Tuesday, March 22, 2011

About the shutters... and bonus mini-tutorial


You too, can make your own reclaimed wood shutters!

So, the previous owners of our home added 7 sets of vinyl shutters to the front of the house.  It wasn't a bad look.  In fact, when we first saw the home I thought it was so charming (especially for where we live) and I am sure it was, in some part, due to the shutters.  After about a year though,  it slowly became vinyl overkill to me.  After staring at them day after day, I started to notice that on some of them the placement didn't even make sense...  shutters on the front door?  shutters on a massive picture window?  shutters on the far left window?  It just stopped working for me.


The now infamous vinyl shutters.  I spy 7 sets, can you?
Around this time something else was also driving me nuts.  There was a single fence panel in our back yard that had been put up to conceal some misc. pool equipment.  One beautiful day I decided it was no longer necessary and got a sledge hammer and tore that puppy down.  I kept the panel in tact and thought at a later time it might come in useful.  Time passed and the panel was getting to be a nuisance.  Something had to be done with it.  I racked my brain but I couldn't think of a use for the actual panel. The wood was certainly worth keeping.  So, I broke it down even further.  "What great wood,"  I thought with its weathered gray color.  Had to be good for something, right?!  More time passed and it finally hit me.  A house in our neighborhood had these great batten board shutters.  Every time I went by that house I lingered... staring at the shutters.  "I can do that! I have the wood... I just need some hinges."  That is where it began.

First I measured each window and made sure I had plenty of usable wood.  Once that was confirmed, I cut the boards accordingly, each window was slightly different.  I then glued and nailed them together and added 2 hinges to each panel. Lastly, I attached them to the window trim. It really was that easy!!!  I also removed several sets of shutters and added window boxes on the upstairs windows to balance out the house.  To me, it instantly looked 100x's better.  Not only that but, I loved that I was able to salvage the wood from the fence, and I really loved that my only real expense was the cost of the hinges. I was in love!

Just finished... ala natural..

I embellished  the window boxes with the same wood I used on the shutters.

Knowing myself and my ability to fall out of love with my projects- I thought I better live with them for a while before I added any sealer or stain to them.  Initially I loved the natural, lighter, weathered look of the shutters.  It was a nice change from the bold, black vinyl shutters of old.  I thought it was more authentically cottage-y.  But, as more time passed I think the charm of the original shutters began to prick my memory.  There was never a time when I wanted to put the old vinyl shutters back up, but part of me missed the stronger statement that the black made.  I missed the contrast.  Easy fix though...

One afternoon I went to our garage and grabbed a left over can of Thompson's Water Seal (which is clear) and  added some ebony stain drop by drop.  I had some practice boards and I would paint a little then let it dry and check again.  When it was still to light I added a smidge more of the stain, drop by drop and repeated .  You know, you can always get it darker, but it is much harder and more expensive to work in the opposite.  After several tweaks, I finally got the color I wanted, and the Thompson's gave the protection I needed- BONUS!  I applied 2 coats with a paintbrush and ta-da!


Yep, that's our house in the blog heading.



25 comments:

  1. First of all...LOVE your house! Gorgeous! Secondly, what you did with the new shutters was genius! They look super expensive and custom and give your home some fantastic old world charm. Great job!
    Vanessa

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  2. What a beautiful home you have!! What type of wood did you use to make the shutters?? I am wanting to make a pair for a window we have above our foyer. I just can not figure out what wood would be best since I want to leave them natural looking and not painted.

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  3. It looks beautiful! You have done a wonderful job with them!! :)

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  4. Looks fantastic! I love the contrast of the black stained wood against the stone!
    ~Amanda

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  5. I just found your blog and am your newest follower! Thanks for the fab blog and inspiration.

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  6. Fabulous. These look like from an old Bavarian house. Cheers

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  7. They look fabulous! And great use of that use fence panel! Thanks for linking up!

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  8. Your shutters look fantastic! You have beautiful home!

    I'm your newest follower, I would love for you to stop by sometime!

    www.lovelaughteranddecor.blogspot.com

    Warm Wishes,
    Jodie

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  9. Your shutters look great and isn't it nice that you didn't spend a fortune?

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  10. I LOVE these and I like them stained out dark! They look fantastic.
    xo,
    Sena

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  11. Oh, wow!! I love your shutters! Great job!! :)

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  12. I love those shutters! They add that extra element of charm to your home. I've been trying to talk hubby into letting me make some, in that style, for our cottage farmhouse.

    Thanks for linking to the party again. It's nice to have you back. ;)

    Liz @ the Brambleberry Cottage
    http://thebrambleberrycottage.blogspot.com/

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  13. I prefer to use plantation shutters for doors and windows as a better option. As they are eco-friendly and child safe.

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  14. Featured you this week! Come by and grab a feature button! Thanks for showing off your shutters!

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  15. I found you from Kelli! Adorable house and love the shutters:) Great job!

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  16. Hello fello Okie........I found you through Kelli of Restore Interiors. Love the shutters, & so great you made them yourself.

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  17. wow! they look amazing! wonderful job

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  18. I've been thinking about getting rid of our vinyl shutters with something that has more character. Thanks for inspiring. Your shutters look amazing. Thanks for linking up to the party.

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  19. Oh your home is beautiful! The shutters are AMAZING and add such a whimsical touch. I love it! I would be delighted to have you join my VIP party today =)http://designergarden.blogspot.com/2011/04/powder-bath-revealed.html

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  20. The shutters look great! Where did you purchase your hinges?

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  21. Sooo beautiful! I'm saving this post so that I can copy your shutters for my house. Great job.

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  22. Great post. Job well done on the outdoor shutters. The outcome is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Keep it up.

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  23. This blog explains about how one takes various strategy to upgrade the architecture of the house with various shutters.

    Plantation shutters

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  24. I appreciate your shutters.....It make your home right.

    window shutters clayton, ca

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  25. Great. Thanks for the tutorial and for the information all about custom home shutters. I'd make mine too.

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Looking forward to hearing from you soon...

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