For anyone willing to put in just a little bit of elbow grease, building your own board and batten shutters is very simple to do and they make all the difference with the look and feel of your home. My home went from looking very old world colonial to a modern contemporary style in just a few days… Not bad for such a significant change! These were really fun to make and I hope you find the same enjoyment I did making them. You could take almost any style of house and transform the look of the home with these shutters.
When I purchased this home I was NOT a fan of the faded rusty reddish colored louvered shutters… I’ll give you an EEK! peek at the old shutters that were on the house:
I was NOT a fan of the colonial style at all. So, when the time came to start painting the exterior of the home I couldn’t WAIT to rip these babies off the house. I have always LOVED the look of board and batten shutters and I contemplated for days over pictures of different styles. To me the board and batten style looks relaxed and modern.
Most shutters on homes have a height the same as the height of your window (including the frame) and the width of each shutter is usually half the width of the window. I decided to do a larger dimension because I didn’t like how small the previous louvered ones were. I really wanted a larger shutter so they would stand out and I’m VERY happy with the results. The larger shutters made the house and windows look larger, which for a 1960’s ranch home with small windows was quite an improvement.
Before you get started, please note that you will need to use pressure treated wood. Whenever you cut or sand pressure treated wood you should ALWAYS use a mask so that you do not inhale the chemicals that they use to pressure treat the wood and goggles so that the particles do not get into your eyes (the chemical can get in through your eyes).
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
- Clamps (at least 4)
- Exterior screws ~ SIZE WE USED: 1 1/4″
- Pressure Treated Wood (amount obviously depends on how many you are doing and the measurements of your windows)
- Scrap wood to cut for spacers
- Table Saw
- Miter Saw
- Drill & Drill Bits
- Measuring Tape
- Stain or Paint
- Stain/Paint Brush
- Sander & Sand Paper (80 & 120 grit)
- Square (tool that has a 90 degree angle in it)
- Goggles & Mask
- Decide on a pattern. PATTERN I CHOSE: 3 vertical boards for all windows (door entrance I chose two) with 3 battens going horizontally across the 3 boards.
- Buy building materials and as much pressure treated wood as you will need for your project. BOARD SIZE I USED: 1″ x 6″
- Cut the wood to the measurements for your window and the style you choose. DESIGN I CHOSE: I cut the horizontal boards at an angle with a miter saw then cut the 4 corners of the vertical boards at a 45 degree angle. I also ripped the boards vertically so that they were 5 3/8 inches in width and cut the vertical boards the length of the window opening including the frame. (you can choose the size you want for your window just make sure you account for the spacing).
- Sand the front and sides of the boards with a 80 grit sandpaper. I also slightly rounded the hard edges so that they didn’t look so “right off the hardware shelf” giving them a softer look.
- Sand all wood with 120 grit to further smooth the wood
- Stain or paint the wood your desired color. COLOR I CHOSE: I chose two different colors, painting all wood first with the lighter color (Olympic’s Black Walnut) then dry-brushing the darker color (Behr’s Cordova Brown) on very slightly to give the wood a more weathered look.
- Cut long slender wood spacers to put in-between the boards to the measurement of the space you desire in-between the vertical boards. This will help you hold everything together while drilling the wood and screwing the screws into place on your vertical boards. MY SPACERS SIZE: 1/4 inch
- Put spacers in-between the vertical boards making sure all boards tops and bottoms are lining up
- Take all horizontal boards and center them from left to right. Make sure it is square then clamp down on board with clamps.
- Through the back of the shutter drill pilot holes where the screws will go being careful not to drill all the way through to the front of the shutter
- Screw the screws in also being careful not to drill too far into wood so that it goes through to the front of the shutter
After all screws are in place you are done and can hang your new shutter!
Here is the transformation:
I also painted the exterior brick, added new lighting, had a brand new wood front deck with stairs built and did a little landscaping but the shutters were a major transformation! Since this picture was taken I have also painted the front door a beautiful blue shade to give the home a nice pop of color.
I’ve included some of my favorite shutters below that you can purchase if you just can’t find the time to make them yourself. These are similar and are sure to look great on your home:
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