What To Do With Old Shutters

Are you looking for a project to decorate with shutters? Then this easy DIY is for you! This repurposed shutter project is so easy, that you can do it in a day. Let’s get to it!

If you have a bunch of old window shutters around and you’re not sure what to do with them, you’re in the right place! In this post, I’ll show you exactly how to turn your vintage shutters into a stunning focal point that adds a rustic look to any space. These repurposed shutters come together really quickly, so you can enjoy your new wall decor in just a few hours!

Today is Thrift Store Decor Wednesday, and I am joining some of my repurposing friends in sharing fun upcycled and creative projects for you! Be sure to read through to the end of this post and see the amazing projects from the whole team!

The following post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and then buy something, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting my blog. full disclosure here.

Today is Thrift Store Decor Wednesday and I am joining some of my repurposing friends in sharing fun upcycled and creative projects for you! Be sure to read through to the end of this post and see the amazing projects from the whole team!

old shutters ideas

No kidding, we run across shutters all the time in this business. Auctions, barn sales, estate sales, and even a yard sale or two.

Hubby even has a friend who keeps his eye open for old shutters for us.

We’ve used them in lots of creative ways, but one of my faves is a wall sconce light. In fact, I made some for our home to bring more light into the living space. They’re on timers, so they just automatically come on and turn off every day.

It’s the little things in life…..

I think you’ll love how these wall sconces add a new look to this space! You might think you can only use small shutters indoors, but large shutters are perfect for these repurposed wall sconces!

pile of supplies for old shutter project laying on a table including drill, light kit, pliers and heavy wire

how to upcycle shutters into wall sconces

These upcycled shutters are such a great way to bring those old wooden shutters back to life! You can use any type of shutters you find and use them to add vintage charm to any space.

The best part is that these repurposed shutters are actually practical: they are sconces! They’ll add light to your hallway, home office, or living room with just the flip of the switch (or an automatic timer). You’ll love the end result, so let’s get started!

list of supplies:

step one: clean the shutters

Old shutters are usually filthy, so clean them well before painting. I scrubbed it outside with Dixie Belle White Lightning mixed in a bucket with hot water. A brush helped to loosen all the yuckiness and some of the flaking paint. Then I hosed it down to rinse it.

A day in the sun and this old shutter was dry and clean!

step two: paint

I chose Miss Mustard Seed milk paint in Shutter Gray because it just seemed appropriate! The shutter needed two heavy coats with a bit of touch-up here and there.

Choose your paint colors to match your color scheme. You can’t go wrong with white shutters, but I also love a pop of color. Wouldn’t these be gorgeous in a rich forest green color?

step three: distress the wood

Using a flat-edge chef’s knife that I only use in my workshop, I chipped away some of the paint on these milk paint shutters by scraping the flat edge of the blade along the wood to distress the wood. 

You’ll see in the YouTube video below that the paint chips away so easily.

step four: wax the shutter

Dixie Belle’s Best Dang Wax is a water-based, easy-to-use furniture wax. This wax has no smell, it’s easy to clean the wax brush and the wax is just plain easy to use!

I applied it with Dixie Belle’s wax brush (Best Dang Brush) to apply the wax in a very thin coat. After allowing the wax to dry for about 15 minutes. I used the same brush to buff the surface just a bit. I was able to use the same brush because I barely added any wax with it, and the wax had dried on the brush.

So easy, right??

shop for Dixie Belle products by clicking the image below!

step five: attach the light

The next step is to attach the sconce light fixture to the old shutter.

I decided to show you how to attach the wall sconce light through a video. It seemed easier to show you rather than tell you here on the post.

Be sure to hop over to the video and watch because I’ll give you step-by-step instructions to add the light to your old shutter! Feel free to subscribe to our channel while you are there – I would love for you to join our reinventing journey! 😊

close up view of wall sconce light attached to an old shutter

step six: add the wall hanger

It’s time to add the hanger! This old shutter wall sconce light fixture is meant to hang on the wall, but you could also lean it into a corner of a room. If you do that, take precautions so that no little ones can knock it down and hurt themselves.

Also, if you have a Roomba…..well, let’s just say you should hang these upcycled shutters on the wall!!

I cut a section of the heavy wire approximately the width of the shutter plus 16”-18”. The wire is meant to show as to highlight the shabby chic feel of this old shutter light fixture.

If you want the wire to be hidden, attach it to the back with eye-hooks and a shorter piece of wire.

lady using a power drill to attach screws on a vintage shutter

Pre-drill holes and then use 3/4″ wood screws (mine are black and have a head-on them like a washer) and screw them into the top of the shutter.

If your shutter is loose, put the screws in the outermost section of wood, not on the inside section of the shutter like I did. The outermost section on my shutter wasn’t in great shape, so I put the screws in the interior section of the old shutter.

