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Salvage Style: Old Wooden Shutter CD Rack

The authors of Salvage Style know from personal experience that this shutter CD rack is a good idea because it has their teenager’s seal of approval. Teenagers usually buy CDs more frequently than the rest of us, and as a collection of CDs expands, storage can become a problem.

Of the innumerable CD storage systems that are commercially available, most take up valuable surface space, and few can be described as well-designed. If, however, you are re able to find an old wooden louvered shutter, we are sure you will agree that, once wall mounted at eye level with the CD titles on view, it provides an ideal storage solution.

When selecting an old wooden shutter for conversion into a CD rack, make sure to measure the width of the slats and their distance apart to ensure that the finished rack will comfortably hold boxed CDs. If you wish, you can use the shutter in its original condition and not repaint it, but if you want it to fit into an existing interior decorating scheme, it is probably best to paint it in the color or colors of your choice.


  • Screwdriver
  • Electric sander
  • Sandpaper
  • 1 1/2-inch paintbrush
  • soft cotton rags
  • Electric hammer drill
  • Masonry drill bit


  • Old wooden louvered shutter
  • Wood filler (if necessary)
  • Two contrasting colors matte acrylic paint (low VOC, less toxic brand)
  • Hardboard or thin plywood to fit the back of the shutter
  • Matte black acrylic paint (low VOC, least toxic brand)
  • Small wood screws
  • Two mirrors
  • Rawlplugs
  • Screws to fit mirrors


NOTE: Be very careful of scraping paint off old shutters, as the paint could contain lead. Wear a mask, and work outside.

  1. Remove any hinges or other metal hardware, sand down any flaked and loose paint from the shutter, and fill any holes or damage with wood filler, wait for the filler to set, and then sand it down to match the surrounding wood. Sand the entire shutter to provide a smooth surface for the new paint. It is not necessary to remove all the old paint, but pay particular attention to revealing the underlying wood on the edges of the frame and slats, where natural wear would occur.
  2. When you are satisfied with the finish, paint the shutter frame in the darker of your selected colors of matte acrylic paint and let them dry.
  3. When the shutter is completely dry, sand through the surface of the paint to reveal the underlying wood on all the outside edges of the frame and the exposed edges of the slats. You can either use an electric sander or, for a more subtle effect, sand by hand. The sanding is designed to simulate natural wear; if you do make a mistake, it is very simple to repaint and start again.
  4. When the shutter frame looks suitably distressed, clean off any dust without he cotton rag and apply two coats of the satin finish interior wood varnish to the entire shutter, letting it dry between coats.

Cut the sheet of hardboard or thin plywood to fit approximately 1/2 inch inside the back of the shutter. Paint one side of the hardboard or thin plywood with the matte black acrylic paint and, when dry, attach it to the back of the shutter with the small wood screws. Fit two mirror hangers to the rear of the shutter and decide where you want to hang it. Drill the holes and insert rawplugs before screwing the DC rack to the wall.

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