Check out all the places our shutters have been installed.

Exterior Shutters, plantation shutter style by Kirtz

Exterior Shutters are a small segment of what we do, but occasionally someone will want a plantation style exterior shutter and turn to Kirtz for help with their project.

There seems to be some confusion about what makes a plantation shutter exterior or interior grade, so here is a brief explanation of what to look for in an exterior shutter.

Wood Species– exterior shutters that stand the test of time are made of western red cedar, cypress (pecky or clear), or mahogany.  These woods naturally repel water and insects, making them the longest lasting most durable choice. not to mention the beauty of handcrafted mahogany shutters!

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Distressed Shutters, and Specialty Finishes on Plantation Shutters

Recently we have worked on a number of projects that have required specialty multi-step finishes.  Distressed Shutters have been especially popular lately.   This is one of my favorite things that we do, because we do it very well.    Lots of kudos must be given to the head of our finish department, Allen.   He has both the skill and the willingness to do this type of work.

How does this process work?

Any time we match a finish we request a physical sample.  This is incredibly important in specialty finishes because each finish is unique.   Did the original finisher have a heavy hand, or a light hand when he wiped off the glaze?  What tool was used to do the distressing?  A wire brush?  Chains?  A wheel?  There are an incredible number of variables, and since these shutters are often going up against millwork or paneling, it is critical to get a good match.

So we bring a sample that shows the finished look,  and the stain department does a strike-off (or sample) of their ability to replicate the finish on your plantation shutters.  This is then provided to the homeowner/designer for their approval.  Once approved, we proceed with the finish work.  Distressed, glazed, antiqued and sand thru finishes are going to have a longer than average lead time, due to the complexity of the finish.  But just like fine wine, it’s worth the wait.

Here are just a couple of photos of specialty finishes that have gone through our factory lately.

stained, distressed red oak shutters

stained, distressed red oak shutters

exterior shutters with a sand through finish

exterior shutters with a sand through finish

painted and glazed knotty alder result in an antique distressed look

painted and glazed knotty alder result in an antique distressed look

As nice as these distressed and specialty finished shutters look, they are all an effort to duplicate an old world look.  And the best way to get an authentic old work look is to use old wood.

Enter wormy chestnut……

For a history of this wood, see this link to our site http://kirtz.com/hardwoods/wormy-chestnut.html
The short version of the story is its old, like 100 years old.  So all that patina and distressing was actually earned by the wood through years of use.  Pretty cool, huh?   The picture below shows wormy chestnut shutters with a tobacco hued stain.  It looks great with a clear finish too, but this stain really gives it some nice warmth.  This wood, more than any other wood, is one that people gravitate towards when we put it on display.
wormy chestnut with a tobacco finish
Another wood that gives a nice authentic decayed look is Pecky Cypress. This wood has been attacked by a fungus that eats the wood.  This in turn makes lens shaped pockets throughout the tree.  The result is a very attractive multi-dimensional wood.   We treated this pecky cypress hardwood shutter with a heavy black glaze, thus intensifying the appearance of variation of the surface.
Pecky Cypress with a glazed finish

Pecky Cypress with a glazed finish

This is just a sampling of our work that I could pull up quickly this afternoon to show the variety in finishing techniques we use.  If you don’t see what you are after, that is only because you haven’t asked us to build (and finish) it yet.  Give us a call and lets see what we can do for you!

Kirtz Plantation Shutters in the Wichita Parade of Homes

Come check out Kirtz Plantation Shutters in the Wichita Parade of Homes going on now through May 3rd.  We can be seen in one of the newest premier developments by Ritchtie Development called the Waterfront, located just east of Webb road off 13th Street.  We are in model #1 (also the sales office) in the master bedroom, dining and living area.

Susan Kromer, the fantastic designer who is responsible for this homes design, specified 4 1/2″  louvers with hidden tilt, custom painted to match the trim.  You will be amazed at the view through the shutters, and at what an amazing house it is.  So, check it out!

Shutters in Recreational Vehicles

We recently branched out into a new area in our plantation shutter sales, recreational vehicles.    An RV dealer in our area bought shutters for his home, and discussed the possibility of adding them to one of his units that was going to be in a local RV show.  Well, we thought it sounded like a great idea and started working on it right away.  It took a lot of planning and design to ensure the finished product was just right!

2 1/2″ louvers were the best choice due to the scale of the units (they have all been about 37′ long), and rather than a standard tilt bar that would rattle, we used a hidden tilt bar.  This also contributes to a nice clean look.  Since each unit is unique they all present individual challenges.  Making sure there is enough clearance for levers to open window, light fixtures and plug ins means that each unit typically has custom made framing around the shutter panels.

These have been a great success, the RV dealer typically sells each one at the show!  I’m uploading some pictures so you can see how great these look.  The dark stain picture is red oak, custom stained and the other unit is custom painted maple shutters with maple stained frames.  The trailer had a paint/stain mix on all the woodwork and the shutters looked right at home.

Custom Framing

Custom Framing

Room View

Room View

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