How to Refurbish Antique Exterior Wooden Shutters

What You'll Need
Soapy water
Soft brush
Paint and primer, or stain
Super glue gel
Staples, nylon pins
Protective overalls

Dirt, dust and extreme weather conditions degrade the quality and appearance of exterior window shutters. However, it is possible to refurbish antique pieces using simple materials found at home. This restores them back to good condition and they can be replaced back on the windows. Poorly maintained wooden shutters do no look as attractive and can deteriorate the appearance of the exterior of a house.

Step 1 – Dismount Wooden Shutters

Be sure to prop the ladder securely against the wall if they are highly positioned.

Use a screwdriver to loosen wooden shutters from the windows. Take them down one at a time and place them on a spacious and clean area. If there are many panels involved, it is advisable to start the job early in the day, as it might take some time to finish.

Step 2 – Clean Antique Wooden Shutters

With a soft brush, remove loose dirt, debris, birds dropping and other particles on the shutters. Use soapy water and a clean rug to wash them, while scrubbing them gently to remove hardened dirt. Make sure that all dirt has come out before rinsing them. Attach a hose to a tap and rinse them thoroughly.

Leave the shutters out to dry completely. Meanwhile, clean the window openings using soapy water and a rag, and rinse using a hose pipe.

Step 3 – Inspect Shutters

After they have all dried properly, inspect each shutter for damage, rot, decay or loose louvers, rail, stiles or tilt rod. Place aside those that need repairs.

Step 4 – Repair Shutters

For loose louvers or tilt rod, carefully remove the damaged pieces and replace them with a new one. It is advisable to order a replacement kit. Replace loose staples too. Once repairs have been completed, sand the shutters to remove old finishing, uneven surfaces and other imperfections. Wipe away the dust and wood particles.

Step 5 – Paint or Apply Stain

Stir the primer until it has a good consistency. Apply a thin coat on the shutters. Make sure all surfaces on the louver, stile and rail are covered. Leave them to dry completely. Sand the shutters until the surface is smooth. Wipe the particles with a lint free rag and apply a second coat of primer. Let them dry before sanding the surface again to get a smooth surface. Wipe away dust particles and apply a first coat of paint. Leave the shutters to dry completely before applying a second coat.

To apply stain, put a thin layer evenly on the shutters’ surface. Make sure all louvers, stiles and rails are covered. Let them dry completely before applying a second coat. Give them time to dry completely.

Step 6 – Reinstall Shutters

Use new screws to secure the shutters in place. Fasten them using a screwdriver and check that all panels are fitted on the windows correctly.