What would a perfectly fine house be without a decent pair of shutters? Hm, glad you asked. First, in the picture below check out my wow-there-once-was-a-shutter-here-sun-stain that has persisted since one fine day a few months ago I walked outside and basked in a beautiful autumn mist and when the yucky, warping, plastic, ill-fitting shutters (let me tell you how I really felt about them) caught my eye and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I pulled them off the house and for a moment loved the impromptu decision and then I realized, “oh crap, something should go there.” But there was no turning back.
After I pulled off the old yucky shutters I looked for quotes on rustic wood shutters to replace them. I was shocked that the cheapest quote was $425! Yikes! Time to get out the measuring tape and the saw, I knew I could do it for less. And so can you. My shutters ended up costing only $22, here’s how I did it.
- 1×3’s (use lock-in-grove boards if you can find them!)
- 3″ wood screws
- sand paper and/or sander
- mitre saw
- pocket jig
- wood glue
- wood clamps
- measuring tape
First, measure your window. For the record a true shutter should go from the top to the bottom of the window and be half the width of the window, plus if the window is rounded and the top, the shutter should be also. These shutters are purely decorative, but they mirror the window as if they were actually functional. I did not build shutters half the width of the window, given the decorative only nature, but I thought the width was ample.
Next, choose a style. I built one like a house by the kids’ school. I was driving carpool and snagged a photo on my phone. I like the rustic style. Other styles are easier to build, but seems if you’re going to go through the effort build what you want.
I used 2×4’s to build the frame, connected with pocket jig screws:
When cutting wood you want to be the exact same length you can stack them on the mitre saw for one clean cut:
I mark the end of my pieces if I am building more than one project out of the same wood, it helps me keep it organized:
I glued together 1×3’s for the backing and braced them with clamps:
Then I attached the 1×3 board to the 2×4 frame with 2 inch wood screws. Pre-drill pilot holes then sink in the screws to the back:
Next attach the cross wood (if you want any) I originally created a T look, but liked two cross pieces better. The great thing about building your own is you can choose what you like. I attached the cross pieces with wood glue and 2″ screws into the back.
I wanted rustic looking shutters so I cut random pieces out of the sides with a jig saw and hit the shutters with a hammer. Then it was sand, sand, sand with a rough 60 grit paper.
The only thing left is to paint. I had left over paint from the garage doors (Sherwin-Williams #6083 “Sable”), matching the shutters to the doors would look fantastic.
Line the shutters with the top of the window. I was afraid to drill into stucco because I had heard of people cracking their stucco and having to replace the whole thing. I enlisted the help of my brother-in-law, a general contractor. He was so unafraid. He drilled pilot holes into the inside corners of the shutters and then drilled straight into the stucco with 4″ dry wall screws.I was worried that you would see the screws, but you barely can in the corner (look in the shadow!) I wish I could give more detail, but make sure you use the right materials for your exterior before cracking or breaking something.
I’m not sure what i love more, by $22 shutters, or not having to stare at the sun bleached stucco every time I come home!
Here are some more after shots:
Friday I will post on the after pics of the curb appeal. Happy Creating!