Sunday, February 23, 2014

Repurposed Antique Shutters

A few years ago, I found a set of shutters while antiquing with my mom. I wasn't sure what to do with them, but they were well priced so I got them. Up until 3 weeks ago, the shutters were in a closet in our spare bedroom. One night I got the idea to use them as doors for our coat closet. After some quick measuring, we decided it would work. This project took three weeks of brainstorming … but only a couple weeknights of labor!

Challenging because we had no prior shutter hanging experience, but we're both happy with how it turned out!

The door jamb wasn't wide enough to fit both shutters + hinges and we didn't want to trim the shutters. It took us many hardware store trips to find a hinge that would work. Most hinges aren't designed to be mounted on trim with a flush hinge. They are offset because shutters typically hang inside of a window when shut. I ended up finding self-closing cabinet hinges at Home Depot, $2.79/two pack. Not their intended use, but they worked out.

{Side note! This was the third kind of hinge we tried… Third time's the charm!}

Baseboards were removed with a crowbar
Temporarily sad aftermath of trim removal

We removed the trim around the door and replaced it with stained pine board. I used Varathane Dark Walnut stain & applied it with part of an old t-shirt. While I worked on that in the basement, Andrew vacuumed up pieces of crumbled dry wall & painted over the white you see in the photos (to help prevent future crumbling). We ended up having to remove the baseboards on each side of the closet so we could trim a little off - the pine board we bought was thicker than the old trim. That was stressful! Andrew worked hard to ensure that he didn't gouge the wall or snap the boards. When they had been successfully removed from the wall, he cut them down to size with his miter saw.

My staining spot in the basement
We applied the new trim with an 18 gauge brad nailer

After the pine board was in place, we hung the shutters. We installed the hinges on the shutters first, then screwed them into the trim. The final touches? Handles & a magnetic latch to prevent the doors from closing in.

Close up of the top right cupboard hinge

The handles were distressed with sand paper

The finished product; not bad, considering this was our first encounter with indoor shutters!

The pictures hardly do it justice - this project turned out great and we were able to maintain the integrity of the antique shutters, including keeping the original paint. With every completed project we gain more confidence & excitement for the next one. Stay tuned for what's next!

Keep creating!


  1. You two are impressive!!! They look amazing!!!

  2. This is so awesome! I must come see your house soon!