I mentioned on Monday that Jordan and I spent most of the weekend working on our shutters. All the boards have been cut, sanded and received at least the first coat of stain (each board needs two – more on that in a minute). Did you catch that? I said stain. 🙂
We liked the weathered look in the inspiration photos I shared last week, but agreed with some of you that we needed a little more contrast to keep the house from feeling washed out, so we wanted a dark gray stain that would provide a subtle pop, but still allow the grain of the wood to show through for the weathered effect we liked.
There is a reason so many people use gray or black shutters on a white house – it is tried and true and always looks beautiful, but we wanted to try something a little different – something that would still feel traditional, just with a twist. Plus, we reasoned we could always go back and paint over the stain if it didn’t turn out – but it’s pretty hard to stain over paint. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? So off to the paint store I went Saturday morning in search of the perfect color of stain.
We like Benjamin Moore products so we were looking at using their Arborcoat line of stains. I didn’t see anything on the sample board at the store that I thought would achieve what we were going for, so the nice and patient man behind the counter started custom mixing colors to see if he could come up with what we were after. TIP: Take small pieces of the wood you will be using to the store so that you have a sample with you to test colors – it was a big help.
I know there doesn’t look like a lot of difference in the picture, but I promise the colors were all different. Eventually he came up with a gray color with just a hint of black that I thought was right on the mark (it’s the darker shade on the top right board in the photo above), so I headed home and we placed the sample up on the house.
We liked it, so we stained an entire board and placed that on the house.
We loved it, so we started staining enough boards to complete one shutter. We placed that on the house.
We hated it. There was too much brown coming through and it just didn’t feel right against the gray shingles. After much debate and frustration, we realized we would need something darker and cooler to neutralize the warmth of the natural cedar. Back to the paint store we went the next morning, and we ended up choosing a dark blue-gray color by Cabot called Dark Slate (still using the Arborcoat product). We brought it home and applied it to a spare piece of board.
I didn’t like it. It felt too flat to me. So we layered our custom gray over the Dark Slate – and it provided just enough warm gray over top to give the color some dimension. These pictures are not too great, but you can kind of see the difference:
We stained a whole board with the Dark Slate as a base and the custom gray on top, and placed it on the house, next to our first shutter for comparison:
You can see the difference in color better in this picture:
We loved it. We put together a whole shutter just like the first time, and we still loved it – the shutter color has been chosen (I was so excited about the color, I completely forgot to take a picture, and the lighting was terrible last night so now you’ll just have to wait until they’re on the house. 🙂 )!
All the boards need to get a final coat of stain and be assembled, but I’m hoping these beauties will be hanging on the house within the next couple of weeks…providing all of the hardware comes in. We’re using simple hinges we found online at Home Depot, similar to what you see in this picture:
And a simple iron shutter dog found online at Signature Hardware:
The shutter dogs showed up on Saturday and I can’t wait to use them. I just love the little details from things like hardware, don’t you? 🙂
I have my fingers crossed these shutters are going to look as pretty as I think they will – guess we’ll find out soon enough! What do you think of our shutter color? Let me know below!