DIY Cottage Style Shutters – Choosing a Color

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These DIY Cottage Style Shutters are probably one of the easiest projects we’ve ever taken on. They add so much charm and character to our home, and recently I decided to give them a makeover!

These DIY Cottage Style Shutters are probably one of the easiest projects we’ve ever taken on. They add so much charm and character to our home, and recently I decided to give them a makeover!

YouTube video

I am FINALLY writing a blog post all about our DIY Cottage Style Shutters! I have been asked about our shutters so many times since starting my blog, so today I thought I would explain just how we built them. 

I’m also going to share my process for choosing a color, some mistakes I made along the way, and some things I have learned when it comes to exterior paint. 

DIY Cottage Style Shutters

First of all, the shutters. When we first built our shutters almost 10 years ago now, my husband purchased pine 1×4’s and used 2 for each side of our double windows on the front of our home. He cut them to size and nailed the boards together using another piece of 1×4.

Easy DIY cottage style shutters!

That’s it! They are seriously so simple and so affordable, we didn’t even buy pressure treated wood. We made sure to use exterior paint when we painted the shutters, and they are protected a bit from the roof overhang which definitely helps to protect them from the elements. 

Cottage home flower boxes and shutters
Cottage style home exterior

I realize I don’t have step by step photos, we built these shutters way before I ever started my blog. If you have any questions about them, feel free to ask!

Just recently I decided to make them a bit thicker, so my husband added one more board to each shutter and cut all new cross pieces as well. This time he used Liquid Nails before attaching each cross piece with his Brad nailer. 

How to built easy and affordable shutters!

You could most definitely stain your shutters for a gorgeous wood accent, but if you’re wanting to paint them, here are some things I have learned… 

What NOT to do when Choosing Colors

Mistake #1 – Trusting a Paint Swatch

I took SO many color swatches home from the hardware store, and chose a color based on a tiny little square against my house. Boy was that a mistake. You’ve got to be able to see the color on a much larger scale in order to know if you truly like it. 

Mistake #2 – Trusting the Computer Screen

I went online and looked up the color I chose for our shutters (Grandma’s Boy by True Value), then screenshot it and used an app to add to the color to a picture of my home exterior. It looked perfect on the computer, but completely different in person. 

Tips for Choosing Exterior Colors

Order Samples

My hardware store doesn’t sell samples, so I took a chance and ordered a quart of Grandma’s Boy. I WISH I had been more patient and just waited until I could go to a place that offered samples. Once I painted my color on a shutter and brought it outside, something was wrong. 

On a larger scale, the color was much more baby blue than I thought it would be. It almost had a purple undertone which I was not going for at all. 

Look at Samples on an Overcast Day

It’s so interesting to me how colors change completely with the sun. Do not choose your color based on how it looks when the sun is blasting it. Look at samples in the early evening or on a day when there is cloud cover in order to get a better idea of what the color actually looks like. 

Tips and tricks for choosing paint colors!

Walk Away

Don’t rush this process. Walk away for a while…go for a drive, then come back and see what you think. When I was playing with accent colors for the house, sometimes I thought I liked something, then I would leave for a bit, come home and BAM. Clarity. I knew right away the color wasn’t right. 

When you stare at colors for too long, they all start to blend and it can become so confusing. So take your time, don’t rush. 

Choosing paint colors for our cottage style home

Choosing a color for our DIY Cottage Style Shutters

Alright, now let me explain my thought process for changing the color. Basically, it all started when we got our new storm door from HMI Doors. Michigan winters are harsh, and our front door is almost 100 years old. We desperately needed a storm door and I was so lucky to be able to work with HMI Doors and have a custom, arch top storm door built for our home. 

(If you’re wondering what is going on with our porch, watch the YouTube video above! We are in the process of stripping it so it’s looking a little rough at the moment.)

Stripping the porch and choosing new paint colors!

I decided to go bold with black, but once it was installed, it changed the look of our whole home. I loved the navy blue accent we had before, but something about the black storm door and the shadow from the glass just changed things. The beautiful details on our round door just disappeared, so I decided to start playing with colors to see if I could lighten things up. 

Trying to find the right color for our shutters!

Here are the blues I tried, all labeled:

Different blues for our cottage style home!

Like I said before, I knew almost immediately that Grandma’s Boy didn’t feel right. I wanted something a bit more gray toned and this color felt much too baby blue. Before giving up on it completely, I lightened it by 50% by mixing it with some exterior white. 

That made it better, but I wasn’t sold. 

I went looking through my paint stash and found a color that I used in my little boy’s nursery…Cool Metalwork Grey by Glidden, lightened by 50% (I had them lighten it at the store). 

I threw some of it on a shutter and just seeing it next to Grandma’s Boy, I knew it was so much better. Less purple, more gray with maybe even a hint of green. Here’s a comparison with Grandma’s Boy on the left, Cool Metalwork Grey on the right –

DIY Cottage Style Shutters - choosing a color!

Since I really wanted something lighter for my door, I mixed the Cool Metalwork with white and painted another shutter (it’s the one all the way to the right).

Choosing colors for our cottage!

Again, I share more of my thought process in the YouTube video but basically, I’m really loving the nursery color, haha! What in the world?!

Tips and tricks for choosing exterior paint colors!

I’m still not sure if I will lighten it, but once I have flowers in my window boxes and our front porch is finished, I promise to share a reveal here on the blog. I’m really loving the light blue, it feels very Engligh Cottage and more romantic than the dark navy. 

Cottage Style DIY Shutters

I’d love to hear what you guys think! Let me know in the comments below! 


These DIY Cottage Style Shutters are probably one of the easiest projects we’ve ever taken on. They add so much charm and character to our home, and recently I decided to give them a makeover!


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  1. Andrea, I think the metalwork grey you chose will be very nice. I watched the you tube video and enjoyed it so much. When you mentioned in the video about possibly adding some black metal accents to your shutters, instinctively, out loud, I said, “Oh, that will be pretty!” LOL! I was into it, and could visualize what you were describing. Oh, well, you can tell how much I enjoy your blog/channel. Your garden will be gorgeous too! I cannot wait to see it all. Thanks to you and your husband for sharing your dreams and hard work.

    1. Aww Sherry thank you!! The hardware came in the mail this past Saturday and it looks SO pretty! I cannot wait to share it with you all! Thank you for your kind comment!! 🙂

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  4. Hi Andrea,

    Belated Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great day with your family. I know you went antique hunting with your mom. I can relate to those times I would do the very same activity with my mom.
    We would go treasure hunting for antiques and then stop at a little tea shop and have some lunch. Cherish these times because they go far to quick. I was the recipient of a lot of her antiques. When I look at them I remember those special times and they give me such joy.

    You had mentioned in a video about not sure if you liked the colour that you painted your front door. My suggestion would be to strip it down to the natural wood and coat it with a preservative.

    Love your videos. Your style is incredibly beautiful. You and your husband are an inspiration to many people . You prove that with a little ingenuity you can a achieve your goals.

    Thank you so much.



    1. Marlene thank you so much for the sweet comment!! I will most definitely treasure those times I get with my Mom, I know how fast my own kids are growing and I have to remind myself that my parents are growing older, too. And thank you for the suggestion about my door. I have stripped it once and it was so damaged and cracked that I ended up repainting it. I really am considering stripping it again tho! We’ll see. Thanks again for all the love. 🙂

    1. Yes of course! It is currently Swiss Coffee by the TV and TV trim paint and it used to be Halo by Benjamin Moore.

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