How-To Videos

How to Repair Exterior Wood Shutters

By: Danny Lipford

Exterior wood shutters take a lot of abuse from the elements. Over time this can cause the wood in shutters to rot or the joints in the shutter frame to come apart. Here’s how to repair shutters on your home.

How to repair a rotten shutter:

  • Remove all the rotten wood from the damaged area of the shutter using a chisel or putty knife.
  • Mix up a small amount of two-part auto body filler, available at auto supply stores, using the recommended proportions.
  • Use a putty knife to fill the hole in the shutter with automotive body.
  • Smooth the filler flush with the surface of the shutter, and allow it to set.
  • Smooth the surface with sandpaper.
  • Prime the spot with exterior primer, allow to dry, then paint the shutter with a high quality exterior paint.

How to repair a shutter joint:

  • Hold or clamp the shutter frame together, making sure the louver slats are properly positioned in the slots.
  • Drill a pilot hole through the shutter stile and into the shutter rail.
  • Use a drill to insert a corrosion resistant screw in the hole to secure the frame together.
  • Prime and paint the screw head to keep water out and hide the repair.

Watch this video to find out more.


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7 Comments on “How to Repair Exterior Wood Shutters”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    May 5th, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Hi, Diann!
    Those darn wasps — what a great question! We recommend submitting questions about unique situations like yours to the Today’s Homeowner Radio Show.
    Please use this form to contact Danny Lipford, America’s Home Expert, directly:
    Take care!

  • Diann Says:
    April 27th, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    My exterior wood shutters were pushed apart by wasp building a nest. The entire shutter fell apart with the slats falling on the ground when I touched it. I need to know the best way to put this shutter back together. I am a 66 year old lady with medium home repair experience. Do I work from top to bottom or the other way around. Do I glue the slats back in ? What is my first step?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    May 12th, 2019 at 1:21 pm

    Hi, Chris! That really depends on the kind of shutters (louvered, raised panel, rustic, etc) and what material they are made from (such as wood, metal, vinyl).
    We can help when we know more information. 🙂

  • Chris Chambers Says:
    March 29th, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    What’s the best way to fix shutters on to a brick wall?

  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    December 8th, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    Hi, Helen,
    Danny says, “Put two clamps on the front and one clamp on the back. Good luck!”

  • Helen Ignaccolo Says:
    October 1st, 2018 at 11:49 pm

    Our exterior wood louvered shutters were prepped for paint two years ago but just noticed that some rail and stile joints have loosened. How would a pipe clamp be positioned with the intersecting shorter clamp? The shutters range in height from 40″ to 5′. I am a 72- year old non-Handyman that will attempt to rescue nine pairs of shutters.
    I am most appreciative of any direction offered.
    Most sincerely,

  • Colleendavis Says:
    July 20th, 2018 at 8:28 am

    Is there anything you can spray on the back of louvered shutters to keep the louvers from coming loose? Maybe something clear.

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How to Repair Exterior Wood Shutters