Introduction: Window Shutters From Reclaimed Barn Wood

Fun and very easy project to add some personality to your windows.

My wife and I are in the process of painting the house and wanted to add shutters to the windows to give it some additional character.

Lucky for us, we also have lots of old barn wood that is sufficiently aged and seasoned making it the perfect working material.

Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Find Some Old Wood

The tool list for this project is very basic.

Essentially you need:

  1. Tape Measure
  2. Wood Saw (you can use any wood saw as you are really only making several straight cuts through 1/2" thick old boards. I happened to use a radial arm saw because my wife just recently got it for me and I had not yet used it. fun but a little overkill for this job)
  3. Screw driver (I used a battery powered drill with a square bit but this is also easily done by hand)
  4. Screws (I used 1 1/2" deck screws)
  5. Old boards

We just happen to have a pile of what was an old barn which was disassembled.

The boards themselves needed very little treatment as they were exterior boards and the right width (6") and thickness (1/2"). They only needed to be cut to length to fit the window frame.

For our shutters, we decided that the look of three boards wide gave the aesthetic that we desired. After some experimentation, we also decided to use the same stock for the horizontal "support" pieces. As you can tell, the shutters are not functional (which also lends to the simplicity of the build as they need no structural integrity.

Step 2: Cut to Size and Screw It Together

to simplify the process and to keep a somewhat uniform look; we first laid out the boards, all cut, and in a row to determine the best side by side placement. Since each of the boards has weathered in a unique way, it was fun to find boards that complimented each other by grain, coloring, and knot holes, etc.

Once we finished the layout, we fastened the cross boards with 1" deck screws. I used deck screws (carefully as not to crack the wood) because of their relatively small head - so I could countersink and have the hole mostly close around it- in addition to providing season after season of strength without fear of rust stains, corrosion, etc.

Step 3: Hang It Up and Dress It Up

So - old boards screwed together with minimal bracing have very little structural integrity. They are also a little wonky - I did not plane these boards instead options to use what the wood has become over time. So instead of fashioning some kind of hanger system, we simply screwed the assembly directly onto the wall. The inside of the shutter rests against the window frame preventing the assembly from drooping or skewing over time.

Since part of the appeal is the look of the weathered wood, we have decided not to treat the wood or paint it. I expect that over time, the personality of the wood will continue to develop.

The last step - one that is still in progress - is some wrought iron hinges (they of course will not be functional) and pulls to finish the illusion of functional farm house shutters.

Reclaimed Contest 2017

Participated in the
Reclaimed Contest 2017

Hand Tools Only Contest 2017

Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Contest 2017