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How to Remove Chalking From Vinyl Shutters

Jay P. Whickson

Even though vinyl is supposed to be maintenance free, after years of service, the surface area does break down and you see chalking on both siding and vinyl shutters. If your home is white, the chalking isn't as noticeable, but it's normally obvious on the colored shutters that decorate your home.

The chalking not only dulls the shutters, it destroys the curb appeal of the home. If you want to remove chalking from vinyl shutters, there is an option available to restore the shutters to their initial beauty.

  1. Clean the vinyl shutters thoroughly. You need to remove any mold, mildew or other algae types of growth on the shutters. Even though you have chalking, you might also have other growths that interfere with the treatment of the shutters for the chalking. You treat the shutters with a cleansing of sodium percarbonate, like Oxyclean, to prevent the mold and mildew from returning.

  2. Scrub the vinyl shutters with a degreaser. Use a scrub brush and degreaser/cleanser on the shutters. Make sure you thoroughly rinse them and don't allow any of the solution with the degreaser in it to simply dry on the shutters.

  3. Soak any tree sap on the shutters with mineral spirits until you loosen it. Wash off the sap and the mineral spirits with the degreaser and water. Rinse thoroughly.

  4. Purchase a nylon and acrylic resin product, such as Envirolon, that acts like a clear coat on a car. You need to make sure it's water-based, because solvent-based materials destroy some vinyl. This product is quite expensive, but a gallon will stay good for more than 10 years. You simply wipe it on with a cloth or roller and watch the vinyl shutter come to life. The product not only brings out the color and eliminates the chalky appearance, it adds extra protection to the shutters for the future.

  5. Apply the water-based coating in low humidity and with the shutter at a temperature between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Since many of the shutters are in the sun, do the ones that receive the most sunlight early in the morning on a cool day.

  6. Allow the clear coat to dry. The coating removes the chalk from vinyl shutters and gives a protective coating. Many of these products have glossy, flat and satin finishes, so you select the one that best suits your preference.