How to Stop Painting Mallorcan Shutters

Persianas are the slatted shutters gracing the windows (and sometimes doors) of most traditional houses in Mallorca. They do an excellent job of shading the interior from the hot summer sun. If the windows are open (most open inwards here), the slats allow air into the house.

The old … minus a few slats

Visit any town or village in Mallorca and you could think many of the properties are uninhabited. People mostly leave their shutters closed on the street-facing side of their homes for privacy. Walk past though and you may smell drifting aromas of cooking and hear animated conversation or one of those melodramatic Spanish soaps blasting from the TV within.

On very wet days – believe me, we’ve had a lot of those this November – we leave our persianas closed. This protects our old doors and window frames from the worst of the rain. On these days, we feel like moles living without natural light. So it’s a relief after the rain to open the shutters and emerge blinking into the daylight.

Painting … with Treacle?

Persianas are usually made of painted or varnished wood; brown and green are probably the most popular paint colours in rural properties, blending with the natural environment. But the extremes of summer heat and winter damp (it’s not shorts and T’s year-round in Mallorca) take their toll. And that means periodic maintenance.

It didn’t take too much paintbrush-wielding for us to decide there had to be a better way. We painted ours in warm weather and the brown paint soon resembled treacle. More of it stayed on our brushes than was transferred to the prepared shutters. My clagged-up brush head was almost the size of my own head by the time I’d finished the shutter I was working on.

A Worthwhile Investment

Our alternative came in the form of aluminium shutters. The shutters at the front of our house are subject to the most sun damage. Some of the slats were loose or had already fallen out, so time was of the essence. We replaced those first, opting for brown, wood-effect aluminium shutters from Can Tovell in Manacor.

Replacing the rest of the old wooden shutters has been on a need-to-do-it-before-they-fall-apart basis. The price of aluminium has soared, which means the price of shutters has too. Sadly, not our income. Becoming a published author has not changed my life financially! Or any other way, except that there’s one more book to dust on the shelf.

We had two more sets of French window shutters replaced in the summer and any day now the last two wooden ones will be consigned to history. Shutter-painting is a thing of the past. Sadly painting ceilings isn’t …

©Jan Edwards 2021

5 thoughts on “How to Stop Painting Mallorcan Shutters

  1. As shutters go, they’re good looking ones and maintenance- free, so all good. Been keeping an eye on your blogs over the months and enjoyed reading up on a way of life that I would like to emulate, but my wife Liz wouldn’t particularly. Have been enjoying trying to learn Spanish- (yes I know Mallorca has its own language) and have been making some progress. Could probably now order shutter paint in a language that might be understood. Maybe. Best Wishes. Paul

  2. What a great idea Jan! Im all for labour saving as we are getting older…although we’ve just added an additional fence to the back of our garden and thats another ten fence panels to paint! So we arent as wise as you! I should’ve invested in plastic fence panels!

    • Oh dear, the fence panels sound a lot of work. Is there still Bob-a-Job Week in England? Although I think a ‘bob’ wouldn’t get much work done these days!!

  3. When we bought our house we were fortunate to have metal persianas. Have tried everything to bring them back to their former glory ( after years of neglect) from brushing, scrubbing and hosing them, now we find a soft brush, cloth and occasional brillomegar oil works beautifully. You could always use your old wooden oersiannas as art work around your Finca to remind you of the protection they have afforded you during your time here.

    • Hi Tracy, I definitely need to find some of that oil for ours. They cost so much they need looking after! We’ve kept some of our old wooden ones. We used one to lean on the growing bonfire pile one windy day just to stop stuff blowing off the heap and our cats ran up and down it like a ladder! They definitely thought it was some kind of game. So lovely to see the sunshine again, isn’t it!

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