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Repurposed Shutter Shelf

Upcycle a plain shutter into a stunning shelf using unfinished pine and FolkArt Milk Paint.
not yet rated   AT A GLANCE
Skill Level: Intermediate


FolkArt ® Milk Paint™ - Virginia Reel, 6.8 oz.
Item #38933
Virginia Reel is a pastel wine shade with shades of both brown and lavendar. FolkArt Milk Paint is a casein based paint that dries to an opaque, matte finish. This centuries old paint tradition has been updated for contemporary applications and is ideal for use on use on raw wood. FolkArt Milk Paint comes premixed, and brushes on like a stain, but dries to a flat finish. Whether you’re going for farmhouse chic or a modern update, FolkArt Milk Paint is a versatile and beautiful option.


FolkArt ® Milk Paint™ Finishing Oil, 3.7 oz.
Item #38938
Used over FolkArt Milk paint, this finishing oil offers exceptional protection from the inside out. Non-toxic and solvent-free, the oil is absorbed into porous surfaces and provides a durable finish. It penetrates the surface to form a final coat of protection without leaving a film that will chip or scratch. Great for raw, stained, or Milk-painted wood, this finishing oil is mineral based and cleans up easily with soap and water.


FolkArt ® Milk Paint™ Brush, 1-1/4"
Item #38992
Nimble and easy to grip, the 1 ¼” brush was designed specifically for use with Folk Art Milk Paint. Ideal for tight corners or small projects, this flag-tipped brush has natural bristles designed for maximum paint hold and smooth application. The rounded corners help hide brush marks for a flawless finish. Excellent for a wide variety of home decor projects, this agile brush is reusable and cleans up easily with soap and water. These brushes continue the quality and ingenuity of the Folk Art Milk Paint line.


Other Supplies
Unfinished wood window shutter- 15” x 39”
Two (2) unfinished pine boards 14 7/8” x 3 ½” x 5/8” (for shelves)
Brush basin or container for water
Paper towels
Foam bowls and plates for palettes
Lint-free cotton cloth
Craft knife
Medium or fine grit sandpaper
Tack cloth
Six (6) wood screws
Wood glue
Two (2) wing wood appliques
Electric drill
Foam cup
Plastic spoon


  1. Lightly sand unfinished wood shutter and pine shelf boards with medium grit sandpaper creating a smooth surface while opening wood pores.
  2. Create a measuring cup by placing a ruler inside a foam cup, then mark 1" from the cup bottom up using a pen.
  3. Next, mix a thinner consistency milk paint which will be perfect for the color wash technique. Use the marked foam cup to measure 4 parts water to 1 part Virginia Reel FolkArt Milk Paint into a foam bowl. Mix thoroughly using a plastic spoon.
  4. Load a FolkArt Milk Paint 1.25" paintbrush by dipping into the diluted Milk Paint. Remove excess paint by brushing the side of the bowl.
  5. Apply this mixture to the unfinished shutter, two pine shelf boards, and the two wing wood appliques. Brush the thinned Milk Paint along the natural grain of the wood. If desired, wipe the surface with a paper towel to remove excess and to even out the color application. Allow to dry.
  6. Sand the color washed surfaces smooth using fine grit sandpaper. Wipe surfaces to remove sanding dust.
  7. Finishing – Brush a coat of FolkArt Milk Paint Finishing Oil onto all Milk Paint color washed surfaces. Allow the oil to penetrate through the paint washed surface and into the original, unfinished wood. Immediately after applying Finishing Oil, wet sand all surfaces with fine grit sandpaper creating a velvety smooth finish. Wipe to remove sanding dust.
  8. Attach Shelves – Using wood glue, attach shelves to the flat sections of the shutter, one on the center board and one at the bottom. Allow to dry.
  9. After the glue has dried, drill three holes into each shelf from the wrong side of the shutter. Add wood screws to provide additional support.
  10. Add the two color-washed wood appliques as embellishments, to the top of the shutter using wood glue. Allow to dry.
  • TIP: Before painting the Milk Paint color wash, determine placement of shelves and drill pilot holes from the back of the shutter as well as on the shelf boards. Pre-drilling the holes will make it easier to assemble.
Disclaimer: The information found in each project is presented in good faith, but no warranty is given, nor results guaranteed, nor is freedom from any patent to be inferred. Since we have no control over physical conditions surrounding the application of information herein contained, Plaid Enterprises, Inc. disclaims any liability for untoward results.

Important: Please be sure to thoroughly read the instructions for all products, paying particular attention to all cautions and warnings shown to ensure the proper and safe use of the product.

Copyright: All Rights Reserved. No part of this Project may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing, except for your personal use, except by reviewer, who may in reviewing this project, quote brief passages in a magazine or newspaper.