Bright blue shutters provide a strong colored background for painted flowers.

How to Paint Flowers on Wooden Shutters

by Christina Ash

Whether you choose garden blooms to match those in your window box or exotic foliage to evoke warm climates, flowers painted on your wooden shutters are a no-maintenance way to have the year-round look of flora. Even older shutters can be prepared and primed to provide a suitable background for your floral work of art.


If your shutters aren't in the best shape, you'll need to prepare them by removing the old paint and giving them a new coat of paint. After taking the shutters off the house, clean them thoroughly with a stiff brush or putty knife to remove all the old paint. Sand the shutters smooth using medium grit sandpaper, wash them with soap and water and let them dry. Spray a coat of latex or acrylic exterior primer on the surfaces, letting them dry completely. Brush or spray two coats of your base color acrylic paint on the shutters, letting the paint dry between coats.


If you’re confident in your drawing ability, draw your flowers freehand onto the shutters, using a dark pencil. Otherwise, use purchased stencils or make your own by tracing flower pictures onto freezer paper and cutting out the design. Tape the stencil to the shutters using masking tape and use a dark pencil to follow the outlines. Combine flowers and foliage from different stencils to create your unique design. Consider including small woodland creatures or fairies and pixies to thrill your kids. Step back from the shutters and look at your design in its entirety to ensure that it covers enough of the shutters, both in width and in height.


Choose a selection of acrylic paints to paint your flowers, sticking to a realistic color scheme or opting for a fantasy flower garden in unnatural colors. Acrylic craft paints in strong colors are suitable for this project as you'll be sealing the shutters, or buy a selection of small sample pots of wall paint from your local DIY store. Use a selection of brushes suitable for the sizes of areas you're painting, and apply the paint in thin coats, letting the paint dry in between applications. Work with one color at a time, and let it dry before painting the adjoining segment a different color. Acrylic paint dries fast, so you won't have to wait long. Build up your design by layering and blending different colors on top of each other, using dark shades of your colors as shadows and lighter ones as hints of sunlight.


When everything is painted, let the shutters dry overnight and then brush on a clear, water-based polyurethane varnish. Let the varnish dry and cure for at least 6 hours or as directed on the can, and then rehang the shutters.

About the Author

Christina Ash has been writing since 1982, throughout her career as a computer consultant, anthropologist and small-business owner. She has published work in various business, technology, academia and popular books and journals. Ash has degrees in computer science, anthropology and science and technology studies from universities in England, Canada and the United States.

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