Antique Shutters = Bedside Tables

4 Materials
2 Days

I found these awesome shutters at our local antique store and knew I could use them in my bedroom remodel.
They had the original hardware and most of the slats were still intact. I wanted new bedside tables to replace the outdated tables we had. These shutters were going to be perfect.
Begin by cleaning the grime off the shutters using a brush with gentle cleanser and water. Allowed them dry completely before sealing with clear wax.

Measure the width of the shutter.
Measure and cut 1” x 2” for the frame of the table.
You will need two pieces of the same size for the front and back; and three pieces of the same size for each side and the middle.
Screw the table frame together.
I used a Kreg Jig to screw my frame together. By using this tool, the joints are a lot stronger.
After putting your table frame together, lay the frame on top of a piece of 1/8” plywood.
Cut out two pieces - one for the top of the table and one for the bottom.
Measure the length of the shutter and cut four 1” x 2” boards to size.
Paint one end the color of the wall where the shutters will hang.
With the back of the shutter facing up, nail the long pieces to either edge of the shutter with the painted side out.
Place the shutter beside your bed to determine the height of your table.
Screw the table frame to the front of the shutter.

Nail the plywood to the top and bottom of the shelf frame.
Stain the entire table then apply clear wax.
Attach a gooseneck reading light to the front of the shutter.
Attach the shutter to the wall using screws with wall anchors.
Cover the screw holes using wooden buttons applied with glue.
Stain the wooden buttons.
Grab a good book and enjoy your new tables.

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Have a question about this project?

10 questions
  • Jim Smith
    Jim Smith
    on Oct 19, 2017

    How do you support the shelf? I do not see how you can put any amount of weight on it.
    • Carole Davis
      Carole Davis
      on Oct 19, 2017

      I would use a pair of decorative shelf brackets.
    • Julie
      on Oct 19, 2017

      That might keep me from putting a bunch of unnecessary stuff on my bedside table!
    • Alicia W
      Alicia W
      on Oct 19, 2017

      The shelf is supported as a floating shelf and is very strong. It is screwed into the shutter was three screws.
    • Matty watts
      Matty watts
      on Oct 19, 2017

      Love your tables. By the way , the way you made them sure opens your bedroom up . Light & airy
    • Stacey Dimmick
      Stacey Dimmick
      on Oct 19, 2017

      I agree on the idea of brackets but mostly just wanted to say what a great idea and I absolutely love them.
  • Carolyn Eck
    Carolyn Eck
    on Oct 19, 2017

    Uh....what about the lead paint issue?
    • San25238438
      on Oct 19, 2017

      Great question.
    • Mav28630235
      on Oct 19, 2017

      If the paint was made after 1978, not an issue.
    • Cindy Hagemann
      Cindy Hagemann
      on Oct 19, 2017

      She brushed off the loose paint and sealed it with wax - if it is lead paint (and we don't know) it is incapsulated under the wax.
    • Nena Hodges
      Nena Hodges
      on Oct 19, 2017

      I wouldn't think it would be poisonous to adults in the way it was used and protected. " Children get lead in their bodies by putting the lead containing objects in their mouths. Touching the lead and then putting their fingers in their mouths may also poison them. Lead is more harmful to children because their brains and nervous systems are still developing." But it was a good question because that's the way you inform yourself is with questions. :)
    • Lisa S.
      Lisa S.
      on Oct 19, 2017

      Just make sure the dust from sanding is not inhaled, and thrown away safely. If the item is not peeling, it should be ok - as long as no one licks or sucks on it....
    • Alicia W
      Alicia W
      on Oct 19, 2017

      I began by washing the shutter and removing any loose paint. I sealed it with clear wax which will seal the shutter.
    • Vicky Corey
      Vicky Corey
      on Oct 21, 2017

      Alicia, they both are awesome! Thank you for sharing!
    • Karen Ballou
      Karen Ballou
      on Oct 22, 2017

      Actually, I believe that lead is considered a teratogen, so it can affect adults, children, and unborn children. I agree that the wax would seal the lead, so unless someone chews on the shutters, they will not be exposed to the lead paint remaining on the shutters.
    • Carolyn Eck
      Carolyn Eck
      on Oct 28, 2017

      When you sand lead, it gets into the air or on to the ground and into the soil. If the dust ( microscopic) is on surfaces, it can be carried to the mouth on your hands. It is best NOT to sand lead paint but to encapsulate it with a specialized paint. This is most definitely lead paint as it gets powdery with age allowing the top layers of paint to crack and fall off. You can get a simple stick test st the hardware store.
    • Mar31062583
      on Dec 5, 2017

      Good to when I go out looking aged items

  • Ann12051342
    on Oct 19, 2017

    Wonderful! What kind of wax did you use?
    • Alicia W
      Alicia W
      on Oct 23, 2017

      Valspar Sealing wax in clear. I love this wax; it goes on smoothly and has a matte finish.
  • Edie
    on Oct 20, 2017

    Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!

    • Cathrine
      on Oct 20, 2017

      This is awesome,,,
    • Linda
      on Nov 14, 2017

      Will be on the hunt for shutters. Lucky to have an architectural antique/ vintage warehouse in town. They have everything you can imagine!
  • Anne rose
    Anne rose
    on Oct 23, 2017

    Do you sell these?
  • Ann Cheramie
    Ann Cheramie
    on Nov 8, 2017

    I am looking for shutters like the ones in your project. Can you guide me?
    • Alicia W
      Alicia W
      on Nov 8, 2017

      I purchased mine at our local antique store or you could look on Craigslist.
    • Susie Rufener
      Susie Rufener
      on Dec 5, 2017

      Is there a restore place in your area. Restores are places where you can get used household goods. Many people when remodeling their homes take things that are still in decent shape to these types of stores, so things can be reused.
    • Patricia Baker
      Patricia Baker
      on Dec 6, 2017

      Restore also donate to charity from their sell of items in their store.

    • Cindy
      on Jun 28, 2018

      We have a brand new Habitat for Humanity Restore that opened in Joliet, Illinois. Picked up two pair of old shutters. They are hinged together. Four shutters in all. Paid $7 for each pair. Thinking that I will make plant stand.

  • Sal10822870
    on Dec 5, 2017

    i love the look. i would love to bolt to the wall and be off the floor. another project ahead? sallie newman
  • Clair A. Gervais
    Clair A. Gervais
    on Dec 9, 2017

    How is the shelf supported? Just the back edge of the shelf screwed in? Doesn't look like it would be very strong without angled supports. ???
    • Pamela Allen
      Pamela Allen
      on Jun 27, 2018

      If you need it stronger put some corbels or decorative shelf supports under the shelf.

  • Mamma
    on Feb 4, 2020

    When it gets screwed into the wall, do you keep a gap between shutter and wall? Only, because it sticks out further at the base than the top. Is it on a slight angle? Worried about placing a drink on an angle.

  • Evelyn
    on Feb 5, 2020

    How can I organize refrigerator door clutter?

Join the conversation

3 of 106 comments
  • Constance
    on Feb 5, 2020


  • Brenda
    on Feb 11, 2020

    I used shutters for a headboard, 2 sizes, added ornamental iron work on the two outer pieces and put lamps on the ironwork. There is enough space in the middle to hang a mirror or large picture

    • Cheryl Memmel
      Cheryl Memmel
      on Feb 12, 2020

      I’d love to see the headboards, my bed doesn’t have one & im looking for some ideas

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