Unlike many new, decorative shutters, which are fixed to the house in the open position, vintage ones were meant to move. They swing on hinges mounted to the window surround and are secured with tiebacks, called "shutter dogs," when not in use. The operable shutters sold at home centers today work the same way, but you'll be hard pressed to match the quality and craftsmanship of the old ones. To find these, you'll have to hit a salvage yard.

Keep in mind that old shutters are also often coated in lead paint. So you should brush on clear polyacrylic to seal the old paint, and commence repurposing.

Shown: Vintage shutters like these can be found for $25 to $75 each.
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    Tools List

    • 16-foot tape measure
      Tape measure
    • pencil
    • Rafter Square
      Rafter square
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
    • bar clamps
      Bar clamps
    • drill
    • multi-bit screwdriver
    • one-and-a-half inch paintbrush

    Shopping List


    Fold-up ironing board

    Iron rest

    Hanging bar

    1x8 boards

    ¾-inch plywood

    1½-inch wood screws

    ¾-inch No. 10 screws

    2 cabinet hinges

    Cabinet knob

    Spackling compound or wood putty