The Cheapskate Hall of Fame 2011
Taken from My original post:
TUESDAY, MARCH 22, 2011
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!
|You too, can make your own reclaimed wood shutters!|