A great way to give a home an old world feel is through the use of vinyl plantation shutters. These shutters have louvered slats that are opened and closed with a center rod. These shutters are also hinged on the side so that they open in the home rather than on the outside. They have a great charm about them and are used in many remodels of houses that want a plantation feel to them. Building your own vinyl plantation shutters is a moderately challenging project that requires the use of power tools and joinery techniques.
Step 1: Take Measurements of Window Casing
To make the shutters to the right size you will need to take accurate measurements. Using a tape measure, get the length and width of the window casing. These measurements will be used in order to make the frame of the shutters.
Step 2: Cut Frame Pieces
The frame is going to be built with the 1x4 lumber pieces. These pieces need to be cut to the measurements that you took. Keep in mind, there are usually two shutters per window. With the measurement of the width of the window, divide it in half and subtract 1/8-inch from it. This will be the width of each of the shutters. Cut, a top and bottom piece to this dimension. Next, cut the side pieces to the measurement of the height of the window casing, minus 1/8-inch.
Step 3: Cut Angles for Frame
Each end of the frame pieces will need to be cut to 45-degree angles. This will give you a better look to the frame. Use a miter saw for making the angle cuts. Remember to use opposite cuts for each of the ends.
Step 4: Assemble Frame for the Shutters
The vinyl plantation shutters are basically a frame with the louvers inside them. Assemble to the frame by using wood glue and finish nails. Apply the glue and use clamps to hold the frame together. Measure the diagonals and make sure it is square. As it is drying, drive two finish nails in each corner.
Step 5: Install Louvered Kit
While the glue is drying you can then assemble the louvered kit according to the directions included. Once the glue is dry on the frame, install the kit to the inside of the frame with the included screws.
Step 6: Install Hinges on Each Door
The hinges are the easiest part of the process. Place one hinge at the top and bottom of each door. They should be located at least 3-inches from the edge of either the top or bottom. Use small wood screws to secure the hinges.
Step 7: Sand and Paint
Making vinyl plantation shutters is much easier when you simply use vinyl paint over the wood. This paint gives a hard shell that is much like vinyl. Sand the shutters down to remove the glue. Use a brush and apply the vinyl paint in several coats. Once it is dry, you will have a nice pair of vinyl plantation shutters you can install in your window.