How To Make Board and Batten Shutters

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Even though I was having the best Saturday morning sleep-in ever, Alex woke me up early so that we could head to the hardware store. He did, after all, promise to help me make some board and batten shutters for the front exterior of the house. It's been on my curb-appeal project wish list forever.

Here's what we picked up at the hardware store:
  • Ten 12-foot 1x4 white pine boards (about 120 linear feet)
  • Construction adhesive
  • A handful of 1 1/4" deck screws
Here's the tools we used from home:
  • Measuring tape & pencil
  • Compound mitre saw
  • Caulking gun
  • Drill
  • Impact driver
  • Electric sander
  • 100 grit sandpaper
Here's what we borrowed from the neighbour:
  • Big clamps (2 of 'em)

First we poured two big mugs of coffee and went outside to take some measurements. To determine the length of our shutters we measured the length of the exterior windows including the aluminum window frames. When determining the width of the shutters we measured the distance between the three matching windows to see how much space would be left after the shutters were installed. 

{Even though most shutter sites recommend making the width of your shutters 1/2 the width of the window, I actually prefer the look of narrower shutters. Sooooo, I didn't pay attention to that rule at all and just chose a width that I thought looked good.}

When we got to the hardware store we played around with a few different options and narrowed it down to using either three 1x4 boards or four 1x3 boards. We finally settled on using three of the wider 1x4's since they seemed sturdier and less likely to warp than the 1x3's. 

We figured out that we would need about 120 linear feet of wood to create six shutters. We figured out that buying 12' boards would work best for making 5' long shutters.  

Alex used his mitre saw to cut each board to length. He also used the same wood to cut the cross pieces. Ours cross pieces were about 10" long.

Before we started assembling the shutters we made sure that the boards on each one were all curved the same way. We also made sure to choose the choose the sides with the least amounts of knots and imperfections for the fronts of the shutters.

We didn't want any screws showing on the front of the shutters so we decided to screw the boards to the cross pieces from the back. So we placed each cross piece under the three boards, and decided to place them 8" from the top and bottom of the shutter.

We used construction adhesive first to secure the three long boards to the cross pieces as well as to secure each board together.

{I didn't want big gaps in between each board, I just wanted really subtle ones.}

Once the three boards were glued to the cross pieces, we clamped each end to eliminate the spaces/warping between each board.

Once the boards were glued and clamped securely, we double checked that everything was lined up and straight, before screwing them together. We pre-drilled each hole and then used a bunch of 1 1/4" wood screws.

Once all the boards were screwed together with the cross pieces, I took out the electric sander and some 100 grit sandpaper and sanded all of the cut ends until they were nice and smooth.

Even though by this time I was ready to quit, Alex convinced me to power through and get them all primed while the sun was still out. We used some shellac-based primer to coat the fronts and backs of each one. This step is important so that those pesky knotholes don't bleed though the paint.

And that's how we made our own board and batten shutters. Stay tuned because tomorrow I'll be painting them and (fingers crossed) installing them. (I still haven't decided if I'm going to use any decorative hardware on them yet.)

I'll be posting some fun before and after photos when we're done..... hopefully tomorrow!

Update: To see the shutters installed on the house, click here.

Sharing at:

Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints on the Fridge
Saturday Nite Special @ Funky Junk Interiors
DIY Project Parade @ The DIY Show-Off
Amaze Me Monday @ Dittle Dattle


  1. That is a great tutorial. I'm sure for a relatively low cost, you will have a high impact addition to your curb appeal goals! Now, I wonder what color they will be...

  2. Happy Birthday!! Can't wait to see your new shutters up. They are going to look smashing!

  3. What a wonderful hubby you have! Happy Birthday, I cannot wait to see them on the house!!

  4. Love the look of the clean and simple lines. What a fun way to spend the day. I love building things for our home.

  5. Board & Batten, Coffee, and sunny day - sounds perfect!

  6. Oh ... I'm following this post closely ... I want to put shutters on the dining room window that is in my back garden. I don't know how to adhere them to the brick ... so I'll be checking back. THANKS.

  7. I love them! thanks so much for sharing the tutorial - I'm bookmarking this for later.

    I'm visiting from The Lettered Cottage and hope you're having a great week.


  8. AnonymousJuly 11, 2011

    Thanks so much for sharing with us. I plan on doing the same thing as you this weekend. Looks really easy.

  9. What a great job. Looks wonderful.

    I also did board and batten myself, and just a word to the wise, for those who want to use these functionally and not just decoratively, you'll want to cut the battens just short 1/4 inch on each end. If you have a router, beveling the edges looks nice too, but I also like the clean look on these. We also purchased rustic nail heads and installed one in each batten for old world charm.

    Thanks for sharing the DIY. I'm pinning this one!

    1. Thanks so much for the tip. I really like the idea of the rustic nail heads. Yours sound like they turned out really nice. :)

  10. thanks for sharing each step so much clearly.

  11. Your shutters looks great! I had to make some for myself:

  12. I can't wait to put these up at my house! I've already made a prototype from cheaper materials to see what they will look like. Also, I figured I could paint the prototype and if I decided it was the wrong colour it will give me the opportunity to change it.

    Thanks for posting these instructions! I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can get out there and get this done. Unfortunately for me it'll be May before it's warm and dry enough to get started. (I live in Muskoka).

  13. Thanks for the Great tutorial. Sounds like you are pro. Thanks once again, now i ll try this out

  14. I totally love the board and batten look and especially the hinges. I printed your instructions and I am now replacing my old ones. It seems like everyone in our city have the louvered ones. Mine will be different. Can't wait to get them on the house. Your house looks great and I too love the colour.


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