Getting ready to build shutters for my house, but don't know what kind of
wood to use. Lowes sells wooden shutters on special order only that are
made of western red cedar. That sounds durable, but isn't cedar going to
have an open grain and knots that will show through the paint? I can buy
WRC for 1/3 the cost of Lowes, so making my own interests me. I just want
to make sure they will look nice, not be twisted, etc.. before I tackle
My parents have had painted cedar shutters on their house for more than
15 years, and they still look great. I don't remember exactly how they
were painted, but it wasn't anything too special - definitely nothing
more than a primer coat and then the color coat.
Folks around here are using cypress when they want them to last. I
would think if you are building them yourself you could save enough
money to make the extras $$ worthwhile to purchase some weather
Stay away from today's western red. It isn't you dad's western red by
any means. Look at the growth rings - you will be surprised, and
worse, when you see that the wood is around 20-25% moisture content
(read: wet) you won't want to make anything out of it.
Ditto on the moisture content. I built a fence so it didn't matter
that much, but just having the wood in the shop for a week or two
raised the humidity in there so much it was palpable. Mutt.
Two thoughts on the "what wood?" question:
A recent New Yankee Workshop project was "Plantation
Shutters." If I read the "blurb" on the NYW web site
correctly, Norm made his out of bass and poplar. I know
that poplar takes a coat of paint very well. If properly
primed and painted, they should last. No "grain" or knots
to speak of, either.
Or you might consider sinker cypress, the stuff that's
been at the bottom of the pond for a century or more.
Once you REALLY get it dry, it ought to take paint well.
The thing about sinker cypress (I've made many Adirondack
Chairs and matching tables) is that it's virtually rot and
insect proof. What's going to rot away did so decades
ago at the bottom of that pond. It won't warp, either.
"Plantation Shutters" typically go on the _inside_ of the windows, and
they're almost always painted with an enamel, so poplar is almost a given in
this day and age.
I pretty sure the OP was asking about exterior shutters.
I'm in the process of building shutters for my own house and I'm making them
from select grade fir.
After asking around at some of the local millwork houses I got the same
opinion from all of them. I even found two who were making custom shutters
out of fir. They all recommended that I use select grade fir, but said that
they had to be kept well primed and painted, and said "they should last at
least 30 years" if I kept them painted. They also suggested that I protect
the top edge with a small U channel made of aluminum flashing to further
prolong their life, so I'm planning to do this as well. After looking
closely at the old shutters on my house (about 50 yrs old) I discovered that
they were also made of fir and this is what finally convinced me to go with
I've now got about 50% of the shutters built for the front of my house with
the remaining 50% all cut and awaiting assembly (they are raised panel
style). If this all goes well (and the wife is happy with them) I'm planning
to build more for the back of the house next year. Cedar or redwood would
likely be a better choice, but select grade is very difficult to find and
very expensive. I've got $480 worth of fir invested in my project so far (22
shutters) and I was told that making them from cedar or redwood would cost
roughly 3-4 times as much.
"bob" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.