DIY Distressed Shutters

*First of all, I am so overwhelmed and encouraged by all the feedback on my Beloved post.  I’m so thankful for the work God has done in my life and for the opportunity to share it!  Thank you!!!*

I’m at the beginning stages of redoing our master bedroom and bathroom.  Both rooms have been sadly neglected since we moved into this house 6 years ago.  (Ugh…I’m embarrassed to even admit it!)  Anyway, when thinking and planning for our bedroom, I knew I wanted to do inexpensive projects that would have maximum impact.

My first idea was to make a headboard out of old shutters.  This pin served as an inspiration.  I’d been hearing about the Habitat for Humanity Restore here in Tulsa, but I had never been.  From what I had heard, they have great things, but it is generally hit and miss as far as what type of item you find and the quantity of that item.  Well, the first day I went in must have been my lucky day because I found these five 6-foot fiberglass shutters that were exactly what I had in mind.  The best part…they were only $8 a piece!

The shutters were pretty filthy, so the first order of business was to take them out back, hose them down, and allow them to dry before I started the painting process.

The only thing that would have made the shutters more perfect is if they were already black, but after a good wash, it was clear that they were navy blue.  So, I bought this can of paint at Wal-Mart for $8 and used a small roller and paint brush to add the base coat.  After the base coat was done, I allowed the shutters to dry over night.

After I added the base coat of black paint, it was time for vaseline.  I found this great tutorial on Pinterest for distressing using vaseline. It seemed very simple and worth a try!  This part of the process felt very tedious to me.  I used a small paintbrush and randomly added splotches of vaseline all over the shutters.  You can kind of see the splotches in this picture.  I wasn’t fully convinced that this would be the best way so I decided to do a trial run on one shutter.  I did vaseline on the top half of that shutter and none on the bottom.

For the top coat, I used a sample size jar of the Behr paint we used in our bathroom.  I only put one coat on top.  In this picture, you can see the paint looks streaky and there are areas where there is less coverage.  I didn’t worry too much about it because it was actually the look I was going for.  Once the paint was dry (in the heat we’ve been having, it only took about an hour!), I started sanding with a small sanding block.  The paint came right off in the areas I had put vaseline.  It was super easy!  I went ahead and sanded the bottom half that didn’t have vaseline to see the comparison and it seemed to be just as easy.  So, I decided I would paint the four other shutters and skip the vaseline step all together.  BAD MOVE.  I don’t know if the heat had gotten to me when I was sanding the first shutter, but it was NOT just as easy AT ALL to sand without the vaseline.  I think I lost approximately 5 pounds in sweat alone sanding down the remaining shutters.  So…please learn from my mistake…use the vaseline technique!  My only word of caution/advice…when you sand after using the vaseline, there may be some areas where too much paint comes off.  Don’t worry.  Just slap a little touch-up paint on that area and sand it again.

Voila!  The first shutter.

The next step in this process was to mount the shutters to the wall.  This is when I call my dear friend’s husband for assistance.  He is so gracious to help us out on projects around the house.  Unfortunately, neither mine or Nick’s Masters degrees help us in the DIY department :(

Here they are!  Aren’t they beautiful?!?

(You’ll notice I didn’t waste my time sanding the bottom half of the shutters since they are hidden by the bed.)

Here’s a closer look at the little contraption at the bottom for those of you who might be interested in how he mounted these for us.

Another look…

And the finished product!  I’m so RELIEVED when and idea in my head turns out just as or even better than I expected!

I Heart Nap Time
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16 Comments on “DIY Distressed Shutters”

  1. jessica rinner says:

    So Cute!! I love it! You did a great job.

  2. Jill Anneler says:

    So pretty! You did a great job!

  3. Wow this is Awesome!! I’ve heard of the Habitat for Humanity Restore but not sure if there’s one around me or not – I’ll have to go find out now! <3 The end result was beautiful – enjoy your new headboard and thanks for sharing!

  4. Kelley says:

    These are beautiful, Amy!! I’m so impressed! I hauled our old shutters off to the Habitat for Humanity Restore, without a clue that they could have been so transformed into an amazing headboard!! Thank you for sharing the before and after pics!!

  5. Erin says:

    I love it…I tried the Vaseline technique on a small project, and it ended up not working too well. Glad you got is to work well! This is gorgeous!

    Erin @ Chronic Christian Crafter

    • lifethroughmyeyes says:

      Thank you!! Based on reviews I’ve read, the Vaseline techniques seems pretty hit or miss. Maybe I’m glad I didn’t try it on all 5 shutters! ;)

  6. [...] DIY Distressed Shutters from Life Through My Eyes [...]

  7. Talia says:

    These are gorgeous!! I have been married 9 years, and we JUST bought a fabric headboard… I am really sad we did that now that I see these!!! Love the colors you chose and I love your bedding. Good Job! :)

    • lifethroughmyeyes says:

      Thank you! I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who has neglected my bedroom for far too long! ;)

  8. Katie says:

    Nice job! I have the same bedroom set (comforter, pillows, etc) :) Love it!

  9. michele says:

    My daughter and I are going to do this project can’t wait I love it

  10. Leslie says:

    Is your bed a king? How did you know how many shutters you needed and how tall you wanted them to be?


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