DIY Shutters

This is such a small way to make a BIG transformation on your home using Old Barn Living – Milk Paint.  I’ll take you through, step-by-step!


About this Recipe

By: Terri Pettit

When doing your own DIY shutters the first and most important step is to select the correct boards. The boards you select need to be as straight as possible without many bows. If the boards are bowed they will not sit flush together or against your home when you are ready to hang them. 

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What you will need:

I love Home Depot so off I went with my husband in tow (he’s the best at picking out wood boards).


I chose 1’x6′ white pine boards as you can see in the pics. Some people prefer cedar but I am personally not a fan. Cedar will wear better and last longer but again it’s all preference.

Once you’ve chosen your boards head on over and get some wood screws and Liquid Nails. This may be overkill but I wanted to make sure my shutters were extra solid. We get a lot of hail in Colorado and I wanted to make sure they would stand up to the hail. Last but not least choose your stain and don’t forget your polyurethane.


You will see in the pictures that I use Old Barn Living Milk Paint which you have to order online. They carry more of what I call farmhouse stain colors. It took me a long time and a lot of searching on Pinterest to find the stain color I was looking for. Pinterest blogs are great for finding the look you want for your home. Last but not least I use Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane in a spray can. It makes easy work of sealing your projects. Just make sure that you get Spar Urethane for exterior projects and the finish that you would like, ie. satin, gloss, etc.


Scroll down for instructions!

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Helmsman - DIY Shutters


Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

When measuring your windows make sure you measure from top of window to bottom of window. This will give you the correct measurement for your boards. You’ll want to decide the width of your shutter. This really is just what is most appealing to you. Once you decide on the width of your vertical boards you will then be able to cut the horizontal boards to width. Mine are 3 wide some of this was do to only having so much room between the window and the corner of the house and some is what I felt was more appealing to me. This is all preference. Remember this is your home and what you like is what matters most. 

Step 2

Next, send your husband off to cut the boards to the correct length, or if you’re really handy and great with a tape measure & a saw, do it yourself. I can’t read a tape measure to save my life. How is that possible with all the DIY projects I do? The answer… I have a husband who can read a tape to micrometers! Lucky Me! 

Step 3

Now it’s time to stain your boards. Make sure you do this before you construct your shutters. It’s a big pain to try and get the stain in between your boards once they are screwed together. You can also polyurethane your boards now if you would like. Make sure to check dry times. This may determine when you stain and urethane you project. I did mine once I had them built and ready to be hung. I stained mine with lint-free rags and lots of rubber gloves but you can also stain with a brush. Just make sure you have the correct cleaner on hand to clean your brush. The lint-free rags I just threw away for ease of use.

Step 4

Once your boards are cut to length and stained (and urethaned) you will decide how much room you would like between each of your horizontal boards. I took regular door shims to make the space I wanted but you can really use almost anything to decide how much space you would like. You will now take your horizontal boards and put Liquid Nails on the side you will not see and place them on your vertical boards. I used 2 horizontal boards again this is all preference and what you think is most appealing. After you determine the boards and have placed them on your shutters with Liquid Nails you can now screw them into your shutters. This will make them the most secure. 

Step 5

It’s time to hang your amazing shutters! How you secure your shutters to your home will depend on what your home is made of. Do you have vinyl siding, wood siding, brick? Our home is brick so we had to buy a concrete drill bit and drill the pilot holes first for the concrete screws. When hanging your shutters make sure you have help. They are heavier than they look. Luckily my husband had a friend to help. Once the pilot holes were drilled we attached the shutters to the house with the concrete screws. You can find all the supplies you need at any big box store. I just prefer Home Depot. 


Step 6

Enjoy the new look of the exterior of your home!


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