Fun with Shutters

vintage shutter

I love to take things that others might discard and use them in new and creative ways.  Creating true art from someone else’s throwaway is such a rewarding challenge.

A few months ago we were cruising the antique shops in Ligonier, Pennsylvania and we discovered some very cool old shutters.

unpainted shutter

We weren’t going to buy them….what would we do with them…then we were…then no…then finally we decided to snatch them up.  We bought them all.  We got them at a good price but they were still an investment so we had to think of ways to use them.  They are really interesting but an awkward size because there didn’t seem to be much of a painting surface and they looked a bit big to repurpose into bookshelves or something like that.  So they sat…and I moved them….and moved them again.

Then Cathy did the tutorial on creating alabaster from cheap plastic and she happened to mention that she would like to to put these sconces on something.

syrocco to alabaster

That started the wheels turning and I ran out to the shed to retrieve one of these old shutters.  I showed her the idea and she loved it! We painted and distressed the shutters following the exact techniques found in our tutorial on furniture distressing located here.

We ended up with this lovely shutter.

upcycled shutter

Then we attached the sconces, added some candles and hung this gorgeous, repurposed piece on the wall.  We absolutely love it.

Sconce Shutter Close Up

This old, lovely and useless piece now becomes a piece of lovely artwork.

That got the ball rolling.  I really wanted to paint a lovely floral design on these shutters but really considered the painting space to be too small.  Then I thought out of the box. See, at first I only cosidered the raised part of the center panel to  be the painting surface and that really is too small but then I considered using the entire panel as my canvas.  That would work as it gained me a couple of inches.  If I created a design that was vertically oriented I could use the shutter as a canvas for my art.

First, I painted the shutter a combination of blue green and creme.  I used some of the distressing techniques that we included in the above tutorial. I then set about to create a lovely floral design.  The surface was a bit rough to paint on and the space was tricky to work with but it turned out so nicely.

vintage shutter

vintage shutter

We have many more of these shutters so this is just the beginning.  With a little creativity and thought the sky is the limit!

Until next time,


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