How To Make Shelves With Old Shutters
I love old shutters but sometimes they come in less-than-perfect shape. I bought four at Three Speckled Hens in Paso Robles over a year ago. None of the shutters functioned so they sat in the garage for a year before I finally decided it was time to put them to use. I’ve been decorating my she-shed so I have a lot of space to fill. Turning the shutter sideways while paint dried gave me the idea to turn my old shutter into a shelf!
Here’s what I used to turn my shutters into shelves :
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- old shutter
- chalk paint
- chip brush
- shelf brackets
- shelf boards (I used scraps from the yard)
- Dewalt drill (of course you can use any but I like Dewalt)
- Gorilla brand wood glue
- Shelf hanging hardware
You’ll also need a saw to cut the shelf boards unless you have the hardware store do it for you. You’ll also need a drill bit for pre-drilling holes.
If your shutters are broken, you can use the Gorilla wood glue to glue them in place so they don’t fall out when you hang the shelf. If they aren’t broken, lucky you! I started by painting the shutter using chalk paint. I wanted some of the natural color of the shelf to show through, so I used a little bit of water in a shallow plate to dip my brush in from time to time to slightly water down the paint. If you want your shelf solid white, just lay that paint on heavier. This part takes the most patience because painting every part of the shutter is a bit of work. You don’t have to paint the back if you don’t want, but I recommend painting all of the edges around the outside because you’ll see that portion when it’s hanging on the wall. I used a cheap chip brush to paint the shelf. I like to reuse things, so I actually rinse my chip brushes and use them as many times as possible. If you like chalk painting, I recommend stocking up. You’ll use them a lot in all different sizes! Anyway, here’s a before and after of the shutters. The screws that are sticking out of the top in the picture were there when I started. I removed those for the shelf.
Now that you have the shutters painted, you’ll need to cut the piece of wood that you’re using for the shelf. I cut mine to the exact width of the shutter. Lowe’s or Home Depot can do it for you but I used old wood from my wood pile for this project. When you pick your shelf, make sure it’s deep enough to cover your shutter and the brackets. The wood in my pile wasn’t deep enough, so I pieced two together. I love rustic, but that may not be your thing. Here’s a picture of my two pieces from the side.
I feel like the above picture says a thousand words. You’ll reference it for your bracket installation and your shelf installation. Make sure to attach your shelf brackets to the thickest part of your shutter. You can see that I attached mine to the frame using shallow screws that won’t poke out the back, but will keep the shelf secure. My shutters were old so I pre-drilled the holes so the shutter wouldn’t split. If you’re not sure what pre-drilling a hole is, it just means that you drill a hole that is smaller than the circumference of the screw into the wood to create a path for the screw to follow. Align the bracket, mark the spots that you should pre-drill, remove brackets, pre-drill holes, align brackets again, then screw them to the shutter. Easy-peasy, just a little time consuming. After both brackets were attached to the shutter (aligned with the top of the shutter), I attached the shelf pieces using the same method. I pre-drilled the holes and then attached the shelves to the to part of the bracket. The last things you have to do is attach the hardware to the back. Again, pick the meatiest part of the wood so the screws will support the weight of the shelf. And, yes, you have to pre-drill one more time. If you’re lucky enough to have two drills, one should hold the drill bit and the other the driver. This is so much faster!
You can see in the photo that I also added some cool rustic drawer pulls to the bottom of one of mine. You don’t have to do this but it’s a fun option. I made one that is for sale in my booth at Reminisce in downtown Paso Robles and one for my she-shed. I hope you enjoyed this post. If you want to learn how to paint mason jars, you can read my 3 Simple Mason Jar DIY Projects to learn how I paint them and other ways I love to use mason jars.
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