COP: Wood Louvered Shutter Preparation

Craftsman Operating Procedures (COPs), developed by the PDCA Craftsmanship Forum, establish a benchmark for how painting is done at a craftsman level so that individual painting companies can customize them for their own brand of craftsmanship. From jobsite setup to painting trim, cleanup and close-out, COPs constitute a readymade tool to help you standardize craftsmanship practices within your painting company. The COPs also help train employees in consistently delivering the quality that you promise your clients. Each month APC highlights a new COP.

Wood Louvered Shutter Preparation COP #E-PR-11

Use a very sharp blade in the paint scraper to increase appearance quality and production speed.

  • Shave paint ridges, existing drips, runs or sags with a scraper. This will minimize the time needed for feather sanding and patching.
  • Be aware that there may be an old numbering system on the shutters. Be careful not to mix it up with your numbering system.
  • If removing hardware, take care not to lose hidden parts and springs. These pieces may be very difficult to replace.
  • A corner detail sander with a triangular shape could be used to get into small corners.
  • Do not fill hinge, fastener or screw holes where the shutter mounts to the building.
  • Some shutter labeling methods include paper tag attached by wire, nail punch, Dremel engraver, 5-in-1, duct tape, metal tab, metal stamp and die, or slotted screwdriver.
  • Some numbering system options for shutter removal and reinstalling: numbered by side with an abbreviation such as F = front or N = north, F-1, F-2 … starting at top-left, going left to right and top to bottom.
  • The top rail is always smaller than the bottom rail, so make sure the shutter is reinstalled properly.
  • The shutters need to be installed with the louvers angled in the proper direction per the work scope. Historically accurate installation may have the lower edge of the louvers angled down toward the house, while most modern installations (nonfunctional) have the lower edge of the louvers angled down away from the house.
  • If the louvers are operable when starting, make sure they are still operable when finished.
  • Watch out for bats and bees when removing shutters. Power washing prior to removing shutters is advisable.
  • Oftentimes it’s more effi cient to prime shutters by spraying than to prime by hand.
  • It is critical that all shutter surfaces (front and back) are coated to prevent warping and to protect from deterioration. APC

A series of 20 Residential Interior COPs and a series of 25 Residential Exterior COPs can be purchased from PDCA’s online store. Visit for more information.


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