Step by step instructions on building your own board and batten shutters for the inside or outside of your home.
It is easy to make your own board and batten style shutters, also known as European Style shutters, that you can install inside or outside your home. This article will describe a few carpentry tips and finishing tips to help you build your own shutters. A pattern will be included with some design options you can add or you can come up with your own customized design to make your shutters one-of-a-kind!
These shutters can be made in a rustic form and painted with Colonial milk paint, see my article on how to make your own milk paint as: , or you can paint, seal, or stain them with an appropriate interior or exterior paint.
The shutters can be split so that their overall width is half the width of the window plus over lap if you plan on making them operable. You would need to locate the hinges either on the trim around the window or just past the edge of the trim. The surface has to be flat so you may need to add a block of wood to mount the hinge to. You could also just screw the shutters to the siding to give your home the look of a traditional home. If you mount them, typically you mount the shutter with the battens facing out and the flat face would be against the siding as seen below.
• 1X3 boards cut to length. About 5 feet long for a standard window. (The shutters should overlap the window trim by about one inch for exterior applications.) You can also use 1/3 tongue and grove boards for a different look, or other sizes like 1x4 or 1x6 boards to create your own look. Measure the width of your window to determine how many you will need. Remember that the finish width of a board is about ½ inch less than the nominal dimension; 1x3 is really ¾ x 2 ½ . For exterior you should use clear cedar. Interior can be any wood species like cherry, maple, oak, pine, etc. Poplar is a good choice if you are going to paint them.
• 1X2 Boards for the battens (Horizontal boards that hold together the vertical boards)
• Glue, exterior grade
• Stainless Steel Screws (for exterior)
• Power Drill with Philips screw bit, drill bit for pilot holes, and a countersink bit to make the screws flush
• Paint, Sealer, or Stain
• Mounting Hardware, either screws or shutter hinges
The batten should be kept about ¾ inch in from the edge of the vertical boards. Depending on the length of the shutter, you can have 2 or 3 battens.
Cut the boards and battens to length with a hand or circular saw. If you need to make a board thinner to get the right width, you should rip down the two outer boards by taking off half of the difference from each board. You could also rip down the center board if you have an odd number of boards. If you are using tongue and groove boards, you will need to rip off the tongue and groove along the long sides of the shutter.
To assemble your shutters you will need to lay the vertical boards face down on a flat surface. Line this up next to each other; the sides should butt up next to each other. You can leave a small ¼ inch gap if you want. Use scraps of ¼ plywood strips to keep the gaps between the boards even.
Place one the 1X2 battens about 6 inches from the top. Repeat this about 6 inches up from the bottom. If you have a cutout pattern, adjust the spacing accordingly. You may also want to chamfer the edges of the battens to soften the edges for a more refined look.
Drill a pilot hole through each 1X2 into the vertical boards and use a depth gauge or a piece of tape on the drill bit to make sure you don’t go through the face of the vertical board. Pre-drilling will prevent splitting and then countersink the screw holes.
Tape used as a depth gauge.
Run a thin bead of glue down the edge of each board, except the outer edges of the shutter. Spread the glue evenly with your finger or a small brush. Clamp the boards together or press each board firmly into the next while screwing the battens in place.
To hang your vintage wood shutters you have a few options. You can pre-drill holes through the four corners of the shutter and screw them directly to your wall. You can cover the holes with wood screw caps. You can also mount the shutters with hinges that can be purchased at home centers or online if you want accurate reproduction hardware.
Design And Cutout Patterns