DIY's & Crafts Our Home Renovation

Home Renovation Update #4 – DIY Rustic Wood Shutters

Rustic wood shutters add amazing curb appeal to your home. Learn how to make your own rustic wood shutters with this step-by-step post.

Rustic Wood Shutters Pinterest Graphic

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Catch up on our home renovation updates here:
Update #1
Update #2
Update #3

If you’ve been reading my blog then you know that my husband and I are renovating our 1946 home so we can sell it. It is way out of date and has a ton of issues so we have a lot to do before we can list it. The latest project we’ve been working on is making our own rustic wooden shutters.

Altogether this project took about three weeks to do due to drying times and not a lot of space to lay everything out. The total cost of this project was $176 compared to the $600 it would have cost had we bought them already made.

DIY Rustic Wood Shutters

Materials Needed:

Step 1 – Cutting the Battens

In order to find out what sizes to make your rustic wooden shutters, you need to measure the height and width of the windows. The width of the shutters should be about half the the full length of the window. Use the height to calculate the total number of board feet. To save money, my husband purchased 2×12′ lumber boards and we ripped them in half with the table saw.

For this project we used untreated SPF lumber boards, but this may not be the best option to use in harsh climates. In our area, however, the stain and sealant we used will protect the wood shutters form the elements. Another option would be to use cedar or treated pine and paint it instead of using stain.

My husband created a cutting jig to attach to the miter saw and marked the various lengths needed on the jig. Our windows turned out to be three different lengths, so this came in handy. Creating the cutting jig meant he had to only measure each length once and that all the battens would be the same lengths as needed.

Cutting the boards for the shutters

The 2×4 lumber board was used to create 4 spacers by ripping the board very thin. The spacers create a uniform space between each of the batten boards to allow for expansion and contraction of the wood after they are installed.

Spacers for the batten boards

Step 2 – Cutting the Boards

After laying all the battens out onto another assembly jig made on top of makeshift sawhorses, my husband laid out the shutters and and spaced them as to how he wanted them to be. He then measured the the width of the horizontal boards, which was the same for all the rustic wood shutters. Using the cutting jig on his miter saw, my husband cut all of the boards to their proper lengths. Now all of the individual battens and boards are cut and ready to go!

Prepping the boards

Step 3 – Staining

After all of the boards were cut and ready to go we stained and sealed all 6 sides of every board with Valspar Pre-Tinted Cedar Naturaltone Semi-Transparent Exterior Stain and Sealer. We used rags that we created by cutting up old t-shirts to apply the stain.

Stained boards

We allowed the boards to dry for a few hours before moving on to more. After they were all stained and sealed we set them all up on their sides to make sure they were completely dry before putting them together.

Letting the shutters dry

Step 4 – Putting the Wood Shutters Together

Now comes the tricky part – putting the wood shutters together. Since all the boards were stained on all sides, my husband went back over the parts of the boards that had to be glued together and sanded the stain off. (Wood glue does not hold against stain and sealer.) After all the parts were sanded, he glued and clamped the top and bottom boards to the battens on each wood shutter. Screws were added to the back of the shutters to hold everything together and they sat overnight to dry.

Step 5 – Hanging the Wood Shutters

To hang the shutters, we used ceramic coated structural screws. (The coating on the screws prevents corrosion.) To allow for expansion, a 1/4 inch hole was drilled into each wood shutter where the screws were going to be placed to allow for air space surrounding each screw. I held the shutter up against the window while my husband made sure they were all level and then screwed them into the side of the house.

View of the wood shutters

After the shutters were all hung, I finished painting the windows. A few days before I had scraped the old paint away and primed the windows, so I had to finish them. They look so much better now that they are painted and have shutters on them!

As I’m painting I’m listening to The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom. It’s such a good book that I didn’t even notice my husband standing behind me!

Painting the windows to bring out the shutters


Front view of house


Another view of the shutters

We are coming along with most of the outside work! I’m so excited! I’ll be so glad when it is all finished and we can finally move.

Update on the sewer: Still nothing. Can you believe it? We’re now going into the fifth month of still not being hooked up to the town sewer system.

Thank you for sharing!