I am not sure what has gotten into me lately. I am definitely walking on the wild side these days! I am adding color EVERYWHERE! Even in unexpected places. My most recent target…….exterior window shutters. When we bought our house you will remember it was not by choice. Well, no, noone actually twisted our arms. It was basically our only option as I wasn’t willing to give up my chance to live by the sea! So….we ended up with this beauty by process of elimination. To be fair, it is a beauty now. But let’s start at the beginning.
Our house sat on a heavily wooded lot. Abandoned and left empty for more than a year, it was the ugly duckling. I would be telling a story if I said we saw the beautiful swan it would become. As it turns out, there were some things we liked about our house. Those things just weren’t apparent early on.
The exterior definitely needed some curb appeal. I guess in architectural terms, the style of the house could be either traditional, country, transitional, or for us, the cottage coastal look of the lowcountry style. It wasn’t a Charleston (swoon) or a raised beach house (double swoon) but I could work with it. The front door and sidelite were the same burgandy color as the exterior window shutters. So, to start off, we added some palm trees and a new solid mahogany entry door. But what could we do with the traditional shutters to give the house some character and make it look cottagey coastal?? We do have an upper level on the side of the house that we would love to add some bahama shutters to eventually. But I didn’t think they would look at all good on the lower level of the house. So….I did some research and decided that the board and batten style would definitely be an improvement and having the option of painting them practically any color of the rainbow was extra appealing.
Initially I was not at all thinking of this as a DIY project. But the more I looked, the more I realized what a simple design they are. Straight boards nailed together, so why not??
After mentally committing to a project, I am not real good at waiting to execute the plan. My better half is an excellent idea bouncer-off-er. We brainstorm everything from the initial idea, potential project gone bad scenarios, material, size and color options. By the time I formally submit my requisition I have done my homework and have a plan. We talked through the details and decided on 3-4″ “battens”. We chose a top and bottom cross bar that would also be 4″. We did consider a third crossbar in the center, but ultimately went with just top and bottom. Our house is cedar siding so choosing cedar for the shutters was a no brainer. The color would be a fairly easy decision, and we would use the same Behr Siding and Deck Stain that we used when we painted the house. It was super easy to work with, went on incredibly smooth and has held up wonderfully so far. And it has a 25 year warranty!!
We measured our windows by height (63″) X 6 (3 battens per side)=378″ divided by 12 = 31.5′ of wood per window. An additional 4′ was needed for the cross pieces per window. So a total of 35.5′ per window. And we have a LOT of windows We also put a smaller version on the shop windows, and we calculated them the same way, only thing we did different was to use a 3″ cross bar since the windows were much shorter we thought that would look more cohesive.
After measuring carefully, we used a miter saw to cut all our battens. Any rough edges got a quick once over with a fine grit sandpaper before advancing to the painting department (aka Me). I applied two or three coats.
We put them all together using wood screws and installed them using brads. I filled in all the nail holes and touched them up with the stain and then stood back to admire our handiwork.
Honestly they turned out better than expected and surprisingly this was one of those projects where everything went as planned. I think the only uh oh! moment was when we bought all our wood, we miscounted and were one short. But that was an easy fix. Low cost and they can be repainted if we tire of the color!