My first project: Rust in Peace

My first project was an easy pick, some old rusty decor window shutters! This was my first purchase at Brimfield Antique Show, so what better project to start with?


My living situation isn’t exactly DIY friendly. A one-bedroom apartment in Somerville, Massachusetts isn’t exactly sawdust and spray paint friendly. So instead, I ventured a few steps outside to my building’s parking lot (don’t tell my landlord!)

I spent the first hour sanding down the shutters trying to get them as smooth as possible. This process actually ending up being very soothing. I saw old chips of paint falling off from the past and really got to see the grain and weathering of the wood. In one of the shutters, I noticed a chunk of wood missing and all I could think about was how it got there. Did the original woodworker hit the side? Did a bug sit on their shoulder and scare them so bad that they’re carving knife slipped? No matter the story behind it, I love that sliver of missing wood.


After what felt like hours of sanding, I realized my first rookie mistake. I could’ve removed the iron rods in the center of the shutters and made the sanding process a whole of a lot easier. MAJOR eye roll.

Shaking off my first mistake, I kept on rolling with the punches. Time for spray paint! I laid down all my old paper bags and magazines I could find in my apartment so that I wouldn’t get paint on the pavement (again.. don’t tell!) Then the fun began. Giving myself about a foot of distance from the wood, I tried my best to evenly spray every inch of the shutters. I first spray painted the wood white and was having a grand old time. Still on the first shutter, my spray paint bottle stopped working. What the!? I texted my boyfriend’s dad trying not to sound like a complete dummy. “Hi um, do you happen to know how do you fix a spray paint nozzle?” He gave me about 5 options on how to to clear the nozzle but I just couldn’t figure it out. Second rookie mistake. Back to the store for 2 more cans (just in case). And thank goodness I got 2 because the second can also broke! My pointer finger must be Hercules putting too much pressure on the nozzle. Thank God for those finger exercises! Onto the third can (which I handled with care) and finally spray painting the wood was complete.


I spray painted the iron inserts gold to add a pop of color. As I did, I noticed a small tag on them labeled ‘Mexico’. AMAZING! The story of these shutters builds and they now have an original home.

I left a note next to the shutters praying that no one would take them as they dried. And my friendly neighbors obliged! Nice and dry, I put the shutters back together and voila! A new life has been ignited into these pieces.

My goal is never to cover up the history of these old treasures but just to enhance them. I want everyone else to see their potential and their story. To see them as treasures.

Find them at