Farmhouse Shutters Tutorial | DIY Project
Today I’m going to show you my latest addition to the mudroom/laundry room series. These beautiful farmhouse shutters are so simple to make and a perfect window treatment alternative. I knew I wanted something that would blend well with the newly renovated space but that would also have some functionality.
Letting light in from the outside was an absolute must because I love the brightness this window allows and its makes the room that much more cheery. Privacy also was important so nobody could see inside.
The most important feature we needed was something to keep the hot summer sun from heating up this room. This window lets in a bit too much heat in the morning, making it hard to keep the house cool. By afternoon the sun is away from this window and can resume letting the light in.
These interior shutters were made from free pallets therefore the only cost were the hinges. You can find pallets at your local hardware places and often times on marketplace sites.
Farmhouse Shutters Supply List
- pallet boards
- saw (We used a miter saw, table saw and circular saw)
- air nailer & compressor (hose, nails etc)
- or you can use a hammer and nails if you don’t have an air nailer
- sandpaper and sanding block
- white paint (I used Chalked linen white)
- old rough brush & scrap piece of pallet
- 3 inch T-hinges and screws (4 hinges)
- drill and bits
Farmhouse Shutters Tutorial
Step 1. Cutting your vertical boards
First you need to measure the inside of your window frame as that is where these will sit when installed. My inside window frame dimensions are 34 3/4″ wide x 42 1/8″ high.
I gathered up all my pieces that I would need. For my window I needed 9 pallet boards for width, two more for my brackets on back and one more for my Z design.
My Z design board and 9th vertical board would need to be ripped down on the table saw for narrower strips. I cut the 9 vertical pallet boards to 41 3/8″ to allow a bit of gap top and bottom of my window. My miter saw made quick work of it.
Then lay them out on a flat surface. I used the garage floor and laid them with the most rustic sides facing up. I did this because this is what we will see when the windows are open.
I took my middle board and Z design board and ripped them in half on the table saw. Before you rip them down make sure no nails are in the way. I use a punch and hammer and tap them out.
Step 2. Cutting your back brackets
I cut my top and bottom boards to width. You need four boards, two for each of your farmhouse shutters. My total width for each shutter is 17 1/4″ therefore my brackets are 17 1/4″.
To make sure I had the right angle for my Z design board I laid it on top of where my brackets would be and drew my line with my pencil then adjusted my miter saw to the right angle so it was an easy cut for all four cuts. After I made my first cut I laid it back on top to ensure I had the right length for the second cut. Then I used that board as my template for the second Z design board.
Step 3. Spray painting your hinges
I found hinges at my local home hardware store and they were perfect for the look I wanted all but for the color. This was my only cost for the farmhouse shutters, around $13 with taxes.
I tapped all my screws into a scrap piece of drywall I had on hand. You can use cardboard or styrofoam too, whatever will keep them standing up. I had some Krylon Chalk finish in Anvil Grey on hand. I use this color for all my handles and hooks in my projects. The color is amazing!
Then spray paint one side at a time allowing to dry well before flipping and spraying the other. I used two coats for each side. Two coats on the screw heads as well.
Step 4. Assembling your Farmhouse Shutters
I lined up my boards and made sure everything was as close to even as I could. Then using my air nailer, I nailed my brackets and Z design boards to the vertical boards. Ensure you use enough nails and the proper length to not pierce the other side while holding them together well.
Step 5. Adding some ‘Rough’ paint (optional)
Because I had disassembled these pallet boards using a reciprocating saw, they had some grooves on the other side. I sanded a bit of the furry like areas away but I still did not love the look of the fresh wood against the rustic wood. Therefore I needed to come up with something since this side would show when they are closed and would drive me nuts.
I decided to test out what a bit of ‘Rough’ painting on a scrap piece of pallet board would look like. Honestly I wasn’t sure if I liked it but I didn’t hate it either and I could always sand it off or paint it solid white so I went with it. To achieve this look I use an old paint brush that was never washed out. I’d like to say I planned this but I always forget to wash out my brushes when I get into a project that I want to see the finished product haha. However these old used brushes are perfect for this technique.
Mix your paint well and dab your brush lightly into the paint removing any excess on your scrap wood. Then roughly brush it onto your wood going all over back and forth until dry. Then keep ‘rough’ brushing it until the white gets ‘dirtied’ from your wood and helps to blend the white into a more neutral color.
Do this over and over until you have the same look on both of your shutters. If you find you went a bit too thick in some areas then you can give the area a bit of a sand.
Step 6. Test fit your Farmhouse Shutters
Now gather your shutters, hinges, screws, drill and bits. I did a test fit to see how they would sit before I went further. We ended up needing to take the skill saw and remove about an 1/8 inch from one of the shutters middle vertical boards.
All in all not too bad and a quick fix.
Step 7. Attaching your hinges
Once they were cut we were ready to put the hinges on. I chose 5 inches from top and bottom as my placement. This was perfect for the support bracket to reinforce the length of the screw and weight of the shutters.
Line up the butt of the hinge with the edge of the shutter side. Check your measurement to make sure you are still at 5″ and then mark your holes. Pre-drill the holes so you do not split the wood and then attach your hinge.
Repeat until you have two hinges attached to each outside shutter edge.
Step 8. Hanging your Farmhouse Shutters
To hang them I had my husband give me a hand to ensure they did not move while being pre-drilled and screwed to the window frame. Use a small shim to help keep the gap at the bottom and top even while you mark your holes. When I say ‘shim’ I really mean that I used a sewing mending kit I just happened to find in the first drawer I opened.
Because the sun shines so brightly during the day I opted to take photos the next morning of the finished product. Again I have managed to achieve a quick DIY project that is frugal ($13 wow!) and the perfect answer to what we wanted and needed for this room. I love how the farmhouse shutters tie in with the herringbone table and compliment the whole room.
The moment of truth for me was closing the farmhouse shutters eek. I was not sure whether I would love the rough painted boards on the other side. Well, I absolutely love them and I think they add a shabby chic feel to the farmhouse decor. Whether these shutters are opened or closed they feel like perfection in this room.