Want to add some character to a room in your home? Here’s how to build a shutter wall to change the look of your home.

I started the project by spray painting them all white

Just in case no one else mentioned it today?

You. Are. Amazing.

I LOVED reading the comments from yesterday and all the discussion on getting rid of clutter.

Number 3 on the list was getting rid of old magazines (which just between us is a little painful to me). So when I sat down to tell them all goodbye I found this shutter wall project featured in one of them.


A wall full of shutters.

A long time ago in a land far away we created this wall in the upstairs guest bedroom tucked under the eves of the attic. It is still one of the projects that people ask about and pin and send me e-mails full of questions on how to make it.

So today?

Just in case you haven’t been reading the blog since 2014, let’s discuss how we made that shutter wall. And I even photographed the magazine project from 2014.

Here’s how to build a shutter wall.

Pick up all the shutters you can at yard sales and antique stores

To start this project, you’ll need shutters.

I found all my shutters on a 500-mile yard sale. It took me almost all 500 miles of the yard sale because I am extra cheap (or bargain receptive as we like to say around here). When I started out on my 500-mile journey, I set a budget for myself of less than $5.00/shutter (which was challenging because most of the yard salers were in absolutely in love with their shutters).

I collected about 25 shutters of different sizes and shapes.  I think I even bought a few sets of louvered doors (which was a much better idea because no one was really in love with them).

If you don’t have an extraordinarily long yard sale in your nearby vicinity? You can find shutters like these at yard sales or thrift stores or your grandmother’s attic.

I scrubbed them and cleaned them and removed all the debris (spiderwebs and dust and dirt and hay).

Then I left them in the sun to dry outside.

Now the shutters are ready for the project.

Here’s the step-by-step on how I made the wall.


How to Build a Shutter Wall

Materials Needed:

  • Shutters (quantity and dimensions will vary based on your wall size and design preference)
  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Stud finder
  • Wood glue
  • Sandpaper
  • Paint or stain (optional)
  • Paintbrush or roller (if painting)

Step 1: Measure the wall

The shutters I found were all different sizes.

To determine how many shutters you need, you’ll first need to determine the blank canvas (or wall that you are working with). Using a tape measure, carefully measure the dimensions of your wall (8′ tall by 10′ wide). Take note of any obstructions such as outlets or light switches that may affect the placement of your shutters. Plan the arrangement of the shutters on the wall, considering the desired spacing between each shutter.

Step 2: Lay out the shutters

It’s like a giant puzzle.

Lay out the shutters on the ground until they fit together to fill the space of the wall. The shutters should cover the wall from side to side. If needed, use a saw to trim the shutters to the appropriate width.

Sand any rough edges with sandpaper to achieve a smooth finish.

Step 3: Paint the shutters

If you want to paint the shutters (I painted mine white), make sure you paint them before you install them. Lay them on a drop cloth in a well-ventilated area and dry brush the paint lightly over the shutters.

You can also spray-paint the shutters as well.

Allow them to dry completely before installing them.

Step 4: Locate Wall Studs

Using a stud finder, locate and mark the positions of the wall studs along the area where the shutters will be installed. This will provide sturdy anchor points for attaching the shutters securely to the wall.

We actually screwed the shutters directly in the wall; however, in our house, there’s shiplap under our drywall so our walls are full of wood.

The wood ship lap makes installing the shutter wall easy.

Make sure you plan ahead and lay out your wall

Step 5: Start Installation

Begin at one end of the wall and work your way across. Place the first shutter against the wall, aligning it with the marks indicating the studs. Use a level to ensure it is straight.

You also want to install the shutters with the center louver on the outside.  This will make them all lay flat.

Screws and gaps add character to your wall

Step 6: Secure the Shutters

Using a drill, pre-drill holes through the shutter into the wall studs.

Insert screws into the pre-drilled holes and tighten them using a screwdriver. Repeat this process for each shutter, ensuring proper alignment and spacing.

We didn’t do this, but you could also reinforce the installation, apply a thin layer of wood glue along the back of each shutter before securing it to the wall. This will help create a strong bond between the shutters and the wall.