Don’t insert the screw all of the way, allow a bit to stick up. Then wrap the wire around the screw at least two times, then finish screwing the screw all the way in. This will hold the wire securely.

I used my needle nose pliers to twist the wire into a curly cue. You’ll see how I did that in the video. This adds a whimsical touch to the old shutter light fixture, don’t you think? Of course, you can skip that step if you don’t like it!

YouTube video: how to repurpose shutters

Watch the video below for a step by step overview of this shutter sconce project.

youtube thumbnail graphic with text overlay 'repurposed old shutters'

There you have it! What do you think? I love it so much!

staged scene showing old shutter light that hangs on the wall with a wood chair, a green stool, a footstool with a blanket and a Bible, wall art, and a dress form with a back wrap apron hanging on it

ideas for decorating with shutters

Let’s think of some ideas where this light could be used in your home!

  • as a single light with a side chair that is near a wall (like in the image above)
  • a pair of them on either side of the living room or dining room windows
  • a pair of them on either side of the master room bed
  • a single shutter in a child’s room
  • near an entryway

That last idea, near an entryway, gave me another idea! Add a basket to the old shutter with some hooks as a drop-off for keys, gloves, or mail!

how to hang an old shutter light fixture

This shutter has some weight to it so be sure to use a strong hook made to hold the weight of your shutter. Attach it after finding a wall stud, or use a molly. By all means, hang this shutter securely to the wall!!

I used a command hook rated for the weight of my shutter light after I sprayed painted it in a bronze color.

side view of old shutter turned into a hanging wall light fixture with a wood chair, an organ stool and a dress form with an apron hanging on it

add Edison bulbs for a vintage feel

The decorative shutters are vintage, so it’s only appropriate to add a vintage-style light bulb, too. Amazon has tons of Edison bulbs available now, and they are not nearly as expensive as they were when they first came out.

close up of sconce light attached to an window shutter showing ways to use old shutters

best vintage bulbs for old shutter light

Here is a selection of bulbs as well as some other wall sconce light fixtures for you to choose from for your next light fixture from old shutters project!

thanks for shopping via our links! In doing so, you help to support all the free tutorials we offer! There is NO additional cost to you!

full staged view of old shutter repurposed into a light, wooden chair, dress form with an apron, organ stool, foot stool with a blanket and a Bible on it, wall art and hanging lights in the background

more decorating ideas for old shutters

Not into the shutter wall sconce design? There are so many different ways to repurpose wood shutters out there if you get creative!

  • Make a DIY paper organizer using a simple shutter
  • Paint them with the stars and stripes or to look like a jack-o-lantern for a holiday display
  • Add white legs and turn them into a coffee table or a console table (such a gorgeous look!)
  • Use them to create a unique kitchen island
  • Paint them white and hang them over your fireplace with some greenery and pillar candles for a dramatic effect
  • Attach some hooks and hang a white shutter horizontally for a coat rack
  • Highlight their natural beauty by scrubbing them down and turning them into a wall display
  • Hang small pots down the front of your shutter and display it in your outdoor space as a vertical garden
  • Secure your shutters on both sides of picture windows for an inviting window treatment 
  • Attach two shutters together and install shelves for additional storage space
  • Hang mason jars to display pine cone flowers or tealights
  • Secure the perfect shutter to your kitchen wall and add hooks to display your ladles and strainers

so glad you stopped by!

It really means the world to us that you stop by here to learn how to decorate with shutters. We hope you are inspired to make some of the projects we share for your home. If you do, can you let me know? Comment below and let me know about your project!

the projects continue!

This post is part of a blog hop I did with some of my repurposing blogging friends! Be sure to visit their posts to see the fun projects they have to share with us!

We would also love it if you joined our journey via email. We don’t sell email addresses and we only send 3-4 emails per month letting you know about our projects! You can sign up below and I will send you a fun freebie!

Pin the image below to your home decor and repurposing idea boards! Just click the pin button at the top left corner!

Pinterest graphic showing home decor including a repurposed shutter with text overlay "what to do with old shutters" ReinventedDelaware.com

Repurposed Shutters Wall Sconce Lights

Learn how to repurpose old window shutters into unique lighting fixtures to hang in any room in your home! This step-by-step tutorial will take you every step of the way to creating unique lighting for any room.
Prep Time1 hour
Active Time3 hours
Total Time4 hours
Author: Cindy
Cost: $100


  • paint brush
  • wax brush
  • pliers
  • wire cutters
  • power drill


  • old shutters
  • wall sconce light kit
  • Edison bulbs
  • heavy gauge wire
  • wood screws with pan head
  • Milk Paint in desired color
  • heavy duty cleaner
  • wax brush
  • furniture wax
  • wall hook


  • Clean the shutters thoroughly. If you can't wash them outside with White lightning cleaner, a scrub brush and a garden hose for rinsing. Allow them to dry in the sunshine.
  • Choose your paint color and apply the paint to the old shutters to create ht desired look.
  • Distress the painted surfaces using a flat edge knife to gently scrape away paint creating an distressed and vintage look. Vacuum off the dust and paint chips.
  • Wax the shutters using a wax brush and furniture wax. Buff the surface after a few minutes of drying time.
  • Attach the light fixture according to the package instructions. See the video for more details!
  • Add a heavy duty wall hanger, the Edison bulb and hang you repurposed shutter wall sconce lighting fixture!



