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Plantation Shutters 101 (Pt 2: Installing & Finishing)

Ready to buy plantation shutters for your windows, but don't know where to start? This series walks you through the entire DIY process of selecting, measuring for, purchasing, and installing faux wood plantation blinds yourself, from before to after!

Ready to buy plantation shutters for your windows, but don't know where to start? This series walks you through the entire DIY process of selecting, measuring for, purchasing, and installing faux wood plantation blinds yourself, from before to after!

A huge thanks to Select Blinds for sponsoring this post series. My opinion of their beautiful products is 100% my own.

I'm back today with part 2 of everything you need to know about the process of putting in plantation shutters in your home! On Tuesday, I talked about the measuring and ordering process. Today, we'll tackle what to do once these beauties actually come in! (As a reminder, we purchased the Select Blinds Premium Faux Wood Shutters in Winter White.)

1. Unpack and locate installation hardware.

Our set of plantation shutters from Select Blinds came in packaged very securely. I loved that they were labeled by room (make sure you note that when you order and they'll put it on each set of shutters!).

Go on and take off/discard all of the bubble wrap…there's a lot, so it helps to get it out of the way first. You'll also find all of the hardware you need attached to each set of blinds. Make sure to take that off first and set it aside! It was bright yellow on our package, so you couldn't miss it.

Now – the process of installing plantation shutters might sound overwhelming, but it's so not. It's as easy as putting a few screws in the wall!

2. Assemble frame.

Some of our smaller sets of shutters were already completely assembled. If you open your blinds and the outside frame is already attached to the actual shutter panels, you can skip to step 3. If you have a separate frame (should be a longer package) and individual shutter pieces, you'll need to assemble the frame and attach the shutter to the hinges. It's just an extra couple of steps…nothing to be intimidated by!

Lay your frame pieces out on a flat surface and pop the pieces into each other.

Once your pieces are positioned into place, you'll see two screw holes at the top of the frame and two at the bottom. Put the smaller screws in your hardware set in these four holes; this is what will hold the frame together.

3. Reinforce pilot holes.

You won't find this in the steps from Select Blinds, but it's a simple step that we found really helped in the long run. One the left and right panels of your frame, you should see four pre-drilled holes. We found that the pilot holes weren't great and sometimes weren't straight, so we chose to drill our own holes, using the original ones as a guide.

While you still have the frame laying down, use a 1/16″ drill bit and drill into the pre-drilled holes as straight as possible, all the way through as deep as you can go. (And, as a side note, I highly recommend you have a smaller cordless drill for this project. We tried our bigger drill at first and it was such a hassle!)

4. Stand the frame up and pre-drill screws.

Now, you can go on and stand your frame upright, making sure the label that says “top” is at the top and the one that says “left” is on your left side. We also found that it helped to go on and secure the screws in the pre-drilled holes before actually placing the frame in your window.

Go on and put the longer set of screws in your hardware pack in the four holes on the left and right side of your frame. Don't put them all the way through; just enough to keep them secure while you place the frame in your window.

5. Secure frame to the window.

Next, all you'll need to do is actually screw the longer screws into your existing window frame! Line your shutter frame up with the very front of your window frame so they are flush.

Again, make sure these go in as straight as possible, using your pre-drilled hole as a guide. If they don't go in perfectly straight, it isn't a big deal…your panels will hide them for the most part. But it does ensure that the shutters are super secure to your existing frame.

6. Attach shutter panels.

If your frame and panels were attached for shipping, you can also skip this step. For larger windows, the panels don't come attached to the frame…you'll need to do that now.

Simply pop the plastic cap off of the end of the hinge pin, take the pin out of each panel (there should be three per panel), and set them aside.

Line your hinges up, using the magnets that will hold your panels closed for help in securing it in place. Then, put the pin back in to secure them together! Easy peasy.

7. Finish your frame with caulk.

This is also not something you'll see in the guide from Select Blinds, but it made a world of difference in the look of our final product. Depending on the fit of your frame, this step might be optional; if it's perfect, you can definitely skip this!

As you can see, there was a small gap after we installed our shutters. Unless your measurements are absolutely perfect, this is probably going to happen to you too. Not a big deal though – it's an easy fix! This is why I recommended in the ordering post that, when in doubt, round down to the nearest 1/8″ on your measurements. It's easy to caulk a gap; not as easy to fit a too-big frame into a too-small window.

Most any caulk will work; I used these (I had the one of the left already, and the one on the right was the closest I could find at the store; I couldn't tell the difference between the two). Just grab one that lists that it can be used for molding. I went through almost four bottles for 2 large windows and 3 smaller windows.

Put a bead to completely fill the gap in a foot or two at a time. It might look a little rough…that's ok!

If you put a little too much in, simply wipe some away with your finger.

Then, take a wet paper towel and wipe it down the length of the gap. Not only will this wipe the extra off of the outside, but it gives the bead of caulk a nice, smooth finish. I only caulked three sides of the frame; the bottom was so close to the original window frame that it wasn't necessary.

This filled in the gap perfectly…it now looks like the shutters are a perfect fit!

Guys, I could not be more thrilled with the result of this little weekend project. In just a few days, we had blinds installed in every front window in our home! It has completely changed the look of the windows, both from the interior and the exterior. It's really exactly what we needed on these windows and is the perfect finishing touch for the look we wanted.

A huge thanks to Select Blinds for helping to bring you this post series! If you'd like more information about their beautiful window solutions, make sure to visit their website.

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4 Comments

  1. Shannon Brown says:

    We’ve loved buying from Select Blinds. They had great reviews when I checked them out and they’ve been wonderful to work with. We haven’t bought shutters, but their cordless blinds are so nice that we ordered some for three rooms – that’s 14 blinds. And when there was a problem with a the blinds one one window almost 3 years later, I found that they had a 3-year guarantee and they replaced the blinds at no charge.

  2. Hello Leslie, thanks for such a helpful post. I love the plantation shutters. We are planning to get them too, but its difficult to make a choice on which ones I need. We have the same windows as yours, and my main question is how do you open your windows? Because if you need to clean the windows you have to pull out the screen first to wash them from the back side. To do that do you need to open the window and lower it towards yourself? As I understand it, this is impossible after installing shutters, since the frame inside the window prevents this from being done. Do you have any tips? Please share and thank you again.

    1. That is one of the downfalls of plantation shutters; with the way we have them installed, it’s not possible to pull these windows out towards yourself to take out the screens. It’s not a huge deal for us, but it isn’t ideal. If they aren’t necessary, I’d recommend taking the screens out before you install the shutters. We found that we really didn’t need them in most of the windows we had.

  3. Hello Leslie, thank you for your reply. Unfortunately, we would not like to take the screens out as we like to open the windows to bring fresh air into the house. But that’s ok. You mentioned that in your case this is not possible since you installed them
    the way you did. Is there another option to install the plantation shutters so that you would be able to open the window and lower it towards yourself? Thank you.😊