DIY: Quick patio wall makeover with upcycled shutters

We recently painted the house a lovely tone of grey and I’d always wanted to add a focal point on the empty patio wall leading to the front door.

As luck would have it I foundĀ a few old shutter doors in the shed and with a lick of paint and a bit of imagination turned them into a lovely focal trilogy.

I’ll show you just how easy it was in the following steps.


You will need

  • x3 Reclaimed shutters
  • Ā Decorative Chalk PaintĀ® by Annie Sloan (Paris Grey, Provence, Greek Blue) *
  • Annie Sloan soft wax (clear) *
  • Lint-free cloth
  • Sandpaper (200 grit)
  • x6 Moulding hooks
  • x6 Nail-in-anchor nails
  • Drill

*Ā Shop your chalk paint online here!


Step 1

Clean your reclaimed shutters so that they are free of dirt and grime. Apply one coat of paint and leave to dry before adding a top coat in the same or a different colour.

I have used my colours on the three shutters as follows. Shutter 1: Only Paris Grey. Shutter 2: Undercoat in Paris Grey with a top coat in Provence. Shutter 3: Undercoat in Louis Blue with a top coat in Paris Grey.

This way the three shutters’ colours echo each other and work together as a unit.


Step 2

Sand down the top coat to reveal as much of the bottom coat colour as you prefer. Press harder on the edges to reveal the wood and beautiful imperfections you want to highlight.


Step 3

Seal your paint with a layer of clear wax. Simply ‘moisturize’ the wood with your lint-free cloth.


Step 4

After the paint and wax have cured, drill a hole big enough for your nail-in-anchor screws to fit through at the top and bottom centre of the shutter. Now simply measure up the wall and secure them in place.


Step 5

Picture rail hooks add to the old world charm of these shutters and are pretty handy as they give your air plants something to hang from.


Step 6

My recently acquired collection of air plants are now proudly on display at the front door. I secured the bigger ones with a little piece of natural twine to the picture rail hooks just to be sure they don’t blow away.


Step 7

I wanted to add a focal point to the centre shutter and have had this little ceramic bird (bought at Flowers in the foyer) for ages without having a proper use for it. Looks like she’s finally found her nest … or so I thought!

I was almost 100% sure that she was secured to the air plant but clearly not. A gush of wind blew her from her nest and I found her in pieces on the patio! Luckily it as a ‘good break’ so I will be able to glue her back together.

Learn from my mistake! Double secure your plants and ornaments with twine to the shutters.


All done!

It really couldn’t have been easier and it feels great having found a new purpose for these little-forgotten shutters in the shed.


Now it’s your turn to shop around the house, garage or shed to find the perfect upcycling project.

Happy styling,


Upcycled shutter ideas

Shutters or louvers present great alternative uses. I have found a few clever ideas to inspire those creative juices and start your own project.

Shutter rail

Secure a louver door to the wall horizontally to make a clothing rail. Use similar hangers (your prettiest ones!) and display some vintage cocktail dresses or a selected few out of your own closet. Alternatively this would work great in a spare bedroom as an occasional rail for guests.

Suspend a shutter in a kitchen to create more shelf space.



Head strong

Use a grouping of shutters as a headboard by either painting them in the same colour, like the lovely turquoise left, or in different shades like the picture right. Combined with lettering they make a lovely statement.



Pretty handy displays

Louvers make the perfect slots to slip in photographs, invitations or heaven forbidĀ … bills! Either just slide them in or peg them up to create a lovely display. Attach some hooks at the bottom to keep keys tidy.


Fine art

I simply love this yellow and white distressed shutter used as art display.



Long distance runner

Use a shutter as a runner on a coffee or dining room table to group your center piece.


Wall cladding and doors

If you are so lucky to have or find shutters like these French distressed ones, use them as wall cladding! It’s the perfect way to add old-world charm to a room.

Add shutter doors to an old bookcase to turn it into a lovely linen closet.



Divide and conquer

Use shutters outdoors as screens, softened with a climber plant or to break a bland wall.

Remember to varnish the wood so it doesn’t get completely destroyed by the elements.



As luck would have it I found a few forgotten shutters in our farm shed! After writing this post I felt so inspired that I did a lovely patio wall makeover using three of them. Watch the blogĀ for the big reveal!

Happy styling,