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Simple DIY Window Shutters

Flank a window with decorative outdoor shutters you can make yourself and paint for maximum impact.

Simple Shutters

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

A few hours

Estimated Cost


Tools & Materials


  • Miter saw or handsaw and miter box
  • Framing Square
  • Cordless drill with driver bit
  • 1/8-in drill bit
  • Clear silicone sealant
  • Wood glue
  • 150-grit sandpaper


  • 1 x 2, 1 x4, and 1 x 6 pine or cedar boards (see instructions for quantity)
  • 1-1/4-in exterior finish nails (optional)
  • 1-1/4-in stainless-steel deck screws
  • 1/2-in x 36-in poplar dowel
  • Exterior wood glue
  • Sherwin-Williams exterior primer
  • Sherwin-Williams latex paint, in a color to accent your home

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online


Step 1

Choose the material based on the finished look your after, choose the rough sawn cedar boards for a rustic look if you want a stained finish, or pine for a cleaner design painted look.

Step 2

Cut the following each pair of shutters; the center slats (A), narrow slats (B), and side slats (C) to match the height of your window. Cut the cleats (D) to length and lightly sand all of the boards to remove any rough edges.

Step 3

From a 1/2-inch-diameter dowel, cut eight 1-1/2-inch-long pieces to use as spacers. Place the slats with the good surface facing up on a work surface with the ends flush, and insert the spacers between the slats.

Good to Know

When working with rough-sawn lumber like the cedar shown, you can use the smooth face or the rough face depending on your preference for the look of your shutter.

Step 4

Use scraps of dowel to create equal spacing between the slats.

Using a framing square, align the ends of the slats and position the back cleats (Project Diagram). Secure the cleats centered across the slats with 1-1/4-inch deck screws or 1-1/4-inch exterior nails and waterproof glue.

Step 5

Drill 1/8-inch pilot holes near the corners of the shutters. Apply an exterior primer and paint to the shutters, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 6

Position each shutter against your window trim and centered vertically on the window; drill the mounting holes for the shutters through the pilot holes in the shutters. Remove the shutters and apply a waterproof silicone to the holes.

Step 7

One board and one afternoon equals one great-looking pair of shutters you can build. --Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Reposition each shutter and drive the stainless-steel screws to secure the shutters to the wall. Touch up the heads of the screws with paint to minimize their appearance.