How to Build My Own Interior Shutter

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Wood shutters are an effective way of controlling the amount of natural light, heat and ventilation that enters through windows, while adding a warm, decor reminiscent of a European cottage. Shutters have been used throughout the ages since ancient Greece, when they were made of marble. When the Mediterranean people started creating shutters from wood, the louvers became movable and could be adjusted to block out a certain amount of light. They were introduced to the rest of Europe as a window enclosure to prevent rain from entering the home before glass was widely used.

Things You'll Need

  • Basswood
  • Finishing nails
  • Dowels
  • Drill
  • Glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Wood stain or paint
  • Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Measure the window and write down the dimensions. For an interior mount, the overall width and height of the shutter should be 1/4 inch less than the jamb-to-jamb dimension. For an outside mount, add 1 inch to the width of the window on both sides.

  • Securely nail hanging strips (painted to match the wall) onto the wall just next to the window. This will be the mount for the shutter.

  • Cut a plank of wood to 3/4 inches thick with a width of about 1 1/4 inch to the desired length. For a plantation shutter, create them with a thickness of 1 1/8 inches and a width of from 1 1/2 inches to 5 inches. Cut and sand them to the appropriate size according to your measurements and style preferences.

  • Divide the height of the window by the width of your louvers. Factor in the overlap amount and that will provide you with the number of louvers you will need.

  • Drill holes for the pivoting pins, be sure to precisely align them, and place them at equal intervals so that the pins that hold them in place will keep the louvers level. Slightly overlap the louvers.

  • Connect the tilt bar to each louver via a staple so that it is able to rotate all the louvers at the same time. Rabbit the top and bottom rails to accommodate the louvers when fully closed. Create an indentation in the top rail to fit the tilt bar into the top rail when closed.

  • Finish or stain the shutters with an eco-finish. While wet, wipe off all stain drips and add a coat of clear finish. If painting them, you should sand, prime, sand again and paint.

Tips & Warnings

  • Design for an upward tilt of the louvers by adding the notch in the top rail. This will make the shutter most effective in blocking out the most light.
  • When making your own window shutters, you must be careful to be as precise with your dimensions as possible.
  • Basswood is a good choice for wood, because it is the most lightweight, is very easy to manipulate, and has a good overall aesthetic quality.
  • Use safety glasses.

References

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