Life of Shutter

Regular maintenance and upkeep are necessary to keep the shutters looking their best. “Leaves, nests, cobwebs and dirt accumulate on shutters can destroy the overall look of a house,” says Peeples. To refresh the look of the exterior shutters, the experts at Vixen Hill recommend cleaning the shutters every two to five years depending on exposure. If the shutters are easily accessible, this can easily be done without removing them.

Here are some cleaning tips:

  1. If the shutters need repair or are not easily accessible, remove them from the house. For difficult locations, this can sometimes be done from inside.
  2. Use a soft bristle brush and warm soapy water to scrub off accumulated debris on both sides of the shutter. Next, rinse them with a garden hose. If you use a pressure washer, take care that the pressure is not so high that it removes the paint.
  3. Only use water and a small amount of soap to clean the shutters.  Don’t use any harsh cleaning agents because they may affect the paint color.
  4. Allow the shutters to dry on both sides before restoring them to their open position.

“Cleaning the shutters regularly will help maintain their appearance, increase longevity, and  improve curb appeal,” Peeples adds.

Customers interested in changing the color of their shutters can easily have Vixen Hill do the work, but for those who are confident enough to repaint them at home, Vixen Hill offers the following guidelines when repainting or staining:

To repaint shutters:

  • After cleaning and thoroughly drying the shutters, a new top coat can be applied by brush or spraying. Two coats are generally required when applying a different color. Always allow the first coat to dry for twice the recommended drying time to prevent solvent out-gassing, the major cause of bubbling.
  • Spray painting is easier than brushing and doesn’t lease brush marks.
  • Allow fresh air circulation, preferably outdoors for best results.
  • Lightly sand any rough areas between coats with 200-grit sandpaper.

To re-stain shutters:

  • Use solid stain and apply with a sprayer or construct a bathing frame using 2 x 4  and a sheet of plastic.
  • Smooth and wipe off excess within 30 minutes after each application.


  • Touch-up “reveal” lines after 6 months
  • All coatings should be thoroughly mixed because binding and drying agents can settle to the bottom of the container, especially when using five-gallon cans.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m wanting to install some exterior shutters for our house this month and I can’t decide on what kind to get. Thanks for the tips about using a soft bristle brush to clean off the shutters. I want to make sure I can clean them the right way and have them last longer.

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