How to Build Slatted Shutters in 6 Steps

Want to give your home some rustic curb appeal? Then build these slatted shutters.

They are made entirely from 1-by-4 cedar, nails and wood glue and couldn’t be easier to build.

Materials Needed

Danny Lipford rips boards
Rip several 1-by-4s lengthwise, down to 1 and 5/8 inches wide, for the frame around each shutter.

Before We Begin:

Remember to wear safety glasses — your protection is the most important thing.

Exact measurements depend on your project. Once you determine the width of each shutter, begin cutting 1-by-4s to that dimension.

Since all these shutters are the same width, we’re setting up a “stop block,” or “jig,” to make multiple cuts at the same measurement.

We’re also ripping several pieces lengthwise down to 1 and 5/8 inches wide for the frame around each shutter.

Once you’ve done this, read on for how to build the shutters.

Sealing the slats with clear spar varnish
Seal the slats to highlight the beauty of the natural wood.

1. Prep the Wood

Seal the slats with a clear spar varnish to bring out the natural wood’s beauty. Then paint the framework pieces with black paint. Let dry.

Assembling the shutters' slats and framework
It’s time to assemble the shutters. (This is going by fast!)

2. Assemble the Slats

Begin assembly with another jig. We’re using two 1-by-4s screwed to our worktable to align the slats. This way, the ends are even.

Danny Lipford works with a blue chalk line
This blue chalk line is important, so mark your jig board now!

3. Prep the Trim Boards

Cut the trim boards to length with a 45-degree miter on each end. A blue chalk line on the jig boards allows trim pieces to be installed with a quarter-inch of overhang beyond the slats.

Gluing wood trim and slats with Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue
Nails and wood glue hold these shutters together. That’s all!

4. Secure Trim to Slats

Use Titebond III Ultimate Wood Glue and at least one nail through every slat to attach the trim to the slats. Make sure all the trim is secure.

Danny Lipford covers the shutters' ends
You always want to cover up the ends to conceal those imperfections.

5. Cover the Ends

Add quarter-inch strips on the edges of the slats to conceal the end grain and fill in that quarter-inch overhang.

Touching up the paint on the shutters
Time for touch-up paint!

6. Add Touch-Up Paint

Finally, touch up the paint around the shutters’ edges and let dry.

Now, your shutters are ready to hang — and prepare to wow your neighbors and visitors!  

Watch the video above to see the entire process!

Further Reading


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