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 It is way out of date and has a ton of issues so we have a lot to do before we can list it.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!
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71 thoughts on “Home Renovation Update #4 – DIY Rustic Wood Shutters”

  1. What a brilliant idea! I love how these turned out! It completely changes the appearance and saves quite a bit of money too. I’m impressed ๐Ÿ™‚

    So sorry about the town sewer though. Words fail me at this point. ๐Ÿ™ That is truly unbelievable and entirely unacceptable. What do you think y’all will do?

    1. Thank you so much! I love how they turned out. ? I’m not sure what we’re going to do about the sewer. We’re just waiting, calling and emailing right now. We have too much to do to worry about it right now but they’re still paying to have our septic tank pumped. ? I’m just ready to be done with it though. It’s crazy!! ?

  2. Wow Michelle these look amazing. What a difference! I wouldn’t have known about the trick with the salt either. Sometimes when I’m glueing paper it slides around, so I wonder if I should try it out on my crafts ?

  3. OMG you guys are incredible, you’re so talented, to be honest I couldn’t do this, I love rustic shutters and your shutters look great. Your house is coming along so beautifully.

  4. Ya itโ€™s giving me issues with trying to reply to your comments you sent me …couldnโ€™t reply from my notification area had to come directly to your blog …frustrating!!! Weโ€™ll see if this even works!!

  5. Oh wow! Those shutters have really transformed the look of the house…really lovely. I absolutely love shutters on windows and now I have a great resource to refer to when hubby and I feel adventurous enough to do some DIY around the house – thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much! I’m really happy with the way they turned out. I was worried I wasn’t going to like the color, but once they were up and I could see it all together I loved it! Have fun with your DIYs! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. It’s very rare to see houses with wood shutters (or window shutters of any description) in the UK, but I LOVE the look. I used to tell my mom I wanted to live in America when I was little because I’d watch American films & pick out all the nice houses I wanted, usually with verandas/front porches and window shutters. I’d never thought of DIY shutters, and I think the rustic wood style works really well! xx

    1. Thank you so much! Almost all the houses in the US have shutters, so it’s weird for me to see a house with no shutters. ๐Ÿ˜€ My dream house has a huge front porch so I can have rocking chairs and hanging ferns. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. ๐Ÿ™‚ This is cool. Do you have any ideas for a kitchen docking station that can handle a couple of laptops and a handful of phones? Our counter is getting crazy at night. Have a blessed weekend!

  8. Hey Michelle, your house is coming along so great, really like those shutters, I have always liked shutters, something that is not very common up this way, but it gives such a nice look and you did such a great job! Enjoy your Sunday!???

      1. Yeah, it’s a lot of work, I have done lots of that kind of work being a carpenter, but it was all done for other people, except for building a couple of cottages for me.??Enjoy your evening!

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