Hi everyone! If you’re looking for a tutorial for decorative wooden shutters, you’ve come to the right place. These shutters are firmly mounted onto the side of our house, and are not meant to open and close. They’re purely meant for decoration, and super easy to construct and hang. Let me show you how we did it! Stained wood is making a HUGE comeback. You heard it here, folks. I love ours!
1. Calculate how much wood you’ll need to purchase. Measure your window, and keep in mind you’ll need three pieces of wood for each side of your window. We purchased several 1in x 4in x 10in pieces of treated lumber, but keep in mind that your purchase will be different depending on how many windows you have, and your exact measurements. It might be cheaper for you to get shorter boards– they usually come in 6, 8, 10, and 12 ft lengths. If your home has a lot of windows, consider doing one complete side of the home at a time. We started our project with the front of the home, and are slowly finishing each side as we find time on the weekends. We purchased all of our lumber for the entire home all at once because we’re sometimes prone to not completing projects, and I wanted to completely eliminate that possibility and just bought everything we needed right up front. 🙂
2. Ensure your pressure treated wood is dry. Pressure treated wood is sprayed with chemicals to keep the wood from rotting and getting infested with bugs. The drying time will depend on weather conditions and how long the wood has been treated. A great test is to put water on your wood, and if the water beads up, it’s still too damp. The water should soak into the wood. Ours was dry within 24 hours. Always wear gloves when working with pressure treated wood.
3. Measure and cut your wood. Your specific measurements will depend on the size of your window. Our measurements were 65in for six boards and 11in for four boards for each window. We used a miter saw, but you can use anything that will cut a straight line. A circular saw will work just fine if that is what you own. My husband uses every opportunity he has to use his miter saw. 😉 Don’t let not owning a miter saw hold you back from having your shutters. You need these pretty shutters! 🙂 Always wear gloves when handling treated wood, and wear proper eye protection when using your saw.
4. Sand your cut pieces. Wear a mask when sanding treated wood. Treated wood contained arsenic at one time, but now they use copper compounds. You still wouldn’t want to breathe that stuff in! We used a hand sander with 150 grit sandpaper. I would sand both sides of the wood so you’ll have a better choice of which side you want to use when you stain them.
5. Stain your wood. We used stain that is intended for indoor uses, but we used a heavy duty varnish. A great site for finding which product to use for your project can be found here. I love the stain choice we picked- Minwax Golden Oak. I stained both sides of the wood, including the top and bottom of each piece. Staining both sides allows you use either side, and it’s always great to have choices when you assemble your shutters.
Our shutters have two coats of Golden Oak. When staining wood, remember that you aren’t painting the stain onto the wood. You rub the stain with the grain using a rag. I prefer the white rags that can be found at any home improvement store. (The red rags leave red lint everywhere!) Allow the stain to dry between coats. Keep in mind your temperature and weather conditions. Don’t try to stain wood in freezing temperatures. The directions indicate at least 65 degrees, but I’ve stained wood in the mid-50’s with no problems.
6. Apply varnish. We used a Helmsman Spar Urethane applied with a foam brush. I prefer using a foam brush because it is less mess, but if you prefer using a paintbrush, that will work, too! We applied two coats of this varnish because they’re exposed to the elements every single day. If you’re working with lumber outdoors and using stain, this product is recommended.
6. Assemble your shutters. We assembled our shutters using a nail gun, but if you are steady with a hammer and prefer that method, do that! Line three pieces of your longer boards together with the most desired side UP. You want your pretty sides to show when you hang your shutters! Place two small pieces of wood underneath your crossbeam to obtain the height shown below. It’s a very simple way to keep each shutter looking exactly the same, and it also helps keep the wood straight. We used two nails on each crossbeam for each piece of wood. The crossbeams are what actually holds the three long pieces together.
7. Countersink or use a paddle bit before you screw your shutters to your home. We used 2 in coated deck screws placed underneath each crossbeam. Avoid using excessively long screws.
8. Hang your shutters. The exterior of our home is siding, and underneath the siding is the original wood exterior to our 1942 home. We were able to drill directly into the side of the home. We used a 1/2 dowel between the window and the shutter to allow for spacing.
You’re done! I hope you enjoy your new shutters! -m & w
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