Staining Vinyl Shutters A New Color

How to update faded vinyl shutters with stain #tutorial featured on Remodelaholic

It was bugging me. The shutters….every time I passed the house I would look up…why…why don’t you match your door (that is me…talking in my head…to my house…moving on…) I thought it was something I would just have to grow to love…or wait to replace. Until I found out the goodness that is Gel Stain. Let me give you a little background…

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 Staining Vinyl Shutters

This was the front of our house about a year ago…(sorry for fuzzy pic…only one I could find…) We had a single door with glass sidelights. The door was ivory and the shutters were beige. Nice but not all that special….

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So we decided to replace the single door with some gorgeous double doors with loads of light….I love these doors…

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The doors are a faux wood (vinyl wrapped) insulated door. It is made by Pella. It is the only full light door on the market that fit the opening we were left with after the sidelights and door were removed. My painter friend told me he would be able to stain the new door with a product called Gel stain (made by Minwax). Ok…I said…lets give it a try. Since I had never used this product before I left it to a professional. I watched him apply it…using very little gel stain…and wiping it off immediately leaving some of the faux wood grain to show. It came out perfect. No need to seal with poly…it is built right in. Most folks think these doors are solid wood….the finish is very convincing.

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  So now we were left with this fabulous front door…and shutters that looked a bit blahhhhhh….Until I had another conversation with my painter..

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  “hey…since my shutters are similar material on the outside…do you think we could Gel Stain those to match??” Heck yeah! So the same process on the shutters began. We did have to wait several months because of the weather. You need a couple rain free/frost free days for this Gel Stain to dry properly. Once it is on….it is on…not easily fixed. You need to work fairly quickly too. Brush on half of shutter….wipe off…leaving a bit of a wet edge so you don’t get streaks and lines.

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  We love the updated look!! By the way….we only used about 1/4 of a quart for all these shutters and the door. You don’t need to use a lot of it to get the desired results:) An inexpensive upgrade on the cheap!

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I hope you can come visit me at! I am always sharing clever things on a budget 🙂

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Website | + posts

Cassity Kmetzsch started Remodelaholic after graduating from Utah State University with a degree in Interior Design. Remodelaholic is the place to share her love for knocking out walls, and building everything back up again to not only add function but beauty to her home. Together with her husband Justin, they have remodeled 6 homes and are working on a seventh. She is a mother of four amazing girls. Making a house a home is her favorite hobby.

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  1. Love the updated shutters! They look great. I have to say, IMO, I don’t like doors like that on the front of the house. I feel they are back patio doors. Do love the color on them too!

  2. Oh, I am so excited to see this! Our new house has very blah shutters as well and I have been wondering how best to perk them up without a lot of maintenance. Thanks for sharing!

  3. How is the gel stain holding up on the exposed door and shutters? I have a similar door with no protection from the elements and it’s taking a beating.

    1. Hi Kristine,
      This is a guest post, so you’ll have to click over to Cleverly Inspired (linked in the post) and ask there. 🙂

  4. I love the doors. Can you give me an estimate on how much they run? You can privately email me.

  5. You had the shutters stained in 2013, it is now 2017, how is the color holding up? I plan to have my shutters done in about a month and was curious if you experienced any fading, peeling, etc. Of course it depends on how much sun you get too. I live in VA and my house gets hit with both east (front of house) and west sun (rear). Thanks.