Smaller and larger shutters can be placed near each other

Step 7: Continue Installation

Work your way across the wall, repeating steps 5 to 7 until all the shutters are securely attached.

Use the level periodically to ensure the shutters are aligned both vertically and horizontally.

I found several plain shutters at the yard sale that were perfect space holders but to make the wall of shutters match, I layered them with the smaller louvered shutters.

If there was an extra space that needed to be filled we simply cut parts of shutters and inserted them into the blank spaces.

Leave a little bit of wiggle room at the top and bottom of your wall in case you need to adjust your shutters

Step 8: Allow some wiggle room

You want to leave extra space at the top and the bottom of the shutter wall

Just in case your shutters don’t all align properly the space will help. If you need to add a shutter that’s just a little longer than the others you can always cover it up with crown molding on the top and base molding on the bottom.

how to build a shutter wall Once all the shutters are done add crown molding to the top

Step 9: Finishing details

One last thing. When you are working on how to build a shutter wall? Don’t overthink it. Promise me?

We added crown molding to the top to hide the gap at the top. There are also gaps and spaces in the shutter wall, but no one really notices them. You can always use wood filler to fill any gaps or nail holes if you want and sand them smooth once dry.

But me and my shutter wall?

We kind of like the gaps.

They are called character. 🙂

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how to build a shutter wall

Here’s the finished room with its shutter wall.

Each shutter tells a story.

I can still remember the look on the lady’s face at one of the yard sale booths mid-way through the 500-mile yard sale as I stood there in line clutching my one lonely shutter.

She quirked her eyebrow at me with an expression that said, “One shutter?  Really?  What in the world can a person do with one shutter?”

And she was right.

A shutter by itself is a little sad.

But a wall of them….

…..is amazing.

PS And here are a couple of pages from that magazine feature.

Don’t worry.

I didn’t toss this one. 🙂

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  1. Image for Kris Kris

    I've always loved the shutter wall. I do NOT have the patience to create my own, so I'll just look at pictures (actually, I love the entire room--so sweet!). BTW, I have a small side table made out of a shutter. I've had it for years and I love it.

  2. Image for Teresa Teresa

    Amazing project and wonderful result! That took time and determination for sure but so worth it. Love the look! Question - Do you have a room where you have exposed the existing shiplap walls under the drywall? We are in the process of restoring our family home we repurchased built in the 1800's and the shiplap walls are really wide wood. We love them!

  3. Image for Laura Laura

    My house had a sunroom that faced southeast. The windows had wood shutters. The temperature in that room would be ten degrees higher than the room next to it. Not good for my piano, which was in there. I ditched the shutters and got solar blinds. (Window film wasn’t an option as the window are original and over 100 years old). I used some of them to make a dog gate and put four together to make a column. Neat spot for plants on the porch.

  4. Image for Peg Peg

    Wow, your room looks exactly like the magazine!! Well done!!! May I please know where the curtains are from? xoxo

  5. Image for Debbie Debbie

    How cute is this idea❣️ Very cute! I have a screened in porch here in SC and one wall needs a little decor. I haven’t painted a canvas in a little while so I look at this lonely wall from time to time and tell myself that I will figure it out. But a shutter wall would be fun to do. Our ceiling is that Charleston powder blue. The wall is a putty gray. Hmmm. Maybe a shutter wall in that light blue. Love this gun and creative idea KariAnne!!

  6. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    That is an exceptional style for sure. It isnt my style but it doesnt need to be, I still enjoed it. And you did an amazing job with it. But you never let down with your projects or stories. I look so forward to them. Thank you

  7. Image for Rizae Rizae

    Holy shieskies girl... Do you ever rest? HAHAHA You definatly have more patience and perseverance than I do! Love the look, simply amazing.

  8. Image for Heather Heather

    What a wonderful wall. I love something different that makes me happy. Will have to start collecting shutters lol

  9. Image for Nicolle Nicolle

    Kerryanne I love this idea! It's so different! Going to share this with my sister because she collects old vintage shutters! Have a great weekend!

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