Ideas for decorating with shutters:
  • as a single light with a side chair that is near a wall (like in the image above)
  • a pair of them on either side of the living room or dining room windows
  • a pair of them on either side of the master room bed
  • a single shutter in a child’s room
  • near an entryway

Thanks for joining our journey!

Thanks so much for joining us for this post! Join our journey so you don’t miss any fun projects, tutorials, and inspiration we share with you each week! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. We share even more inspiration on Pinterest!

Until next time…

Cindy Rust

Cindy has been decorating her home with thrift store finds for 40 years. She is an avid thrift store shopper who loves to makeover the items she finds into vintage-inspired home decor and furniture. When she isn’t thrift shopping or painting a piece of furniture, you can find her making homemade butter, working in her garden, or painting with watercolors.

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Recipe Rating


    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Maryann! We all need more lighting, right?? 😊

  1. I had a moment and accidentally sent you a message instead of leaving a comment! Please ignore that. I just wanted to say I love your project and it looks amazing!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      I saw the email! Thanks so much – I appreciate all the kind words! Have a great day!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Kim! I love upcycling an repurposing especially when it’s something so practical like a light! Isn’t Dixie Belle an amazing chalk mineral paint? Happy painting!

  2. Love this. Funny I have an antique shutter that hass it’s chippy goodness but I feel it needs to be a bit brighter. I feel guilty painting it. Maybe I will lighten it with a wash.

    Love the light addition and th inspiration you always share.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thanks Cindy! I totally get it about being guilty about painting it – a wash is a great idea! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  3. This is such a cool idea, Cindy! I love the way this project turned out!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Isn’t it a fun project? So glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Shutters are so charming … outside or in. Fun idea to add the sconce light. Adorable! xo

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Aren’t sconce lights great? Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I’ve always wanted a house with shutters. Maybe a shutter home decor DIY is the next best thing 🙂 Your project is a neat way to make them functional!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Great idea – if you don’t have shutters on the outside, bring them indoors! Thanks Marie!

  6. Wow! I really love the light fixture idea! It is so fun to watch your tour stories and see all your amazing staging.

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Thank you Melba!So glad you enjoyed the project and the staging!

  7. Such a great idea and I just happen to have two sets of shutters that I don’t know what to do with. You are so creative!

    1. Cynthia Gayle says:

      Yay for spare shutters lying around!! Happy Reinventing!

  8. This is one of the cutest things I’ve seen from an old shutter and just love it. Thank you for sharing it on Farmhouse Friday! We are featuring it tomorrow. Pinned.

    1. Thanks for the feature, Cindy!

    1. Thank you, Rachel!Hope you have a great week!🥰

    1. This would be a great way to light up a spare bedroom! I would love to see yours if you get a chance to make it Michelle! Happy hunting! 😊

  9. This is beautiful Cindy, It looks like this is something I could tackle. They would be darling in my sheshed, Looking forward to blog hopping with you next week.

    1. Omgoodness Wendy! This would be amazing in a she shed!! Great idea! I’m going to have one of those she sheds someday! Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to our hop too! 😊

  10. This is a great way to repurpose an old shutter, Cindy! Whenever I can find the old wood ones, I scoop them up, too. They can be used in so many ways! Great project!

    1. Shutters are so useful! Thanks for stopping by Lora!

  11. Love it! I never thought of putting a light on an old shutter and it looks great! I’m pinning this one! Thanks, Donna

    1. So glad you are inspired, Donna! Thanks for pinning 🥰

  12. Cindy, I love this project! You always have such creative and inspirational ideas. 🙂

    1. Thanks for the sweet words Niky! I appreciate the encouragement! 😊

  13. Susan Bartenfeld says:

    Could you not use an outdoor fixture and use this on a deck or screened porch!!!??? Oh. My creative juices are flowing like a waterfall!! I’m so happy I’ve joined this group!!

    1. So glad you are inspired Susan! Using this on an outdoor porch is brilliant! I just might have to make another one!😊

  14. This is still one of my favorite projects!

    1. Thanks Anna! It’s one of my faves too!